How vegetarianism makes environment as well as economy stronger

In recent times, Indian media is going brouhaha over the shut down of illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh. This issue can be debated from a number of perspectives. You might argue that UP government is anti minority. Some might feel that India will become a Hindu Rashtra if this approach continues, etc. Others might cry about job losses. But that is not the end of the entire debate.

There is some interesting (but old) news that is related to the controversial topic of cow protection, vegetarianism and kebabs:

Estimates show that a 25% reduction in global consumption of livestock products worldwide would yield the 12.5% reduction in global anthropogenic GHG emissions that delegates tried, but failed, to negotiate in 2009 at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen.

More than 90% of the world population consumes a substantial amount of meat on a daily basis. The current level of meat consumption is not sustainable. The world needs to drastically change its food habits. Researchers around the world, (including those of  UN and IPCC) feel that vegetarianism could be a potent weapon to combat climate change, one of the biggest challenges faced by the world.

Hang on! Are researchers saying that reduction in chicken, mutton, pork and beef consumption can save the planet?The answer is a resounding YES. You might be disappointed to know that these researchers were not trained by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. They were trained in top research universities of US and Europe.

 

Livestock production is responsible for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions

Livestock production industry pumps methane gas into the atmosphere. It’s a leading contributor to global warming. Methane is 25 times more effective than CO2 in trapping the sun’s heat and raising the earth’s temperature. Without doubt, animal husbandry is the single largest source of methane in the world!

65% of the Nitrous Oxide emissions originates from the animal rearing. This gas is 200 times more potent than CO2 in trapping earth’s heat. PETA says the following about animal protein:

Feeding massive amounts of grain and water to farmed animals and then killing them and processing, transporting, and storing their flesh is extremely energy-intensive. And forests—which absorb greenhouse gases—are cut down in order to supply pastureland and grow crops for farmed animals. Finally, the animals themselves and all the manure that they produce release even more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

As we complain about soaring temperatures during summer, floodsCo, cyclones and droughts, we should voluntarily change our food habits in order to save the planet. It includes India and of course, Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country.

Animal husbandry sector might lose jobs if societies move towards vegetarianism. But the expansion of pulse cultivation, food processing and allied industries , jobs lost in animal husbandry and slaughterhouses can be compensated.

Uttar Pradesh’s population is bigger than all European nations. Imagine the amount of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere because of all those Tunday Kebabs being consumed in the state. Of course , some researchers can take up this challenge and compute the actual figure.

If a large number of illegal slaughterhouses stay closed for the entire term of Yogi Adityanath’s administration, it might result in reduction of tons of methane and nitrous oxide emissions! Issues are now related to environment in addition to politics and economics. Media needs to discuss contemporary issues from all perspectives .

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