Letter: Save the planet every day
Did you know you can help save the planet every time you sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner? This Earth Day, join millions of others who are doing something to help the environment by eating more plant-based meals. Numerous studies reveal that animal agriculture contributes to some of the most critical environmental issues, like pollution, deforestation, biodiversity loss, climate change and water use. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint this Earth Day, start by reducing your carbon hoofprint. According to a 2013 U.N. report, animal agriculture produces 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. The Sierra Club recognizes the importance of meat reduction, stating, “If Americans reduced meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would be as though we all switched from a sedan to a hybrid.”
Perhaps the easiest — and tastiest — way to help the environment is practicing the Three R's: "reducing" or "replacing" consumption of animal products and "refining" our diets by choosing products from sources that adhere to higher animal welfare standards. Millions of Americans are already taking personal action to reduce their meat consumption through simple initiatives such as Meatless Monday, Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 or by adopting vegetarian or “flexitarian” lifestyles. Our present environmental problems can oftentimes seem overwhelming. Thankfully, each of us has the power to green the planet all year long every time we sit down to eat by simply putting more vegetables, and less meat, on our plates.
Food Policy Coordinator
Humane Society of the United States.