Earth Day (22th April) is an annual event for everyone who cares about the planet’s environment. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. Earth Day 2000 included 5,000 environmental groups and 184 countries. In 2010, for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, 225,000 people gathered at the National Mall for a climate rally. Earth Day Network launched a campaign to plant 1 billion trees, which was achieved in 2012, according to the organization. Earth Day and Vegan should be related, what do you think?
What to do?
As a part of the Earth, we need to support Earth Day and raise awareness for environment protection by reducing pollution. In 2010 U.N. report, which concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and climate change. A Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency report showed that: global shift to vegan diet could cut climate change mitigation costs by 80%! So, we have to stop thinking of the environmentally destructive foods – meat and dairy products.
Animal agriculture are destroying the planet!
The report Worldwatch Institute shows that livestock raising is responsible for at least 51 percent of global warming.
Producing 1kg beef: (Animal Science Journal, 2007)
- Leads to the emission of greenhouse gases with a warming potential equivalent to 36.4 kg of CO2 .
- Releases fertilising compounds equivalent to 340 g. of sulphur dioxide and 59 g. of phosphate.
- Consumes 169 megajoules of energy .
- 1 kg of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 km, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for 20 days.
- Over two-thirds of the energy goes towards producing and transporting the animals’ feed.
Besides, animal waste contributes more pollutants to our waterways than other human activities combined. This waste often washes into streams and rivers, polluting the water for human consumption. Moreover, it can take up to 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. Nearly 900 gallons of water are required to produce a single gallon of dairy milk, while soy milk requires only 28 percent of that.
In an environmentally sustainable world, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other sustainable energy sources, animal foods must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains. Check out our post: Beef or Oats? Which?
According to Pelletier, 2010, A diet of 100% protein from soy sources would have only 1% of the impact in 2050 of a diet in which 100% of protein was from meat.
A person adopting a vegetarian diet for a year would reduce more emissions than someone swapping their car for a Toyota Prius. (University of Chicago in the US report, 2006)
The emissions from consuming a diet of 100% locally grown food was compared to one of 100% plant-based foods. A vegan diet led to a reduction of 7 times the emissions of a locally-grown diet. (Carnegie Mellon University, 2008)
Producing one kilogram of beef generates 19 kilograms of CO2 emissions, while one kilogram of potatoes, only 280 grams of CO2. (Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, 2009)
Eating more of certain animal products such as chicken (instead of beef) will NOT help mitigate environmental impacts. Researchers have found that protein from chicken has an energy efficiency rating of just 5% compared to plant-based foods such as tomatoes, with 60%; oranges and potatoes at 170%, and 500% for OATS (p. 7 report by Eshel, Martin. University of Chicago, 2005)
Eating fish will not help either. Fish was found to be similarly inefficient, in part because of the energy required for long-distance voyages to hunt large fishes such as tuna. Also, even the so-called “best managed” fish farms generate widespread environmental damage. (Dr. John Volpe. University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada)
– The EPA’s Earth Day website offers suggestions for events and activities, project resources, and ideas for teachers and community-service volunteers.
– Earth Day Network provides information on how to take action and become involved in environmental programs.
– The United Nations declared April 22 as International Mother Earth Day and lists Earth Day events worldwide.
– Take this Earth Day Quiz by Google Which Animal are you?