In response to the Living Green feature [“Nov. 17, Xpress”], it’s important to point out its glaring omission regarding one of the most effective and easily doable steps we can take to reduce our carbon footprint and protect the planet: changing our diet.
Research conducted by University of Chicago scientists showed that eating a plant-based diet is healthier for the planet than an animal-based diet, and the food that people eat is just as important as what kind of cars they drive. After a United Nations study concluded that livestock production is one of the major causes of global warming, land degradation, and air and water pollution, the organization warned that a global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change.
World Bank environmental advisors concluded that the environmental impact of raising animals for food accounts for at least half of all human-caused greenhouse gases. Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown argues compellingly that animal farming is an ecological disaster and that the only real solution to the problem of climate change is to end this grossly unsustainable practice.
We can all agree that — generally speaking — consuming local products as often as possible is an important way to reduce our carbon footprint. However, this does not apply to animal products. To answer those who argue that eating local animal products is an equally effective alternative to following a plant-based diet, Carnegie Mellon researchers found that eating a plant-based diet, even one day per week, drastically eliminates more greenhouse gases than eating an all local diet.
Consuming animals is nothing more than a habit. It’s one that we can and should break — that is, if we really do care about the planet and its ability to sustain future generations.
— Leslie Armstrong