Be a vegetarian, save the environment

Abraham Mudefi Focus on Environmental Issues
A vegetarian way of life is not only an advocacy against the cruelty to animals or an empowerment of people to live a healthy and more fulfilling life.

It is a positive healthy life that can reduce the risk of diseases like cancer, heart diseases, obesity and high blood pressure among others.

While a vegetarian diet will help you in all these and other ways, important of all, a vegetarian diet helps you conserve the environment so that it has the capacity to sustain all the life forms evident in it.

A vegan diet is living beyond tomorrow. It’s a true promise of the future where men live harmoniously with nature.

Meat industry is generally a wasteful economic endeavour that uses more natural resource than the growing of grain and vegetables. The beef industry requires land, water and plants to produce meat while land and water only are the major resources required in the production of vegetables and grain.

A simple mathematical calculation shows that the meat industry uses a lot of natural resources. Researchers say to produce a kilogram of meat ten kilograms of plant material is required. This simple means more food is required to make beef than to make vegetables. A simple analysis shows that if all people were vegetarians the world would save a lot of resources that are being used along the chain of producing beef.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) reports that in America 70 percent of the grain that is grown there is used to produce feeds for animals that are reared for meat.

This shows that if people were vegetarians probably half the arable land would just be used to grow vegetables and grain. The rest would be left to grow trees, recreational gardens and forests. That would help absorb the excess carbon dioxide.

The American Dietetic Association also says half the water in the US is used in the meat industry. Due to this demand 25 percent of the ground water is drawn much faster than it is replenished.

Consequently the underground aquifers from South Dakota to Mexico will be depleted within the next 60 years. A huge threat exists for the future generations who may not have adequate freshwater.

High animal populations cause land degradation through erosion which is a result of overgrazing.

When there is no vegetative cover nutrients are washed away downstream. Fresh water is also lost subsequently raising the sea levels. Water will continue to encroach low lying human habitats like islands and sea shores.

Meat eating has an exorbitant demand for fossil fuel energy in the manufacture of fertilisers and pesticides, these are used for farm fodder. Fuel is also used on farm machinery and for the transportation of grain for animals or meat to the market.

The meat industry uses between two to four times as much farm land in producing meat to feed one person that would have been required if the person had to switch to a vegetarian diet or to at least reduce the consumption of meat.

That means to cope up with this demand for space and the ever increasing global population the meat industry has to open more farm land at this rate.

You can agree with me that more forests will be destroyed and more wildlife habitats will be destroyed leaving the wild animals to die. Mankind is also sacrificing wildlife to put meat on their table. This will seriously compromise our biodiversity. To conserve the universe we must maintain as many natural ecosystems as possible.

The excess manure produced in the meat industry promotes the growth of algae in water bodies. When algae die, the processes of its decomposition uses and deplete oxygen in the water bodies.

This causes the massive deaths of fish through suffocation. Manure also releases ammonia into the air that contaminates rain destroying vast forests of the world.

Nitrate leaks from the manure into the community drinking water causes serious health problems for the community.

Methane is a greenhouse gas that is produced in the rumens of sheep, cows and the manure of many farm animals. Again with the increased deforestation of trees excess greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide will continue to increase.

This further increases global temperatures making the earth an inhabitable place for people and life in general.

A vegetarian diet offers a variety of nutritious and healthy foods

If only people would turn to vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grain people would live much healthier lives.

People would have lower blood cholesterol levels, lower rates of hypertension, lower rates of obesity, lower psychological disorders and lower rates of deaths due to lower incidents of heart diseases.

If we maintain a huge vegetative cover we could be healed of the many psychological disorders that boggle us today. Trees help by reducing neighbourhood temperatures, erosion and noise.

If people continue eating large quantities of meat, this can be equated with someone burning a candle from the two ends. The candle lasts a much shorter time and before it smoulders it burns the hands of the person holding it. This is a simple illustration of the fate that awaits mankind.

Forests and fresh water is quickly depleting. Cereal production uses less energy, less fuel, less water and less pollution along the chain.

Many people eat meat because it is a status symbol, it’s a tradition and way of life inherited from our forefathers. If only people cut their meat consumption we would ease the pressures of our earth’s limited resources.

Raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all cars combined in the country. If people do not heed to such advocacy attempts, a harsh punishment awaits us. This comes through flooding from excessive rain, drought, and heat waves just to mention a few. Many of these punishments have already begun.

By continuing to increase our meat intake we starve the poor who could be benefiting from the excess volumes of grain we feed our animals with.

Let us stop eating meat or reduce our meat intake and save the world. After reading this article, if you think cutting your meat intake or being a vegetarian is the right way to go. Text or email the words Be Vegan, your name and town to the contact details below. Be vegan and save the world!

Feedback through the following contacts or 0772 968 040.

  • Katerina

    Well said Abraham Mudefi! Unless we stop exploiting and consuming defenceless non-human animals who feel pain and fear just like we do, we will destroy our earth and ourselves with it. That would be insanity…We now know, through large numbers of scientific studies, that a vegan diet is healthy and that the vegan philosophy of respect, justice and compassion for ALL sentient beings, human and non-human, will lead us to a far better, fairer and sustainable world. There is really no alternative if we want to survive and have an earth worth living on. All the best!