Originally Posted on Huffington Postfor
Party for Planet Earth
Welcome to that fabulous planetary party, Earth Day. How can you best celebrate Mother Earth? Use more twirly incandescent light-bulbs? Walk instead of drive? Good ideas, but the biggest present you can give the planet is to show some plant-based love.
According to our brilliant buds at Carnegie Mellon, dialing down meat consumption lowers carbon output more than eating locally. Even skipping one day’s worth of meat makes a difference. In their 2006 landmark study “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization concludes nothing produces more greenhouse gas emissions than livestock production. Beef is the worst offender by 150%.
Add to that the toll animal agriculture takes on our limited natural resources. It requires far more energy, land and water than growing produce. It also requires more food. Beef production requires an out-sized portion of grain — grain that could go towards feeding us. At a time when there’s seven billion of us with another two billion more anticipated, we need to grow food to feed us all.
America’s meat-intensive diet means we are literally eating ourselves out of house and home — by which I mean the planet. I’m sorry, there is no food on earth that satisfying, that delicious to warrant the end of the world as we know it.
You have the power to make a difference, just by choosing what you eat. So join the party. Help the planet and have a great time, too. Local and online vegan community can hook you up with support and great eats. Take part in U.S. VegWeek by taking the 7- Day VegPledge. Sponsored by the animal-friendly folks at Compassion Over Killing U.S. VegWeek starts today, Earth Day, and offers a week’s worth of meatless celebration.
Earth Day is a party to which everyone’s invited, and we’re serving delicious food. A meatless diet is abundant, affordable, accessible and exciting — from spicy red chili tacos to satisfying green herb and veggie tart. The slew of side benefits includes greater health by decreasing your risk of the big killer three — heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and extra servings of joy and compassion that comes from eating well but keeping 50 animals a year off your plate. You get all that and the knowledge you’re contributing to a sustainable planet and a sustainable future. No wonder environmental groups including the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Sierra Club have advocated meatlessness as a means of protecting our overtaxed planet.
A meatless lifestyle is the coolest, easiest way to multitask I know of. If you want to enjoy fabulous food, boost your health, get the glow, show compassion, save money, save animals, save time and save the planet, all roads point to a plant-based diet. What’s more, it’s the Earth Day present the planet’s been hoping for.