N Munal Meitei
Contd from previous issue
You can reduce your food-related carbon footprint by up to 50% if you are vegetarian and vegan. Animal farming is destroying our environment. It causes up to 91% of Amazon deforestation. Growing vegetarian food uses 50% less land than animal agriculture. And a meat and dairy diet is inherently wasteful. Remember that for every 100 calories fed to animals, we receive back only 12 calories by consuming their flesh and milk. Feeding crops to people rather than farmed animals could feed three billion more people. With this, I don’t mean, not to rear animals but not to eat animals.
The diet replacers for meat may be soy, legumes, nuts and oilseeds, and vegetables fats and oils. Meats have a high carbon footprint primarily due to the enteric fermentation in the gut, leading to methane emissions. So while reducing meat consumption means less grassland is needed for pasture and less cropland is needed to grow animal feed, which in turn will have more cropland for food safety.
The plant-based foods are required not only for climate change mitigation but for public health too. The net zero emission is only possible via a shift towards plant-based diets because the production of meat, dairy and eggs consumes much energy and generates much higher levels of greenhouse emissions.
Some people think that becoming a vegetarian could be too much of a challenge and have to spend much time and labour on the family while changing the lifestyle and also worried about finding vegetarian food options. But according to many acclaimed vegetarians, the vegetarians’ lifestyle is always beneficial for the health of the human beings, and it fosters environmental protection as well as saves the animal lives. Being vegetarian also can lead to reduction in carbon emissions from the food chains.
Hence please, don’t eat anything that had a mom and don’t buy anything with fur, leather, wool, down, or silk and also cosmetics with animal products in them. Don’t attend events that use animals as entertainment such as the zoo, circus, rodeo, or animal rides where horses, donkeys, elephants, etc. are used.
Therefore to become vegetarian is the best option to save the environment and the planet. The Government also should encourage implementing plant based diets for public sector institutions like schools, hospitals and caring homes. Such acts will surely save climate change, spread dreaded diseases and lead to a healthy and sustainable life, that’s good for the environment and the future generation.
The writer can be reached at [email protected]