We are currently seeing the greatest destruction of the Earth and the Oceans in the history of mankind, the extinction of over 10 000 species of fauna and flora every year – this is the 6th mass extinction – and at the same time are seeing an explosion of non-communicable lifestyle disease where 1 in 2 people are suffering with chronic lifestyle conditions which could have been prevented.
As I write this, Australia is committing climate suicide, with over 14.5 million acres burnt to the ground, and over 500 million animals losing their lives, and the numbers continue to rise. Among the hardest hit are the Koalas who move too slowly to escape from the highly flammable Eucalyptus trees. Almost a third of the entire Koala population of NSW in now dead, burnt at the stake for a crime they did not commit. The planet is suffering, the animals are suffering and all this because of 1 species, our own. I watched yesterday as heroes carried burnt koalas out of smouldering forests and firefighters stood their ground, risking their own lives to save homes and people. The sky here is red, the smoke plume now covers the area the size of half of Europe. It is reminiscent of hell.
And yet, nothing will change unless every individual that inhabits this precious earth starts taking steps to change the status quo. Governments and leaders need to take action and start believing that climate change is real. Retailers must continue to recognise the importance of the products that they sell and take responsibility not only for their bottom line, but for the products and brands that they sell that should stand with the highest ethics and values when it comes to sourcing and ingredients. And manufacturers/producers must take a long careful look at their impact too.
People have for too long put their head down and kept their blinkers on, because to look up and see the damage will not only scare you, but it will mean that you will recognise your own need to change how you live and consume, how you cook, how you buy.
Animal agriculture has been responsible for between 15-51% of total GHG emissions. Methane and nitrous oxide gases from the industry are 75x and 296x respectively, more powerful than CO2 in their global warming potential.
76 trillion gallons of water (140060236008000 Litres) is used in the industry every year, and to put this in perspective, by committing just one day to not eating meat, you save 5530 litres of water which equates to a 7 min shower every day for 50 days.
The vast scale of monoculture crops such as soy to rear chickens, cows, pigs and other animals puts an enormous strain on natural resources leading to the wide-scale loss of land and species – 75% of all cropland is used to feed livestock. As Phil Wollen said “every time you eat a steak, you slap the tear stained face of a starving child”
A recent WWF report finds 60% of global biodiversity loss is down to meat-based diets.
I urge people to start changing now. There is no better time, because there is no time left. It’s not about how much you love the taste of meat, or how much protein you think you need. It’s about much more than just you.
Going plant-based is a decision to side with Mother Earth, a decision to make food choices that align with your values and desire to see compassion in the world.
There is still hope:
Last year 250 000 people signed up for Veganuary 2019, and the numbers this year are at 350 000!
In 2019, 1 in 6 new products launched in retailers carried a vegan claim
Dairy milk sales are falling by 3-6% each year and plant milks grew by 13% in 2019
Data and estimates show that by 2040 only 40% of the global population will be consuming meat.
Thank you to everyone committed conscious living. Thank you to the animal activists around the world. Thank you to the manufacturers of plant-based meats. Thank you to the key influencers, the vegans working within organisations creating change, the educational groups, advocacy groups, the sanctuaries, the rescue workers. Thank you to the children that are standing up for what is right. Thank you to the vegan that has taken on the management of their child’s school tuckshop or canteen just to have a say in what should be on the menu and to the mother that delivers a delicious vegan meal to her friend at home or sends out vegan recipes. To the petition signers and the digital warriors, thank you.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead.
For donations to help:
Rural Fire Services: https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/volunteer/support-your-local-brigade
Wildlife Rescue: WIRES https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emergency-fund
Salvation Army: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/