Veganism -- the new front in the battle to cut carbon?
Going vegan makes much more of an impact than driving a Prius:
We all know the health benefits of a vegan lifestyle but now vegan businesses are arguing that eating less meat can significantly help reduce our carbon footprint.
“Scientists are saying we need to look at a 90 per cent reduction in carbon emissions just to stop global warming getting any worse, never mind reversing the process,” explains Alex Bourke, who set up his Vegetarian Guides publishing company in 1991.
“Burning fuel to produce fertiliser to grow feed, to produce meat and to transport it – and clearing vegetation for grazing – produces nine per cent of all emissions of carbon dioxide. So there is a strong environmental argument in favour of veganism.”
Indeed, a United Nations report entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow” which was released at the end of 2006, backs up Bourke’s claim and further helps put things in perspective.
The report stated that livestock farming is responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, whereas all transport combined only produces 13 per cent.
“So it’s not possible to achieve a 90 per cent reduction in emissions by cutting back in all the other sectors - the world needs to reduce its meat and dairy consumption by 50 per cent. Now I think that is achievable - world veganism would be nice, but most people aren't ready for it!”