world watch institute

“The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future—deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.”
— World Watch Institute

independent.co.uk
Donald Trump's victory isn't the most terrifying news today. There's something even worse
It is a vision of a future so apocalyptic that it is hard to even imagine. But, if leading scientists writing in one of the most respected academic journals are right, planet Earth could be on course for global warming of more than seven degrees Celsius within a lifetime.

This is horrifying considering Trump’s EPA transition team leader is a climate change denier.  However the major environmentalists are still refusing to acknowledge what the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO-UN) said in 2006 and the World Watch Institute said in 2009, that animal agriculture is the number 1 source of greenhouse gas, even more than the entire transportation industry. 

Recently, Greenpeace has started to acknowledge that the animal exploitation industry may be one part of the environmental problem.  That’s like saying the tree is one part of the Christmas Tree but no more so than any of the glass balls hanging from it. The World Watch Institute’s 2009 report (written by scientists from the World Bank reviewing the 2006 FAO-UN report) concluded animal agriculture contributes 51% of greenhouse gas.  That’s more than half.  No politician is addressing that.  Even Bernie ignored that.  Unless the world goes vegan fast, the biosphere is (pardon the pun) dead meat.

“If you think that we are currently using our agricultural surplus to feed the hungry world, consider that two-thirds of our agricultural exports go to feed livestock abroad. We are helping to fatten animals for slaughter everywhere. It is generally only people who are left hungry.

Barring some horrific war or catastrophic outbreak of disease, the current population of the earth– over six billion people– will roughly double within the next sixty years. There will likely be ten to twelve billion people sharing this planet by the year 2060. By far the greater share of that population growth will take place in countries that are already relatively poor and hungry. A recent report of the World Watch Institute indicated that in 1994, for the first time, there were more people on the planet than could adequately be fed by our usage of the food supply, even if global food distribution systems were optimal– and of course they remain far from optimal. We are now annually losing ground in the global war on hunger and the struggle for food security.”

- Mad Cowboy Howard F. Lyman

anonymous asked:

hiiii you probably get this question a lot but I'm new here and i wanted to ask if you could tell me some reasons to become vegetarian or vegan? and foods to eat instead of meat and all of that, that have the same nutrients and stuff, because I'm 16 and I still need some of them to grow, at least that's what my mol tells me when i tell her i want to stop eating it

Hi anon, I’d be more than happy to.

Veganism is the absolute minimum we should be doing for animals, regardless of whether you are an animal lover or not; animals should not be treated as property. While it was once true that we needed animals to live and this was part of the natural order of things, this has no longer been the case for a very long time. The human body has absolutely no requirement to consume animal products, we can thrive on a vegan diet at all stages of life. If living vegans like myself aren’t proof that we don’t need animal products, you can take a look at the long list of vegan athletes at the very top of their respective sports. There is no vitamin or mineral you cannot gain from a vegan diet with the possible exception of vitamin B12, which is very easy to acquire through fortified plant milks which come in a huge variety, or nutritional yeast and supplements. While there is debate whether or not veganism is healthier than omnivorous diets, it is at least as healthy, and there is no serious nutritionist or health professional who would argue that it isn’t possible to be very healthy as a vegan. When it comes to cost, vegan staples like pasta, rice, beans and canned vegetables are the cheapest items in any supermarket and are significantly less expensive than their animal based alternatives. Even here on tumblr there are vegans living on food stamps, vegans in low income employment and poor vegans raising families. Personally when I went vegan my food bill cut by a third. As for the other aspects of a veganism like clothes and non-animal tested products, there are a wealth of cheap and ethical products. You can find lots of recipes and advice on nutrition in my resources section.

All of this means that exploiting animals for food, clothes and entertainment is entirely unnecessary and we do so purely for pleasure. Is that a good enough reason to do something, despite the fact that that it is incredibly cruel? This is the exact same reason people arrange dog fights, and kill bulls, and hunt. If they aren’t acceptable to justify those things then they aren’t acceptable to defend our own exploitation either. Documentaries like earthlings demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that raising animals for our benefit is monstrously cruel and that animal cruelty is an intrinsic part of farming. There is no such thing as cruelty free food, clothing or products that come from an animal. When animals are being used to make a profit, their preferences will never be taken seriously regardless of what we see in TV advertisements the industry spends millions on to make us all feel a little less guilty. But deep down, everyone knows animal products are cruel. If you offer to show a video of where their food comes from, they always refuse because they already know it will be a horror film. This goes for both meat and dairy, as dairy cows are forcibly inseminated have their children taken from them and male chicks who don’t produce eggs are ground up by the millions. All of these “producer” animals are slaughtered when they outlive their profitability, which is why it makes little sense to boycott meat but continue to consume eggs and dairy. There is no moral difference between these products. This goes for organic and “free range” too, as legally these labels mean very little for the animal’s themselves. Even on the smallest family farms, animals are being exploited and killed for reasons of fashion and taste. It is not possible to humanely kill a sentient being who does not want to die. The issue isn’t how we exploit animals, it’s that we exploit them at all.

Even ignoring all of this cruelty, animal agriculture is responsible for causing untold environmental destruction, it is responsible for 18% of greenhouse emissions, more than the exhausts of every vehicle on earth combined, if we include by-products of livestock that figure rises to 51%. Both the United Nations and the World Watch Institute are advocating meat and dairy free diets as necessary to save the world from the worst effects of climate change. Cowspiracy on netflix demonstrates the extent to which companies cover up this destruction, as farms are responsible for poisoning water sources, land degradation, excessive resource use and air pollution. If you are in any way concerned about deforestation or the environment, you should be vegan, as vegan diets have a significantly lower carbon footprint when compared to vegetarians or meat eaters. On top of this, one third of the planet’s arable land surface is being used for grazing land, and 70% of formerly forested land in the amazon is used for ranching. This has a devastating impact on wild animals too, with studies warning that meat eaters are speeding up worldwide species extinction. 

If you don’t care about animal rights or the environment, caring about humans should be enough to make you go vegan. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. With this being the case, while the unequal distribution is a large part of the problem, we really need to talk about the fact that we feed most of our crops to farmed animals, not humans, and farmed animals require significantly more calories to get them to slaughter weight than they will ever return in meat. This is also incredibly inefficient in terms of land use, as on one acre of land we can produce around 53,000 lbs of potatoes, 40,000 pounds of tomatoes or just 137 lbs of beef, and that statistic comes from the beef industry itself. This in a world where humans are starving to death in their millions is absolutely unforgivable. Combine this with the fact that the majority of people working in slaughterhouses are poor immigrants with no other option who are doing one of the most dangerous and traumatic jobs in the world and you have a good case for going vegan even without taking animals into account. 

I could sit here and give you a thousand reasons to go vegan, but realistically most people already know it’s the right thing to do. Most of us love animals and we all agree that they shouldn’t be harmed unnecessarily, and we know that using animals for their flesh, skin, secretions, or as entertainment is not necessary under any reasonable definition of the word. Just look at the case for exploiting animals when compared with the myriad of reasons for stopping. Culture? Tradition? Habit? Convenience? Taste? Do any of these really sound like good enough reasons to justify such a cruel and unconscionable act? As the wonderful Benjamin Zephaniah puts it in this video, when people ask, “why are you vegan?” perhaps the question should be: “Why aren’t you?” 

If you need any help getting started, check out this ask and my resources page for links or drop me a message. I am always happy to help.