Happy Meatless Monday!

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Happy Meatless Monday!

The Vancouver City Council has declared today “Meatless Monday” as part of their Greenest City initiative!

Here are a few facts:

There’s no way around it–animal products are terrible for our planet.  Here are a few snippets from our info page:

  • Producing one calorie of animal protein requires 8 to 10 times as much fossil fuel input—releasing 8 to 10 times as much carbon dioxide—than does a calorie of plant protein.
  • According to the University of Chicago, being vegan is more effective in the fight against global warming than driving a hybrid car; a vegan is responsible for 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide each year than a meat-eater.

eat like an suv

  • About 500 million tons of manure is produced annually by farm animals, and every pound of methane is 72 times as effective as carbon dioxide is at trapping heat in our atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency shows that animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions.
murrayville manure

Dead fish float on the surface of a pond after a pig farm allowed 31,000 pounds of manure to seep into a nearby creek in 2009. (Photo: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency)

  • Crops grown specifically for feeding livestock require a third of all arable land, and the land set aside for grazing takes up 26% of the earth’s terrestrial surface.  70% of previously forested areas in the Amazon Rainforest are now used as pasture.
deforestation pie chart
  •  In 2004 and 2005 alone, more than 2.9 million acres of rainforest were cleared, primarily to grow crops for chickens used by Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • One litre of milk requires 880 litres of water, and one egg requires 200 litres of water. A kilogram of chicken requires 4325 litres of water, a kilogram of pork requires 5988 litres of water, and a kilogram of beef requires a staggering 15145 litres of water.  In contrast, a kilogram of vegetables requires 322 litres of water, and a kilogram of fruit requires 962 litres.
  • The Worldwide Fund for Nature described livestock as a “current threat” to 306 of 825 valuable eco-regions, and of Conservation International’s 35 “global hotspots for biodiversity” dealing with serious levels of habitat loss, 23 are threatened by livestock production.

You can see references and resources for all the facts listed here and learn much more at Animal Products and the Environment.

In the meantime, congratulations to the Vancouver City Council for taking a step in the right direction!

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