• Chapter 1. The Vegan Solution to Save the World > A Planetary Emergency
      • I. A Planetary Emergency

        The Time is Urgent

        “The hour is late; it’s time to decide. I’m quite confident that you will make the choice wisely. In addressing global warming issues, the scientists have made it quite clear.” 1
                                                                                                               —Ban Ki-moon

        “We have a climate crisis that is a planetary emergency.”
                                                                            —Al Gore

        The world’s scientists fear that if we pass certain tipping points, the next stages of climate change would not only be fast but irreversible and catastrophic. So, there are already signs of this dangerous time approaching, through observations of lakes and elsewhere bubbling with methane gas that used to be stored safely below a frozen layer of the Earth.

        No one knows when the day might be that enormous amounts are uncontrollably released, causing a sudden spike in temperature that could then catalyze runaway warming. That would be catastrophic for us.

        Other devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: The heat-reflecting Arctic ice is on its way to completely vanishing in a very near summer; rising sea levels and dozens of submerged or threatened islands; oceanic regions that are lifeless with dead zones are becoming too acidic to be livable due to excessive levels of CO2; more frequent deadly wildfire; entire wildlife species going extinct 100 times faster than normal; more intense and destructive storms; disease-carrying mosquitoes spread by warming regions; disappearance of the world’s glaciers; drying or disappeared lakes and rivers by the tens of thousands and the spreading of deserts.

        As a consequence of these environmental impacts, two billion people are facing water shortages, and 20-million people are in a desperate state—like refugees except with no official protection.

        These are truly almost always the consequences of humans’ violent actions. The number one action is meat eating.

        [In addition,] the livestock industry causes a large part of the world’s soil erosion. It is a leading driver of desertification, biodiversity loss, and water waste, and water pollution, despite water becoming scarcer each day due to global warming. Moreover, the livestock sector inefficiently drains our fossil-fuel and food-grain resources. In short, we throw away 12 times more grain, at least 10 times more water and eight times more fossil-fuel energy to produce a portion of beef compared to a nutritionally similar or even greater amount of vegan food.

        Livestock: the Major Cause of the Global Crisis

        The only way to avoid the “point of no return” climate catastrophe is to take action on the most climatically disastrous course of all—that is, meat production. By now we have all the evidence, all the information to safely say so. The livestock industry is the top greenhouse gas generator.

        The last published findings from the United Nations in 2006 told us that the livestock industry causes greenhouse gas emissions more than all the world’s transportation sectors combined —airplanes, trains, cars, motorcycles, etc., altogether.2 Updated calculations tell us that the livestock industry is responsible for at least 50% of global warming.3

        “Our analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts
        actually account for at least 32,564-million tons of CO2 per
        year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.” 4
                                                                              —World Watch Institute

        Methane is more Powerful than CO2

        Livestock is the primary human-caused emitter of methane, and methane not only has 72 times the heat-trapping ability, it is a shorter-lived gas. This means that it will leave the atmosphere much faster than CO2, within just a decade as opposed to thousands of years for CO2. Therefore, eliminating methane by eliminating livestock breeding is the fastest way to cool the planet.

        Yes, we have to tackle the most important of emitters.

        I pray all wise leaders will halt the lethal meat practice, which is the main force driving us to the point of no return right now. Otherwise, all other efforts to de-carbonize our economies may be cancelled out, or never have a chance to materialize in the first place.

        We will destroy the world if we do not stop eating and producing meat and other animal products.

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