On 19 May, ahead of the G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group’s (ECSWG) meeting from 21 to 23 May in Mumbai, supporters of PETA India and Aashray Foundation wearing inflatable dinosaur costumes conveyed a message to the organisation: “Stop Eating to Extinction. Go Vegan!” The “dinosaurs” urged the ECSWG to tackle the climate catastrophe by developing policies that would encourage consumers and businesses to go vegan.
Meat, egg, and dairy production is a leading cause of pollution and the resulting ocean dead zones, habitat destruction from land use, and species extinction. It uses one third of the world’s freshwater resources and, by some estimates, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation systems combined. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that every person who goes vegan lowers their food-related carbon footprint by up to 73%, making it conceivably the single biggest way to reduce one’s negative impact on the planet.
Vegan eating also helps animals. As PETA India reveals in its video exposé “Glass Walls”, chickens used for eggs are confined to cages so small they can’t even spread a wing. Cows and buffaloes are crammed into vehicles in such large numbers that their bones often break before they’re dragged off to the slaughterhouse, and pigs are stabbed in the heart as they scream. On the decks of fishing boats, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive. New-born male chicks in the egg industry are ground up, burned, or buried alive since they can’t lay eggs, and male calves in the dairy industry are commonly abandoned, left to starve, or killed since they can’t produce milk.
Raising animals for food is a leading cause of environmental degradation, as it requires massive amounts of land, energy, and water while emitting enormous quantities of greenhouse gases.