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Former Vice President, climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore has switched to a vegan diet due to environmental concerns. A Forbes article mentioned that Gore, who they claimed was a “newly turned vegan”, was considering an investment in a San Francisco startup that works to replace eggs with a plant-based formula. The Washington Post caught up on this, investigated further and found “an individual familiar with Gore's decision” who told the paper that Gore had taken up a vegan diet several months ago. Gore, whom in 2007 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize alongside the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their efforts to inform the public about the dangers of climate change, have received a lot of criticism over the years for living in a big mansion and consuming meat. In 2009, during an interview on ABC, Gore said: “I'm not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat. […] And it's absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets across the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis -- not only because of the [carbon dioxide] involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.” Rajendra Pachauri, chairperson of the IPCC, have stressed the importance of cutting back on meat. “Among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider,” Pachauri have said. The meat industry is responsible for about one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the world's transport sector pollutes. Livestock farming also use a lot of land, about 70% of the world's total agriculture landis dedicated today to livestock production - that's around 25% of the planet's total land area. It’s not surprising that Gore has switched to a vegan diet due to environmental concerns. The environmental costs and damages done by the meat industry to our climate are obvious. But it’s surprising that he did not do this to bigger fanfare and publicity. Photo credit: Center for American Progress Action Fund (cc)
Kathy Freston, a "self-help author and personal growth and spirituality counselor", has posted an interesting article over at the Huffington Post about the consequences of eating meat. Or in this case if we didn't: If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save: 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months; 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year; 70 million gallons of gas--enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare; 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware; 33 tons of antibiotics. If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent: Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France; 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages; 4.5 million tons of animal excrement; Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant. The meat industry is a big burden for our climate as it is responsible for about one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, in the world. That means they currently pollutes more than the whole transport sector. The cattle release CO2, methane and other greenhouse gases. They also use a lot of land areas, around 25% of the earths total land area. And about one third of all farm areas are used to grow food for the cattle. And by year 2050 the meat production is expected to increase with 50%. So just like Rajendra Pachauri, who currently chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and who recently won the Nobel Peace Price along with Al Gore, said "that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider."
Rajendra Pachauri, who currently chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002 and who recently won the Nobel Peace Price along with Al Gore, said at a speech in London on Monday evening that "meat production puts more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transport" and that "changing diets is something one should consider". "The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions," he told BBC News. "So I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider." You can read more about this over at BBC News.