- Executive, Legislative & Judicial branches of the United States Government
- United States of America
Historically, no nation has emitted more global warming pollution than the United States. From 1960-2005, the U.S. emitted 213,608 MtCO2, 26% of total global emissions. The U.S. also exceeded almost every other nation in per capita emissions.
This petition calls for United States officials to take immediate action by adopting “Meat Free Mondays” and promoting the many health and environmental benefits of the pure vegetarian (vegan) lifestyle to the general public.
LIVESTOCK’S ROLE IN GLOBAL WARMING IS HUGE
According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations (FAO), entitled “Livestock's Long Shadow,” livestock production causes 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, including nine percent of all carbon dioxide emissions, 37 percent of methane, and 65 percent of nitrous oxide which is 296 times more potent than CO2 as a global warming gas. According to Dr. Kirk Smith, a member of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and professor at the University of California-Berkeley, methane is 100 times more potent than CO2 within 5 years of being emitted.
Scientists across the globe have recognized that climate change is happening so fast that human civilization itself is under threat if we don’t act within the next few years to significantly reverse the trend of global warming. At the same time, researchers have also realized that although CO2 is the most prevalent gas by weight, even if we were to achieve a zero carbon economy today, the earth would continue to warm for hundreds if not thousands of years.
For this reason, if we want to preserve the planet for our children’s generation, we need to reduce those gases and aerosols causing the greatest effect on global warming in the short term, thus giving us time to develop CO2 reduction technologies that can be commercially deployed.
RAPID PLANETARY COOLING SOLUTIONS:
In March 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that in order to achieve rapid cooling in the short term, we need to reduce methane, ozone (the second most prevalent gas after methane), and black carbon. Reducing the consumption of animal products is the single fastest way to reduce these emissions.
• Methane: Livestock are the single largest source of human-caused methane in the US and on the planet, and 2/3 of it dissipates from the atmosphere in about 10 years. Note also that the IPCC estimated that even if we were to change the feed of animals and capture methane from manure lagoons, by 2030 we would only reduce 9 percent of the methane from agriculture, so these methods are not viable options for seriously reducing emissions rapidly.
• Ozone, the third most prevalent gas after methane, and CO2, depends upon methane as a building block. Because it dissipates out of the atmosphere in a few hours or days, as soon as we reduce breeding of livestock and the numbers of these animals decreases due to lower demand, we will see planetary cooling within hours or days.
• Black carbon is 800 times more potent than CO2, and NASA scientists have begun to realize that black carbon plays a role in the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic. Brazilian scientists measuring black carbon in Antarctica found greater levels of black carbon than NASA estimated, and estimated 70 percent of it came from South America, where the single largest source of black carbon is the burning of the rainforests to create crops and grazing for livestock. Livestock are responsible for over 80% of Amazon destruction in Brazil.
END WORLD HUNGER
No one wants to see a child go hungry. They shouldn't have to, because there is plenty enough to go around. If you want to stop 1 billion people from going hungry each day, if you want to stop the needless deaths taking place every 5 seconds due to starvation then a vegan lifestyle is the solution to solve these dire diet driven situations due to the inefficient use of resources directed towards animal agriculture. Grain currently fed to livestock is enough to feed ２ billion people. According to the report by Compassion in World Farming, "[c]rops that could be used to feed the hungry are instead being used to fatten animals raised for food." It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh. Clearly, what we eat does affect the rest of the world and we are partly responsible for the lack of resources due to our unnecessary consumption of meat.
MEAT REDUCTION AROUND THE GLOBE
Ghent, Belgium has shown leadership and recognized the importance of promoting vegetarianism as a solution to addressing climate change and reducing its carbon footprint by asking its citizens to go meatless one day a week.
Other countries and institutions are also recognizing the need to promote pure vegetarianism (veganism). The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) will be cutting meat (and dairy) from the menus of hospitals across the UK in an effort to cut costs and carbon. Its one part of the NHS hospitals strategy to reduce carbon emissions throughout the hospital system.
Following Paul McCartney's Meat Free Monday mission in the UK, Israeli restaurants are also participating in going veggie for at least one day a week.
VEGAN RESTAURANTS ARE BOOMING DUE TO STRONG DEMAND
Many people have become aware of the health promoting effects of a plant-based diet, and want to reduce their consumption of animal products but 1) government subsidies make meat and dairy cheaper and 2) restaurants do not offer them enough vegan options to delight their palate. Their desire, however, is reflected in the growth of vegan restaurants and vegan options in food service.
In spite of the economic downturn, Restaurant & Institution Magazine has noted in several articles in the last year that vegan restaurants are booming.
Cruzer Pizza in Los Angeles demonstrated this dramatically in May 2009 when they added vegan cheese and veggie meats as pizza toppings and their sales went up by 63 percent in one month.
Animal agriculture is having detrimental impacts on the health of the environment as well as on human health; thus reducing our consumption of this carbon and methane intensive product is an effective solution to halt climate change.
See further resources & references below the petition, such as:
Food Inc. - In Theaters NOW across the nation. http://www.foodincmovie.com/
Lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, the USDA and FDA.
Please sign this petition and forward it to your friends and family.
