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Thankfully most of our leaders and policy makers do believe climate change is real, but less thankfully they choose to ignore it. They tell us that it will all be ok. Change a couple of light bulbs, recycle your bottles, do the easy to do bits, bits that don't change our lifestyles really, and basically means business as normal.
But of course this is a little bit of telling us what we want to hear and not telling us what we don’t want to hear and let’s be honest, we all know that changing our light bulbs to the energy saving type is not going to save the planet.
They don’t want to tell us as our former president Mary Robinson did, the harder to hear truths. Like the fact that a plant based diet will save masses of CO2, nearly 1t per person. Like getting rid of a car (not so easy in this country) saves 2.4 t. Llike having one less transatlantic flights saves 1.6t, and the most controversial of all, having one less child saves 58.6t.
These are the truths we don't want to hear. There are just too many of us on this planet, it is a simple fact, one not usually discussed, nobody wants to bring it up.
But eating less meat is realistic and doable and has many positive impacts on our health and on the environment.
The meat industry that feeds our 1st world western diets is a major contributor to the 33% of global CO2 emissions produced by agriculture and food production,. The meat, the grain, the clearance of the forests, all feeding the massive agri/food industry, are hugely complicit in destroying our planet.
This industry is not nice, and on a global scale is ruthless, and is largely responsible for destroying Amazonian rain forest to make way for soya production to feed the worlds vast herds of cattle. Over 200 people were killed last year defending these forests and their homes and the environment, the culprits a variety of large corporations including agri-corporations.
Why does it sometimes feel like the guys in charge, you know the ones, the guys running our country, the CEOs of big companies, these guys (and yes unfortunately they generally are guys) really don’t value the planet they walk on, they just take it as their God given right to use and abuse and throw away when finished.
A native American quote that jumps to mind:
“When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”
Of course we need money to survive, and nobody is advocating going back to live in caves, but please Mr President (you know who) a little respect for our planet, and yes CEOs, you have a real responsibility to ensure you are not complicit in the next and possibly largest species extinction on this planet, see this recent Guardian article.
One of the biggest changes we can make as up-standing, thinking individuals is to eat more plants and less meat. There isn’t any down side, it has been scientifically shown that eating less or no meat is so much better for our health, reducing cardiovascular disease, lowering cholesterol and so much more.
For the planet you couldn’t make a better choice. It has been shown that you can save as much as nearly 1 tonne of CO2 per year per person by switching to a planet based diet, imagine if 1 billion people did!
Imagine our health as a nation. Imagine the sudden reduction in deforestation in the Amazon. Imagine the lack of a requirement to grow any GMO maize and soy to feed these factory farmed animals. Imagine so much less glyphosate being sprayed on our fields. Imagine the flourishing in biodiversity.
Imagine the feeling of empowerment of doing something so positive for your own vitality that you have complete control over. For my part I never saw myself as a non-meat eater, borderline vegan, it just kind of happened, and one day that’s the way it was. It is a personal choice.
Whatever you decide, eating less meat and more organic vegetables, your body and the planet will thank you (in time).
Kenneth & Jenny
PS I have a favour to ask, it is right slap bang in the middle of the harvest season, have a look at our IRISH section there is more and more Irish produce available daily, but because of the holidays there are less of you ordering at a time when we have tonnes of our own lovely fresh organic produce. www.greenearthorganics.ie