Go Green Go Veg!

A great group of ARC volunteers marched in the May Day Parade. Our theme, echoed in the green flags carried by marchers, was “go green, go veg.” Thanks to all the volunteers who staffed our booth at the festival in Powderhorn Park, marched in the parade, and made the day so successful!

These days it seems you can’t turn on a television or open a newspaper without seeing a story about the importance of going green. While there are many things you can do to go green, one vitally important action, adopting a plant-based diet, has been ignored by the media and promoters of events such as the Living Green Expo.

According to a 2006 United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” which received little to no media attention, livestock generate more greenhouse gases than automobiles. Here’s some other facts about the devastating effects of livestock production:

- 70% of agricultural land, and a total of 30% of the land on this planet, is used for raising livestock.
- The livestock industry is responsible for 18% of all global-warming gases, 9%of carbon dioxide emissions, 37% of methane emissions, and 65% of nitrous oxide emissions; methane and nitrous oxide have 23 to 296 times the warming power of carbon dioxide.
- Animal agriculture accounts for most of the water consumed in this country, emits two-thirds of the world’s acid-rain causing ammonia, and is the world’s largest source of water pollution.
- The American meat industry produces more than 1.4 billion tons of waste. That’s equal to five tons for every U.S. citizen.

Lately, there has been much promotion of “sustainable animal agriculture.” The problem with this, however, is that it is not a solution – a cow with access to fresh air and pasture is still a cow who needs plenty of water and food. And that free-range cow still emits methane! The resources consumed by just one person eating the typical American meat-based diet could feed 20 people a healthier plant-based diet. In other words, adopting a plant-based diet is one of the single most important changes a person can make to go green.