Recently former Vice President Al Gore called for a 10-year plan to move the nation’s entire energy supply to solar, wind, and other renewable sources (7/18, A-5, “Gore urges 2018 goal of carbon-free energy”). But he failed to address the massive role of meat production in the global climate crisis.
A 2006 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization found that animal agriculture accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. That’s more than automobiles. It is also a major cause of land and water degradation.
Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate factory farm and slaughterhouse machinery, trucks and refrigeration equipment. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Each of us can do our part now to reduce global warming. Our local supermarkets stock a rich variety of soy-based lunch “meats,” hot dogs, veggie burgers, dairy products and ready-to-eat frozen dinners. Did I mention the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables that have always been readily available to us?
More details are at www.tryveg.com.