A University of Chicago study recently found that our food choices contribute at least as much as our transportation choices to global warming. More recent and authoritative studies by the United Nations and the Pew Commission show conclusively that globally, farmed animals contribute more to climate change than transport. According to the UN, the livestock sector is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, around 40% more than the entire transport sector – cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships – combined. Animal agriculture is responsible for 37% of anthropogenic methane, which offers twenty-three times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2, as well as 65% of anthropogenic nitrous oxide, which provides a staggering 296 times the GWP of CO2. The most current data even quantifies the role of diet: omnivores contribute seven times the volume of greenhouse gases that vegans do.
…. In other words, if one cares about the enviroment, and if one accepts the scientific results of such sources as the UN (or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or the Pew Commission, or the Union of Concerned Scientists, or the Worldwatch Institure …), one must care about eating animals. Most simply put, someone who regularly eats factory-farmed animal products cannot call himself an environmentalist without divorcing that word from its meaning.
Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals
I’ve been a vegetarian for half of my life, but it’s not really something I ever think about or am passionate about. In fact, I’m a big JSF fan (I know, lame) but never read this book because I just wasn’t interested. But anyway, I’m reading it now, and I’m like shaking and crying. Even though I knew many of the things he writes about (why I became and stay a vegetarian) it’s still horrifying and scary to read. This is one of the less horrifying passages but I’m sharing it because many people who don’t really care about animal torture or the useless senseless death of animals we don’t even eat do care about climate change.
I also think I’m going to recommit to eating fewer dairy products and, especially egg products. I don’t cook with them that much anyway but I’m going to be more conscious about it.
So, be warned I think I’ll be posting some more passages.(via shortbreadsh)