Topic: healthy finds
Global warming has been called humankind's “greatest challenge” and the world's most grave environmental threat.41 Human activities are causing large amounts of “greenhouse gases” (gases that prevent heat from escaping from the Earth's atmosphere) in the atmosphere. This then causes the air around the Earth to become hotter, which scientists say will increasingly lead to catastrophic natural disasters, such as more frequent and intense hurricanes, flooding, and drought. Many people are trying to help reduce global warming by driving more fuel-efficient cars and using less electricity, but by far, the most effective thing that you can do to fight global warming is to go vegetarian.
The billions of chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows who are crammed into factory farms each year in the U.S. produce enormous amounts of methane, both in their digestive processes and from the feces that they excrete. Scientists report that every molecule of methane is more than 20 times as effective as carbon dioxide is at trapping heat in our atmosphere.42 Statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency show that animal agriculture is the single largest cause of methane emissions in the U.S.43 Raising animals for food is causing global warming.
A recent report by EarthSave International, based on the work of leading climate scientists, shows that adopting a vegetarian diet is far more effective at reducing global warming than is reducing emissions from cars or power plants. This finding was confirmed by a groundbreaking study at the University of Chicago, which detailed the enormous environmental advantages (as well as the personal health benefits) of adopting a vegan diet. Read an article about the University of Chicago study, or read the study in its entirety.
Although methane makes a larger impact on global warming than carbon dioxide does, curbing carbon dioxide is also important, and animal agriculture is a major source of this gas as well. A calorie of animal protein requires more than 10 times as much fossil fuel input—releasing more than 10 times as much carbon dioxide—than does a calorie of plant protein.44 Feeding massive amounts of grain and water to farmed animals and then killing them and processing, transporting, and storing their flesh is extremely energy-intensive. In addition, carbon dioxide is released from animal manure. While driving a hybrid Toyota Prius instead of a “regular” car saves the equivalent of just more than 1 ton of carbon dioxide a year, a vegan diet generates at least 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide than does the average American diet.45 Adopting a vegan diet is more important than switching to a “greener” car in the fight against global warming.46
The most powerful step that we can take as individuals to avert global warming is to stop eating meat, eggs, and dairy products. Request a free vegetarian starter kit today.
Read more about how you can help to protect the environment.
41 Andrew Pierce, “Global Warming Is Mankind's Greatest Challenge, Says Prince,” The Times 28 Oct. 2005.
42 “Global Warming: Methane,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 8 Mar. 2006.
43 “Sources and Emissions: Methane,” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2 Jun. 2006.
44 David Pimentel and Marcia Pimentel, “Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment,” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 78.3 (2003): 661S-662S.
45 NewScientist.com, “It's Better to Green Your Diet Than Your Car,” 17 Dec. 2005.
46 Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin, “Diet, Energy, and Global Warming,” Earth Interactions 10.9 (2006): 1-17.