Fuming About the Oil Spill? Go Veg!
I love my morning ritual, sweating it out on the cardio machine with CNN’s Tony Harris for an hour. Tony’s chuckle always makes the dreadful news of the day go down easier. But for the last 58 days, even Tony’s sly smile can’t keep me from being sick to my stomach as I watch in the lower corner of the screen the continuous “live cam” of the underwater oil spill spewing massive plumes of brown into the ocean.
The BP oil spill is now the largest spill in U.S. history, churning out approximately 2 ½ million gallons of oil a day and showing no signs of slowing. The devastation to the Gulf’s ecosystem and wildlife is unimaginable. Watching the images of oil-soaked birds being scrubbed with tiny toothbrushes is just too much to bear.
We feel a pang of guilt at the pump as we fill up our tanks. Perhaps this disaster will inspire people to buy a hybrid or ride their bike.
But there are other ways, perhaps even more effective ways, to reduce our dependence on oil and it’s not at the gas pump.
Choosing to reduce or eliminate animal products from our diet drastically reduces our fossil fuel consumption; it takes eight times as much fossil fuel to produce animal products as is takes to produce plant foods. A recent University of Chicago study found that consuming no animal products is 50 percent more effective at fighting global warming than switching from a standard car to a hybrid. In fact, if everyone in the U.S. ate vegetarian for just one day, we would save 70 million gallons of gas- enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare. That’s just one day!
The U.N. recently released an extensive report revealing that the greatest cause of greenhouse gas emissions is food production and animal products are by far the biggest culprits. The study recommends a world-wide shift to a vegetarian diet to save and feed the planet.
The environment isn’t the only causality from meat, milk and egg consumption. Farmed animals endure intensive confinement, painful procedures, brutal treatment, and a premature end to their miserable lives.
So when you are watching the footage of oil soaked marshes and brown stained beaches, know that we can take steps to reduce our dependence on oil three times a day. Reducing or eliminating animal products is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint and to reduce your fossil fuel consumption. For more information on how to eat a cruelty-free, eco-friendly diet, please check out our Vegan Campaign.