Why Vegan

A Plant-Based Diet is a Political Act

New Study clearly Shows that Animal Farming is Unsustainable

Animals, birds and fish do not get a vote at the time of a general election. Farm animals, as well as animals in abattoirs, zoos and homes, rely upon compassionate human beings to speak up for them.

We are reminded of this again today with the publication of another report which brands animal agriculture as a leading cause of climate change. It generates an estimated 87 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, and claims that “the annual methane emissions from animal agriculture alone causes more incremental global warming than the annual CO2 emissions from all fossil fuel sources combined”. 

The Need to Transition to a Plant-Based Diet

The report shows that “we need to transition to a global plant-based economy first and that blindly eliminating fossil fuel usage first will accelerate the warming of the planet”. It states unambiguously that priorities need to change as the current consensus “vastly underestimates” the role of animal agriculture. 

The United Nations appeals to citizens worldwide to change our diet from meat and dairy to a plant-based diet to reduce the climate emergency. The UN resisted the opportunity to make a full-on appeal for a radical change in diet. They only asked member states to reduce animal consumption. 

Scientists point out that our greenhouse emissions associated with food loss amount to 8 – 10% of all global emissions. Food loss includes loss of food in the fields, food discarded by supermarkets and food thrown into the waste bin in restaurants and home. Gases produced from livestock contribute to major emissions. 

Pollution, loss of habitat and loss of farmland to animals keeps countless numbers of people on earth hungry.

The report calls for vigorous action to halt soil damage and desertification – both of which contribute to climate change.

Reduction of consumption of cattle, sheep, pigs and other livestock would make land available for crops, vegetables, fruit and nuts with an opportunity to feed people a healthy diet. Such an approach would reduce in dramatic ways the waiting lists for beds and operations in our hospitals.

The vast majority of citizens worldwide have failed to recognise the importance of a vegan diet as a real contribution to the reduction of suffering for animals, birds and fish. 

Transitioning to a Plant-Based Diet is a Political Act

Citizens will receive numerous flyers and leaflets from political parties through their letters boxes in the weeks leading up to polling day in the UK. 

We are not likely to receive any encouragement to become vegan from those standing for political office or even cut out meat-eating.

Consumption of meat-eating of birds and animals affects our health. Fish swim in polluted seas. Excessive meat-eating and dairy products contribute to cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

There are endless concerns about protecting the National Health Service and little reference to lifestyle issues, which make people sick in the first place. We need a Natural Health Service to deal with the causes of sickness. We need to heed the call of the urgency of transitioning to a plant-based diet.

Dr Sailesh Rao is the founder and executive director of Climate Healers. He is the author of Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies and of Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis. He has been an Executive Producer of various documentaries including Cowspiracy and What the Health.

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Christopher Titmuss

Christopher Titmuss is a senior teacher, social critic, campaigner and poet and in the Buddhist tradition. A former Theravada Buddhist monk, he is the author of numerous books including The Political Buddha, Light on Enlightenment and The Spiritual Roots of Mindfulness. He writes a weekly Dharma blog on major issues. His teachings focus on insight meditation (vipassana), the expansive heart and liberation. He has lived in Totnes, Devon, England since 1982. Contact: christopher@vegansbethechange.com
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