This Earth Day, the very best thing we can do at an individual level to help protect our planet is to go vegan.
For those not in the know, Earth Day was founded by Gaylord Nelson — a US Senator at the time — who had been inspired to act after witnessing the devastating impact of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. After teaming up with another conservation-minded politician and hiring a National Coordinator from Harvard, they put out a coordinated call to action, culminating in rallies being held right across America on 22nd April 1970. According to their website, this initial day of action “activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement”. Since then, Earth Day has been celebrated on 22nd April each year. Quite the achievement!
Now, almost fifty years later we are virtually all aware of the disastrous impact we have had as a species on our native planet. It is widely known and largely accepted (US Presidents aside) that we have caused the Earth’s temperature to rise and are now witnessing the catastrophic effect that it is having on the planet’s wildlife and ecosystems. It can seem a hugely overwhelming, even insurmountable challenge to redress the damage caused but there are simple changes we can all make that can at least begin the process of turning it around.
In case you missed it, our recently published report Envirocidal by Dr Justine Butler is a phenomenally detailed resource outlining the earth-shattering consequences of current livestock farming practices:
“Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock production arise from a range of factors. Enteric fermentation (cows burping and farting methane), gases from animal manure (methane again), deforestation for grazing land and soya-feed production, soil carbon loss in grazing lands, energy used in growing animal feed, processing and transporting animal feed and meat and nitrous oxide releases from nitrogenous fertilisers all contribute.”
Dr Butler further asserts “One in nine people in the world today are undernourished, yet we feed around a third of our global crop production to animals. Growing food for human consumption, without feeding it to animals, could feed an additional four billion people”.
This damning report reaffirms once and for all that the very best thing we can do at an individual level to help protect our planet is to go vegan. Using energy efficient lightbulbs or switching to an electric car is simply not enough if people continue eating steak and burgers. The science is unanimous, the best change we can each make is to stop eating animals!
About the Author
Article by Jessica Nunn - Viva!'s wonderfully multi-talented volunteer. Having been vegan for almost twenty years, she has been astounded and delighted to watch the movement grow exponentially in recent years. Jess has a degree in English and Media Writing and is enjoying contributing blog posts, articles and editorial support to Viva!'s many platforms.