Vegetarianism: Eating Right to Save the Planet
Demonstration advocating vegetarian diet to prevent climate change outside the Bella Center, Copenhagen during COP15
There has always been mountains of evidence to prove that a vegetarian diet is a healthy natural diet of humans. And now there is yet another compelling reason to GO VEG: To Save the Planet. All of us these days have access to information over the internet, and we all know how to also find the reliable facts amidst all that goes on online.
I googled to educate myself on the pros and cons of the choice of our diet and am presenting some of what I found in this article. But before we go on to the statistics I want you to imagine a rabbit, a beautiful furry white one on a table, would you really want to pounce on it, tear its flesh and eat it?
Have you ever pondered as to what happens to you if you see an apple or a banana on a plate. What does your body naturally tell you? Beyond all scientific facts and data, most of the times the answers lie within us, our body guides us based on what we are naturally and tells us what is good for us and what is not. Some Facts:
Fact 1: According to a recent report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent, 18 percent more than the transport sector. The livestock sector is also a major source of land and water degradation.
Fact 2: World Watch Institute tells us that a dairy cow produces about 75 kilograms of methane a year, equivalent to over 1.5 [metric] tons of carbon dioxide.
Fact 3: According to the June 2007 edition of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, whereas animal protein production requires 25 kilocalorie (kcal) for each kcal produced as food, grain protein production requires only 2.2 kcal per food kcal.
Fact 4: A United Nations report informs that currently about half of the world’s land is used for agriculture which also takes up 70% of total water use.
Finally, I would like to highlight what our own Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the IPCC, answered to the question as to what he does for the climate, he said, “Please eat less meat — meat is a very carbon intensive commodity.” Lately, the Nobel peace prize winning climate campaigner Al Gore has also begun to advocate that its certainly both healthy as well as environment friendly to become vegetarian, in the best interest of oneself and the Planet!
Padmavati Dwivedi works towards creating an inclusive world with the Delhi based Compassionate Living organisation. Her work is primarily focused towards promoting the making of conscious choices that benefit people, plants and animals.
Image by Matthew McDermott via Flickr over Creative Commons