* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
Be Vegan and Save the World Picture this: in just over 20 years the world could see flooded cities, forced migration and the Amazon turning to savannah without any action. Everyone in this room would agree with me that we must focus on shared solutions otherwise ravaging fires, and intense storms will be the least of our worries; the future of civilisation will be under threat. Now, I must acknowledge that I have painted a rather bleak image of the future, however the power to change the course that our planet will take, lies with us. Nonetheless, after recent studies, some researchers came to a conclusion, ‘veganism is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact’. To emphasise the impact of veganism, just avoiding meat and dairy can reduce your carbon footprint by nearly 75%. By way of explanation, Oxford University have told, each and every one of us that we don’t need to look further than our dinner plate to save the world. One of the ways in which going Vegan can save the world, is that it can provide much-needed help to our planet by cutting our Greenhouse gas emissions. We are constantly bombarded with information about the heavy burden of greenhouse gases on our planet ; ranging from carbon dioxide being produced from burning fossil fuels and car exhaust fumes being let off into the atmosphere, however the production of greenhouse gases is fundamentally more widespread. Whilst cows produce methane gas, meat production requires limitless amounts of energy and besides that fossil fuels are burnt as animals are raised, slaughtered and transported. As a matter of fact, live-stock as well as its resulting products comprises of over 50% of annual worldwide greenhouse emissions. Hence, by simply choosing to eat meat, your greenhouse emissions can be double that of a plant-based or vegan diet. In addition, becoming a vegan can unquestionably preserve habitats and species. Rather obviously eating animals is the largest contributing factor in extinction and habitat loss and the WWF stated that habitat loss is the greatest risk to species. What is even more evident is that we don’t need to travel far to see the catastrophic effects as here in the UK we have lost 50% of wildlife. Producing meat requires huge amounts of land to raise animals on. A common refutation may be that a vegan diet still requires land to grow crops on, which it does but according to the Vegan Society, eating meat involves three times more land than is needed for a vegan diet. Essentially, every second an area of rainforest equivalent to the size of a football field is uncluttered in order to rear and graze animals. By joining the 78 million vegans you will have to conserve one of the most crucial resources in the world: water. Although it looks as though our supply of water is plentiful, fresh water is actually a limited resource. Only 2.5% of the water that is available on our planet is fresh and only 30% of that is not frozen. The meagre supply of water is a pressing matter with 1in 7 people in the world living without adequate access to clean water. At first, water and a vegan diet may seem dissimilar however our food choices have a great impact on water demand. Raising animals unlike most plant-based foods requires a large amount of water. Animals require water to wash, drink, clean their living spaces and to remain cool in warm conditions. A study done by Veganuary compared the water footprints of different foods and discovered that a soy burger has a footprint of just 14 litres in stark contrast to a beef burger which has a water footprint of 2,350 litres. This alarming fact begs the question: considering so many people worldwide live in areas without access to fresh water, why are we squandering so much of it on animal products, when we can obtain all the nutrients we need from plant-based products? Humans have been eating meat for over 2.6 million years, and some will say that our bodies we were designed for us to be carnivores; but I say as a society. we must understand which way the wind is blowing and adapt. At the start of my speech, I told you that ‘veganism is the single biggest way to reduce our environmental impact’. Just image that you taking the decision to eat legumes, nuts, tofu and wholegrains and plant-based foods can help with water conservation, keeping the soil clean, cutting greenhouse emissions, mitigating climate change, preventing species extinction, combating world hunger and preserving habitats. As Michael McCarthy wrote in an article a couple of years ago’ The fields may still look green in spring, but it is mostly lifeless scenery … it is green concrete.”. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so I urge you to be vegan to protect humanity and save the world.