I received an interesting forward from an environmental activist talking about global warming and the resulting problems – more pandemics, more viruses etc. This is true but everyone is refusing to see one of the simplest ways we can contribute to lower global warming. This is not only my opinion, but hundreds of scientists have echoed the same thought, in fact, made a call to change our meat-eating lifestyle. They said that one of the single greatest contributors to global warming is rearing cattle for food.
The methane gas that herds of cattle produce contributes more to global warming than any other industry. While other industries are trying to become cleaner and greener, the cattle industry remains the same.
Some people may ask, ‘Why are you against eating meat? Is it because of your Hindu background?. While there may be religious reasons for one to become vegetarian but here I am only addressing the issue of global warming plus the inefficiency of the food system. It takes 7 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat which could be one small meal for a nuclear family whereas seven pounds of grain could feed the same family for a week. It seems ridiculous to stick to an inefficient system of producing and consuming food.
Does it mean that all of us have to be vegetarian? I will leave that to individual choice but there are enough non-vegetarian foods that you can eat to satisfy the tongue and leave cattle alone. Fish is an option although one has to be careful about mercury poisoning. Chicken is an option although one has to be careful about bird flu etc. Well, are there pesticides in vegetables? Yes. I am talking about a more global approach to global warming. But, wasn’t India having a dairy industry for ten thousand years?
A milch cow will give milk for years and years which a whole family can survive on. But when one rears cattle for food, the cow is slaughtered by the time the cow is 3-4 years old. Avoiding cattle can be your contribution to lowering global warming.
(The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at email@example.com)
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