Why is Veganism Green?
Planet Earth is in deep trouble and it's getting to be downright scary. With all the crazy weather conditions, the ice storms, floods, forest fires, killer heat waves, and wild animals with no place to go but our own backyards, don't we all sense a need to take some action? Eating less meat, eggs, and dairy, or even becoming vegan is something that we as individuals can do that could make an enormous difference.
In the last decade, the human population has more than doubled. People are eating so much flesh that billions of animals are processed every day. This consumes exorbitant amounts of unsustainable resources, such as land, water, and fuel. Livestock also produce tons of methane gas which, along with carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, is seriously contributing to global warming.
The only way to cope with such staggering numbers of animals in a way that is affordable and profitable is through highly sophisticated industrialized factories called factory-farms. This kind of production is devastating for the farm animals. Just try to imagine what it would be like to live in an elevator with six other humans all of your life and you will have some incling as to what it would feel like to be a laying hen.
Animals are at the very top of the food chain. Land must be cleared to grow feed to fatten them up - much more land than is necessary to produce the amount of vegetables we need for a healthy diet. In fact vegetables are the healthiest food that humans can eat.
Animal flesh is not a necessity, but a desire. If more people would only discover how healthy and great they can feel with less meat, there could be more resources available for the millions of starving men, women, and children around the world.
All of this unnecessary clearing of the land also means that animals are losing their habitats. Where is the wild life to go? This is one of the reasons that entire species are becoming extinct.
Another problem with deforestation is that we need the trees for the oxygen they produce to help balance the carbon dioxide created by the burning of fossil fuels.
To produce meat rather than vegetables, poluting fossil fuels are required to clear the excess land, to truck the animals off to the abbatoirs, and to run the machinery that is used to slaughter them. Meat production also uses and pollutes an extraordinary amount of water.
But we can make greener choices. Global warming is a threat to our very existence. Veganism is a greener way of living. Please try to do the best you can to reduce or eliminate your meat consumption. Please do it for the animals, for your health, for your children, and for our future!
© Susan Lowry, February 2009
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