India releases increased methane estimates. The most recently analyzed data has shown that India’s methane emissions from livestock climbed from an estimated 9 metric tons in 1997 to 11.75 metric tons in 2003. The country’s 485 million animals is also the largest population of livestock in the world. Researchers K.R. Manjunath and Abha Chhabra estimate that the main reason for the increase was an influx of dairy cows. According to the United Nations, livestock produces 37 percent of all human-induced methane, a greenhouse gas that traps up to 72 times more heat in the atmosphere than CO2.
Messrs. Manjunath and Chhabra, our gratitude for your work in highlighting the role of animal-based food products in accelerating global climate change. May we all be guided to benefit animals, humans and the environment through our adoption of the low emission plant-based diet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai has also helped us to see the larger picture of the costs related to consuming animal products that go even beyond greenhouse gas emissions. The following is an excerpt from a discussion with dignitaries and media representatives at the SOS! International Seminar on Global Warming held in South Korea on May 22, 2008.
SOS! International Seminar on Global Warming Live Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai South Korea May 22, 2008
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You see the meat diet not only causes the greatest emission of poisonous gas into the planet atmosphere but many other costs. It’s not only the animal who emits the methane gas because we keep multiplying the animals and they keep multiplying, spraying gas into the air. But that’s not only the damage. It’s not only methane gas from the animals’ waste. There is the transportation energy cost; there’s electricity energy cost; there’s water wasting cost; there’s a land resource occupation cost; there’s a deforestation cost, and there’s a related illness medical cost; and there’s the grievance, sorrow of the people who lost loved ones due to disease related to meat diet cost.
And because we use food to feed livestock for human consumption instead of feeding directly to humans, therefore, there is cost of war and famine due to shortage of food and resources. Add them together, then we will see the real answer.