Choose a plant-based diet. It’s good for the Environment!

FOURTH EDITION AVAILABLE OF “GIVE A WOLF (AND THE WORLD) A BREAK TODAY: GO VEGGIE!”

by Linda A. DeStefano

This tri-fold produced by the  Biodiversity/Vegetarian Outreach Committee the Atlantic Chapter of the Sierra Club makes the connection between protecting our planet and wildlife to the choice to eat a plant-based diet.  Here are the topics covered:

“National Sierra Club Policy”
“Our Taxes Paying to Kill Wildlife”
“Invasive Plant Species”
“Factory Farms”
“New York Lakes Contaminated with Manure”
“Hungry Ocean Mammals”
“Fish Farm Woes”
“Animal Agriculture’s Impact on Climate”
“What About Grass-fed and Local?”
“John Muir Weighs In”
“Making Changes”
“So What Should I Eat?”

Here are a few excerpts.

Under “Our Taxes Paying to Kill Wildlife”: “In the West, much of the land wasted for meat production is public land.  Grazing rights are sold at ridiculously low prices to ranchers (some of whom are actually large corporations), thus forcing taxpayers to subsidize their industry.  Our taxes are also used to kill wild animals through the federal Wildlife Services at the behest of the ranching industry. Prairie dogs, coyotes, mountain lions, wolves and other animals are trapped, poisoned, burned in their den, and shot.  Wild horses and burros are rounded up and sometimes sold for slaughter so they don’t compete with cattle and sheep on public land.” —

Under “Animal Agriculture’s Impact on Climate”:  “…  Animal agriculture plays a large role in creating the greenhouse gases which cause global warming.  Methane, more powerful even than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, is produced in large quantities by ruminant animals (cows, goats, sheep and bison) in their normal digestion and elimination.  … On June 2, 2010 the United Nations Environment Program released a report … which includes a section on the severe environmental problems caused by animal agriculture.  It advises that the worst impact of climate change from animal agriculture can only be averted by a worldwide shift toward a plant-based diet –
no animals flesh and no animal products (particularly dairy).”

Under “What About Grass-Fed and Local?”:  “Cattle raised solely on grass actually contribute more to greenhouse gases than cattle who are ‘finished’ on grain.  Buying local food is important to local farmers and reduces CO2 emissions from transporting food long distances.  However, eating a plant-based diet (or even just reducing animal flesh and products) should be added to this strategy.  According to Professor Chris Weber of Carnegie Mellon University, buying local doesn’t have as much impact as reducing beef and dairy.  Only 5% of the emissions related to food comes from transporting food to market. ‘You can have a much bigger impact by shifting just one day a week from meat and dairy to anything else than  going local every day of the year.’ “

Under “So What Should I Eat?”: “A healthy vegan diet includes grains, beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and all the foods which can be made from them
(pasta, soups, burgers, desserts, salads, etc.).  Vegans are more likely to avoid heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer than people who eat a typical U.S. diet.
So consider moving toward a plant-based diet (perhaps starting with one day a week without animal flesh or animal products)…”

You can find find recipes and much other information, including a download of “Wolf…” at atlantic2@sierraclub.org/conservation/biodiversity
You can request one or more (free) hard copies of “Wolf…” by contacting me at 5031 Onondaga Rd., Syracuse NY 13215-1403, LDESTEFANO3@twcny.rr.com, or (315)488-2140 (8 a.m. – 10 p.m.).