In an article appearing in November 2011 for the website www.Freakonomics.com, titled afterthe internationally bestselling book on fascinating, lesser known topics, respected US author and history professor Dr. James McWilliams provided a thoughtful analysis of a report advocating a vegan solution to global warming.
His essay, titled, “Agnostic Carnivores and Global Warming: Why Enviros (Environmentalists) Go After Coal and Not Cows," asserts: … As a recent report from the World Preservation Foundation confirms, ignoring veganism in the fight against climate change is sort of like ignoring fast food in the fight against obesity.
Forget ending dirty coal or natural gas pipelines. As the WPF report shows, veganism offers the single most effective path to reducing global climate change.
The report referenced by Dr. McWilliams, himself a conscientious vegan, explained how the shorter-lived but potent global warming agents such as methane and black carbon are both generated in profuse amounts by the livestock industry.
Their production would be quickly halted by adoption of the animal-free diet. Not only that,these gases dissipate from the atmosphere quickly, whereas CO2 from fossil fuels remain in the atmosphere for thousands of years. As Dr. McWilliams stated, “A global vegan diet... would reduce dietary emissions by 87 percent, compared to a token 8 percent for “sustainable meat and dairy.”
His article goes on to discuss the fact that substituting other animal-based foods for beef fails to make a significant difference in lowering one’s carbon footprint.
In addition, research has found that the costs for mitigating climate change would be reduced by over 80% if the world shifted to a vegan diet. Dr. McWilliams concluded, “Overall, the point seems pretty strong: global veganism could do more than any other single action to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.”
We appreciate Dr. McWilliams and Freakonomics.com for your candid sharing of these views that emphasize the vegan diet as the optimal and indeed necessary way to halt climate change.
May we all do our part by being veg to ensure the survival of present and future generations. During a December 2010 videoconference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Supreme Master Ching Hai highlighted the vital need to address meat consumption as the main cause of climate change.
Sources: Freakonomics, World Preservation Foundation