EarthBowlWaterNewsHow can your plant-based diet help our planetary wellbeing, as well as your personal health?

Still largely unknown among our global populace – and generally hidden from sight – large-scale animal agriculture industry is destroying our planet. It’s a driving force for deforestation, soil erosion, groundwater depletion, water pollution, ocean dead zones, and production of climate-changing greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, and methane.

Since all of this could be mitigated, and largely reversed, through immediate, widespread adoption of a plant-based diet, I have always been perplexed as to why major environmental organizations have not made this dietary evolution a keystone of their action programs. Rays of light…

The Spring 2011 issue of the Atlantic Chapter publication of the Sierra Club, included an article by Linda A. DeStefano, “Recent U.N. report underscores environmental damage from animal agriculture.”

Read the Article: http://bit.ly/1pJUM6D

DeStefano references two UN reports that indict animal agriculture as the most powerful and pervasive force – and ultimately, the most controllable and reversible – driving global climate change and eco-destruction.

“Assessing the Environmental Impacts of Consumption and Production: Priority Products and Materials,” United Nations Environment Program, 2010: Read and Download: http://bit.ly/WENYiz

“Livestock’s Long Shadow,” Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006: Download: http://bit.ly/1gCIHQE

Although these reports sound alarming messages of importance, it appears they’ve failed to spark widespread attention. I see it as a grim twist on the old adage, “Everyone is always talking about the weather, but no one does anything about it.” In this case, it seems we are all doing something to our weather; and/but few are focused on the role played by (our support of) large-scale animal agribusiness.

Sadly, most environmentalists have yet to realize or acknowledge the contradiction of working to save our forests and seas while eating burgers, bacon, drumsticks, and fish fillets – thus paying for (literally) the very destruction we’re otherwise working (and eating) to reverse and prevent.

A January 2014 article in Nature Climate Change by William Ripple and others, “Ruminants, climate change and climate policy” elucidates the importance of this subject. (Ruminants include cattle and other even-toed hoofed mammals.)

Ripple and his fellow authors present a powerful case for the deleterious effect that meat consumption inflicts on our planet. They conclude that, “decreasing ruminants should be considered alongside our grand challenge of significantly reducing the world’s reliance on fossil fuel combustion.” Hopefully, people are listening and taking action! Read the Article: http://bit.ly/UpBWHX

The film, Cowspiracy, probes the reluctance of major environmental organizations – including Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Surfrider, National Resources Defense Council, Amazon Watch, Oceana, and The Climate Reality Project – to see, not the elephant, but the cows, sheep, goats, calves, pigs, chickens, and turkeys in our room and, in so doing, the need to promote reduced meat production and consumption as a priority action coupled with adoption of a plant-based, whole-food diet.

For more about “Cowspiracy,” see the video trailer and website: http://cowspiracy.com/

~ Dr. Michael Klaper

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