The United Nations has recently taken the unprecedented action of issuing a “code red for humanity.”
Our planet is heating up much faster than scientists expected. It is now predicted to reach an additional 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit by 2040 if we don’t make some drastic changes, and fast.
One of the reasons my wife and I moved to northern New Mexico more than a decade ago was because there are so many progressive activists here. Progressives are responsible for leading most of the social justice movements of the past (from child labor laws to women’s suffrage to civil rights to gay rights). If not for progressives, none of these, and many other, important initiatives would ever have been enacted.
Environmental stewardship is one of the causes championed by most progressives. Of all the many serious environmental issues facing us, climate change stands front and center. It is now too obviously real and threatens our very future. The legendary Northwest Passage is now a reality, island nations are disappearing and the warmest year on record is broken nearly every ensuing year. Climate change is THE social justice issue of our time and progressives must be the catalyst for change once again.
Of course, we all should switch to LED bulbs, drive less, take public transportation, use clean energy, conserve water and do all the other well-known things to protect the environment.
However, many progressives seem oblivious to THE largest contributor to climate change, water depletion, water pollution and species extinction. And that is, without ambiguity, animal agriculture.
Reducing and eliminating animal foods from our diet should be the first step on any environmentalist’s “To Do” list.
A growing list of prominent organizations are calling for a reduction in all animal product consumption: the National Academy of Sciences, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Center for Biological Diversity, Alliance of World Scientists, Climate Reality Project, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Global Environmental Change, United Nations Environment Program, Clean Energy, Ecology Center, Worldwatch Institute, Greenpeace USA, Natural Resources Defense Council, Organic Consumers Association, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, Environmental Defense Fund, Center for Climate Change and Health, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Conservation International, World Resources Institute, Earth Day Network, Environmental Working Group, Food and Water Watch, Small Planet Institute, Friends of the Earth U.S., Green America, League of Conservation Voters, Science and Environmental Health Network and the World Wildlife Fund, to name just a few.
Our planet is afire, and it is time for progressives to walk their talk and commit to reducing or eliminating their consumption of animal products while urging others to follow suit.
If we are to have any hope of managing this looming crisis of climate change, we must act now. There is nothing more powerful or meaningful that we can do for the planet than to go vegan.
As Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” is quoted in the award-winning documentary “Cowspiracy:”
“A plant-based diet is the most sustainable.”
James Corcoran of Glorieta co-founded the nonprofit organization VegMichigan and the nonprofit international outreach organization VegFund.