Every time you eat a meal free of animal products, you save 2.5 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions, 24 square feet of land, and 133 gallons of water. If you eat three meatless meals a day, that totals a massive savings of 2,737.5 lbs. of greenhouse gas, 26,280 square feet of land and 145,635 gallons of water per year, plus more.
Nobel Laureate, Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated, “Please eat less meat; meat is a very carbon intensive commodity ...” and “The single action that a person can take to reduce carbon emissions is vegetarianism.”
Dr. James Hansen - NASA's top climatologist
"There are many things that people can do to reduce their carbon emissions, but changing your light bulb and many of the things are much less effective than changing your diet, because if you eat further down on the food chain rather than animals, which have produced many greenhouse gases, and used much energy in the process of growing that meat, you can actually make a bigger contribution in that way than just about anything. So, that, in terms of individual action, is perhaps the best thing you can do."
The prestigious Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production stated that factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment & animal welfare.
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases…Well-planned vegan [pure vegetarian] and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.”
Due to the impact that meat has on the environment, we need to reduce our consumption of this carbon & methane intensive product as an effective solution to the climate change crisis. This petition calls for United States officials to take action now. And demonstrate its leadership and commitment to addressing climate change.
We urge the US government to promote every Monday as a day when USA citizens will abstain from meat products in an effort to protect the environment and halt global warming.
We call on everyone’s support in expressing the need for the United States of America to adopt and promote a “Meat Free Monday.
Please sign this petition and share it with as many people as possible!
Resources for your consideration
The historical context of eating less meat by www.meatlessmonday.com/history/
During World War I, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort. Conserving food would support U.S. troops as well as feed populations in Europe where food production and distribution had been disrupted by war. To encourage voluntary rationing, the FDA created the slogan “Food Will Win the War” and coined the terms “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” to remind Americans to reduce intake of these products.
View their website to find out more :)
Diet for a New America, by John Robbins
Covers the catastrophic environmental effects of the meat industry on the global environment.
He states that meat cultivation is the single biggest contributor to the devastation of our natural resources. The erosion of our topsoil, the poisoning and depletion of our water systems, and air pollution largely created by flatulence from farm animals along with the vapors emitted by the decomposition of carcasses contribute to furthering septic planetary conditions.
The China Study, by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
The negative impact of animal foods on the human condition is overwhelming, but it goes even deeper than diseases and environmental destruction. The steroids and growth hormones that have been injected into these animals greatly affect the sexual maturity of our youth.
Food Inc. - In Theaters NOW across the nation.
Lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, the USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.
Devour the Earth - http://www.globetransformer.org/devour/download.php?lang=en (free)
Narrated by world-renowned vegetarian and member of the Beatles, Sir Paul McCartney. Devour the Earth clearly illustrates the environmental consequences of human activity and the effects of the meat-based diet on our beautiful, precious planet.
A Sacred Duty - http://www.asacredduty.com/ (free)
Our planet is imperiled as perhaps never before by global warming and other environmental threats. It is urgent that steps be taken immediately to avoid the unprecedented catastrophe toward which the world is rapidly heading.
Meat the Truth - http://www.meatthetruth.com/index.html
A high-profile documentary, presented by Marianne Thieme (leader of the Party for the Animals), which forms an addendum to earlier films that have been made about climate change. Although such films have convincingly succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most important causes of climate change, namely: intensive livestock production. Meat the Truth has drawn attention to this by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together.
A Delicate Balance - http://adelicatebalance.com.au/
A 2008 documentary outlining the effects of diet on health and the environment. Based on a large amount of research into these areas, it features interviews with doctors and other prominent figures on the public health scene, as well as world leaders such as Maneka Gandhi.
The End of Line - http://endoftheline.com/
The world’s first major documentary about the devastating effect of over-fishing premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.
The Cove - http://thecovemovie.com/
Uncover what may be the largest health crisis facing our planet — the poisoning of our seas. Part environmental documentary, part horror film, part spy thriller, The Cove is as suspenseful as it is enlightening. The final result is a heart-wrenching, but inspirational, story that shows the true power of film in the hands of people who aren't afraid to risk everything for a vital cause.
Earthlings - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6361872964130308142
A feature length documentary about humanity's absolute dependence on animals (for pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and scientific research) this powerful film also illustrates our complete disrespect for these so-called "non-human providers." The film is narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix (GLADIATOR) and features music by the critically acclaimed platinum artist Moby
Home - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU&feature=channel_page (free)
Stunning photography and poetic language portray the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet.
Eating a quarter pound of red meat a day raises mortality risk: study (CBC News)
Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk ( PLoS Medicine )
Vegetarian Diets: Position of Dietitians of Canada and the American Dietetic Association (Dietitians of Canada )
Excess Body Fat Causes Cancer (American Institute for Cancer Research :AICR)
Vegetarian Diets for Pregnancy ( Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine )
Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease ( Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine )
Vegetarian Diets for Children: Right from the Start ( Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine )
Red and Processed Meat Consumption Significantly Increases Cancer Risk (cancerproject.org)
Cancer Facts - Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk (cancerproject.org)
Healthy Eating for Life: Food Choices for Cancer Prevention and Survival (cancerproject.org)
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The Meat Free Monday in the United States of America (USA) petition to Executive, Legislative & Judicial branches of the United States Government was written by Concerned_Citizen and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.