Now is the time to stop hiding our heads in the sand. Planet Earth is in a mess. And we, the human race, are entirely to blame.
This week the WWF published its Living Planet Report. It makes a chilling read.
“Populations of wild animals have plummeted 58 percent in the past four decades as humans have pushed them into ever-smaller habitats or killed them for food.”
“Global wildlife could plunge 67 per cent in the fifty-year period ending this decade as a result of human activities. The report shows how people are overpowering the planet for the first time in Earth’s history.”
Put it this way: there’s now only one third of the wildlife left that there was when a person now 50 was born.
How has it come to this desperate state of affairs? Sad to say, like this:
- We have overfished the oceans
- We have wiped out natural habitats to graze farmed animals, and grow crops – crops largely to be fed to farmed animals
- We have polluted air, land and water, in some large part through farming animal
- We have caused climate change, farming animals being the single biggest contributor
- We have introduced invasive species (like the mink in the UK, escaped into the wild from fur farms, and predating endemic species such as the endangered water vole)
“All five threats [to the Earth] are symptoms of overconsumption of natural resources, the report states, which has far outstripped the capacity of ecosystems to restore the fertile soil and clean water that support wildlife as well as human health and welfare.”
Feeling overwhelmed at the enormity of the crisis? What if I told you each and every one of us can take back the power into our own hands? That our individual actions could make ALL the difference?
It’s really very simple, and no hardship – we can reverse the frightening decline of life in all its glorious forms on Earth, by taking meat off the plate and tucking in to the cornucopia of delicious plant foods instead.
Better, much better still, maximise our personal impact by transitioning to a fully vegan lifestyle where no animal products are used, for food, medicine, entertainment, clothing, experimentation, transport or anything else.
Our chance, perhaps our last chance, to take the pressure off the planet is NOW!
So, is the problem truly as big as WWF says it is? And is it all about humans’ use of animals? Well, let’s take a look at our plates and see.
Most of the world’s arable land is dedicated to livestock production
We’re using precious land resources to produce food for our food. Not exactly efficient
Only a small portion of all the grain grown in the U.S. actually goes to feed people
If we fed these grains to people instead of to livestock, it could make a huge dent in world hunger
As the amount of land to grow livestock feed and graze cattle grows, the need to convert forests into agricultural land grows. This comes at a huge cost to native wildlife and plants
Animal agriculture’s track record for water use isn’t much better
The bulk of our water footprint comes from ‘virtual’ water in the meat we eat
In addition to land and water, fossil fuels are also used to produce fertilizers for livestock feed, as well as in transportation and processing of animal products
As if pollution from fossil fuels weren’t bad enough…
When you combine the greenhouse gases emitted from fossil fuel use, deforestation, and the animals themselves, animal agriculture has a huge carbon footprint
Bad, isn’t it? But denial is no longer an option. And we know what we have to do.
Reducing, or preferably eliminating altogether our consumption of animal products will –
- help save species from extinction
- conserve land, water and grain resources
- remove a major cause of pollution
- and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, simply taking meat off the plate will cut your personal carbon footprint in half. Who would not want that?
Ready to swap that burger for a tasty Earth-friendly veggie burger? Here are some mind-blowing veggie burger recipes. With so many delicious plant-based alternatives available, kicking out those damaging animal products is easy as pie. Join the #EatForThePlanet movement and start using your daily food choices to make the change that is so vital to the fate of every creature on Earth, humans included.
People can’t act unless they know the facts. Please share with family and friends.
Petition to the next President of the USA to make wildlife a priority in first 100 days in office – here
There is one more important thing humans can do to reverse the despoliation of Planet Earth. Coming soon.
Graphics by Elizabeth Lee
Mass Consumption Is Causing Mass Extinction – Take Part