The members of the Vegan World Alliance are calling on their politicians to take the vegan lifestyle challenge starting November 1.
With world resources stretched beyond their limits, we all need to start living within our planetary resources as soon as possible. Going vegan is a great start to this and that’s why we are urging politicians to commit to a low carbon lifestyle, and asking them to show leadership by encouraging their cabinets and members of the public to adopt a vegan lifestyle.
There are a number of factors causing our atmosphere to become carbon saturated and act like a giant greenhouse: fossil fuels, deforestation, acidification of the oceans, animal agriculture. There are many things that need to be done to tackle climate change, for example, government legislation to hold corporations accountable for their emissions.
Unfortunately, our lifestyles and economy have increasingly become reliant on animal agriculture, which is a major offender. However, the fact remains that according to innumerable reports the global population must drastically reduce their dependence on animal agriculture if we want a sustainable planet for the future. Individual accountability is a solution everyone can easily incorporate.
The reality is that ruminant animals produce a lot of methane during their digestion processes, and our planet is out of balance with ruminant animals being bred in excessive numbers. This is in part driving our methane emissions higher, and methane is a greenhouse gas we can take effective action against.
The world can feed more people without animal agriculture. The United Nations has stated that:
Land-use change has had the largest relative negative impact on nature since 1970, followed by the direct exploitation, in particular overexploitation, of animals, plants and other organisms mainly via harvesting, logging, hunting and fishing. In marine ecosystems, direct exploitation of organisms (mainly fishing) has had the largest relative impact, followed by land/sea-use change.
We have to stop squandering precious resources such as arable land and water on producing animals. The quicker we can adapt to changing our lifestyle on a global level, the quicker we can address this climate emergency.
Veganism is growing and more people are turning to it as they see the need to reduce our resource use. It takes far too much land to produce animals as food for humans, to the extent that human actions now threaten more species with global extinction than ever before.
The world is a beautiful ecosystem that relies upon balance to keep it working in a manner that is safe for life. We have destroyed that balance, and we are doing very little to address the imbalance. We need those wild spaces, we need to reforest, we need to stop polluting, we need to stop using fossil fuels.
But there is one simple act each person can take right now. It requires no special training or legislation, only a will to do it: Change to a vegan lifestyle.
Time is of the essence, we have a very short time frame to initiate lasting changes that will enable us to turn this crisis around. We have to drastically reduce our fossil fuel consumption, plant more trees and grow more plants in general. We have to stop cutting down the remaining trees and we have to reduce our resource use so we only use up one planet's worth, not multiple like is currently the case in many countries.
Animal agriculture is an industry that can no longer be sustained. The planet is close to a tipping point, a point of no return. The first scientist started to discuss what we now refer to climate change in the late 1800s. We have had many decades of talk—now we need action.
Being vegan is easier than ever today with vegan options available in supermarkets and restaurants, vegan chefs sharing their delicious recipes for free on their websites, and ingenious entrepreneurs creating vegan leather products from things like banana leaves and mushrooms.
For our health, for future generations, for the sake of the environment and of course to prevent the needless killing and exploitation of animals, we are calling on all people to adopt a vegan lifestyle.