Vancouver should cut down on meat for planet: animal rights groups
A group of animal-rights organizations is asking the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Team to recommend that residents reduce their consumption of meat, dairy, and eggs.
“Our current meat-centric diet is entirely unsustainable,” states the letter delivered today (March 11) by the organizations to the team.
The letter was signed by Liberation B.C., the Vancouver Humane Society, Humane Society International Canada, Earthsave Canada, and the Lifeforce Foundation.
In a press release, Glenn Gaetz, spokesperson for Liberation B.C., said that “changing our diet is the most effective way to have an impact on our environmental crisis. We need to start shifting towards a plant based diet to save our planet.”
The Greenest City Action Team will present a “Quick Start” plan to city council in April, followed by a comprehensive 10-year action plan in June.
The team, unveiled last month, is cochaired by Mayor Gregor Robertson and David Boyd, the author of Sustainability Within a Generation: A New Vision for Canada, a David Suzuki Foundation report.
Environmentalist David Suzuki and former premier Mike Harcourt are among the team’s members.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
Dear Greenest City Action Team,
We are all quite pleased to see that the city is forming this Action Team to make Vancouver the greenest city. We are hopeful that this Action Team will make recommendations that Vancouver residents reduce their meat, dairy, and egg consumption along with other environmentally-friendly and more humane changes.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions, surpassing even the transportation sector. At every stage of meat, egg, and dairy production, nitrous oxide, methane, and carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Currently 70% of the grain grown in Canada is fed to animals, and cultivation of these feedstuffs are highly fossil-fuel intensive, requiring pesticides, fertilizers, and other agrochemicals.
Our current meat-centric diet is entirely unsustainable. As has been demonstrated by the work of David Pimentel and others, there is simply no way that small, local farms could feed our current levels of meat consumption. Reducing the amount of animal products in our diets and replacing meat, eggs, and dairy with plant-based foods are two critically important steps we can—and should—take to reduce the toll animal agriculture takes on the planet.
We encourage the Greenest City Action Team to recommend that Vancouver residents reduce their meat consumption by at least 25% to really make Vancouver the “greenest city.”
UN report: http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTM
Suzuki Foundation: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/NatureChallenge/What_is_it/Food/
Environment Science and Technology paper: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es702969f
“Global Farm Animal Production and Global Warming: Impacting and Mitigating Climate Change” published in Environmental Health Perspectives: http://www.ehponline.org/members/2008/11034/11034.pdf
A short review from David Pimentel on the sustainability of food production: http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/reprint/78/3/660S
Cincinatti Urges Residents to Eat Less Meat http://ecolocalizer.com/2009/02/03/cincinatti-urges-residents-to-eat-les...
Vancouver Humane Society
Humane Society International