PETA Asia member paints herself as “Mother Earth” to promote a plant-based diet to passersby in Bangkok on Thursday.
Climate change, water pollution, resource depletion, and land erosion are all linked to consumption of meat and dairy foods. The best thing that any of us can do for our health, for animals, and for the environment is to go vegan.
Scientists agree that animal-based diets threaten the environment:
- The Worldwatch Institute estimates that at least 51 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide can be attributed to “livestock and their byproducts.”
- A United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change.
- University of Chicago researchers concluded that switching from a standard meat-based diet to a vegan diet is more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard car to a hybrid.
- Waste, antibiotics, and pesticides from factory farms and slaughterhouses contaminate water sources, and farmed animals produce 13 billion metric tons of excrement a year—48 times as much as the world’s human population produces.
- Satisfying the world’s appetite for animal flesh requires fuel to produce fertilizer for the crops that are fed to animals, gas to run the trucks that take them to slaughter, electricity to freeze their carcasses, and much more. It takes more than 10 times as much fossil fuel to produce one calorie of animal protein as it does to produce one calorie of plant protein.
Many leading environmental organizations—including the Worldwatch Institute, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Al Gore’s Live Earth—recognize that raising animals for food damages the environment more than just about any other human activity.