Wednesday, June 9, 2010

'Shift towards a vegan diet is vital': UN

Lesser consumption of animal products is necessary to save the world from the worst impacts of climate change

The Guardian: A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change... As the population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable, says the report from United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) international panel of sustainable resource management...

Professor Edgar Hertwich, the lead author of the report, said: 'Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.'

Vancouver Sun: Humanity needs to radically alter what it eats, according to an expert panel advising the United Nations on the planet's environmental challenges. Cattle and other animals are fed more than half the world's crops... Agriculture accounts for 70 per cent of global freshwater consumption and 38 per cent of total land use, and is a major source of greenhouse gases, phosphorus and nitrogen pollution...

Canadian panel member Yvan Hardy, former chief scientist at Natural Resources Canada, said... that there is plenty of potential for 'disaster' on the horizon... 'Basically I think the world... has lost sight of what it takes to support our standard of living.' said Hardy. 'What we can extract from the earth, in terms of both natural resources and nutrients, is limited.'
Image source here.