“Too Hot?” asked Hollywood hottie Pamela Anderson on a billboard that no one arriving at Indira Gandhi International Airport would have missed – courtesy of PETA India. The billboard aimed to draw attention to the role of animal agriculture in the global climate catastrophe marked by high temperatures, droughts, and floods, among other disasters, and advised that going vegan is the answer. However, soon after it was erected this week, the billboard was removed by authorities and PETA India received no written explanation. In recent months, Delhi and other Indian cities have experienced unusually high temperatures, nearing 50°C.
The production of meat and dairy, including curd and cheese, accounts for about 60% of all food-related greenhouse gas emissions, making it a major contributor to climate change. Scientists agree with the star (who once appeared on Big Boss) that going vegan is the single most effective thing anyone can do to help save the planet – and world leaders should be leading the change. Anderson and PETA India hope G20 member countries will commit to fighting climate change with diet change by urging their residents to eat responsibly by eating vegan.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that not consuming meat and dairy can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73% and that a global switch to vegan eating could save up to 8 million human lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings. Researchers have estimated that it could also avoid climate-related damages of US$1.5 trillion.
Eating vegan spares animals immense suffering, including in the dairy industry, in which calves are torn away from their beloved mother cows so that the milk meant for them can be sold to humans, and such cruelty is the norm – even in India, land of ahimsa.
Globally, an estimated 92.2 billion land animals alone are slaughtered every year, and most of them are raised in severe confinement. Chickens exploited for their eggs are kept in cages so small they can’t spread their wings, male piglets and others are castrated without painkillers, and fish are yanked out of the water and crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while they’re fully conscious.