"A recently published UN report has come to my attention. This report
contains information that I, personally, find quite amazing and I’d like to
share it with you. The report (Livestock’s Long Shadow) contains one clear
message; it states that the single most effective act that any individual
can currently do to lessen the effects of global warming is to become
vegetarian. That this message comes directly from an authoritative body such
as the UN (whose member states, it should be remembered, are not generally
considered vegetarian) rather than an organisation committed to
vegetarianism is significant.
You may know that for over 30 years I have been interested in the promotion
of vegetarianism and my own feelings were sparked by a simple compassion for
animals. What I think is especially compelling, is that this report should
now encourage everybody to ‘do their bit’ for the planet. The evidence that
the report gives is, frankly, stunning. It points directly to the striking
detrimental effects of excessive livestock farming on the environment. For
“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to the most serious
environmental problems of today” says Henning Steinfeld of the UN Food and
Agricultural Organisation (FAO). “Urgent action is required to remedy the
• “70% of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.”
• “Livestock now use 30% of the entire world’s land surface.”
“Cattle rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation.” (FAO
report Livestock’s Long Shadow- Environmental Issues & Options).
“When emissions from land use and land use change are included (i.e.
deforestation), the livestock sector accounts for 9% of CO2 deriving from
human-related activities, but produces a much larger share of even more
harmful greenhouse gases. It generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide,
which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2.”
“The livestock business is among the most damaging sectors to the earth’s
increasingly scarce water resources, contributing among other things to
water pollution¬from animal wastes, antibiotics and hormones, chemicals from
tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to sprayed crops.”
Ok, this may sound like me banging on about vegetarianism again but this
time, these facts come straight from the UN and I wonder if you, like me,
think that they are significant enough to be taken seriously. By simply
considering altering eating habits people can strike a blow for the
environment, our children and the future. Such facts and data as those
listed above can’t be ignored.
I hope this statement doesn’t seem too heavy-handed but I think this recent
news is important enough to take notice of.
Many thanks for reading this.
Paul McCartney, 14/01/2008"
Posted by Kurma on 15/10/10; 6:47:56 AM
from the dept.