Saturday, October 29, 2011

Plant-Based Eating And The Planet

From an interview with John Robbins, son of Baskin-Robbins' founder, and author of numerous bestselling books, including Diet For A New America and The Food Revolution:
"In 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released a report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow. It looked at the direct impact of meat production and also at the impact of the feed crop agriculture required for meat production.

The report stated that meat production is the second or third largest contributor to environmental problems at every level and at every scale, from global to local. It is responsible for land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, species extinction, loss of biodiversity and climate change. Henning Steinfeld, a senior author of the report, stated, "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation."

In 2006, a University of Chicago study found that a vegan diet is far more effective than driving a hybrid car in reducing carbon footprint. "Vegetarianism is the new Prius" is a phrase I heard recently. But it's actually more effective than driving a Prius. If you're going to drive a car a hybrid vehicle is the way to go, there's no doubt about it. But as the FAO report stated, all the SUVs, Hummers, trucks, ships and planes in the world contribute less to the problem than meat. The meat-eating Prius driver has a bigger carbon footprint than the vegan Hummer driver, not that there are probably too many of those!"

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