The Compass

The Environment – Protection For The Future

Henry Parker, Staff Reporter

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Everyone cares about the environment, right? Most of us do everything we can to do our part in the fight against climate change, but maybe what you think is causing the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions isn’t even close to as big of an issue as animal agriculture. According to a 2009 World Watch study, the animal agriculture industry was responsible for 32,564 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, which is over 51% of all emissions globally. Something very ironic about this figure is that all forms of transportation combined don’t even come close to that. Transportation only comes to about 18% of global emissions. This means that we’ve had our sights on the wrong target when it comes to the environment and have essentially scapegoated cars and have ignored the bigger problem.  


Not only does animal agriculture produce more greenhouse gas, but the specific greenhouse gases created by the industry have far more potential for environmental destruction. The greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is probably the one you’ve been hearing about from environmentalist agencies telling you to reduce your emissions of it at all costs before it’s too late. In reality, methane (CH4) is approximately 86x more potent at its ability to trap radiation in our atmosphere as compared to CO2. Methane is mainly a byproduct of cattle burping, breathing and yes, farting. To add on to that, nitrous oxide (N2O) is upwards of 296x as destructive to the environment when compared to CO2 and animal agriculture is responsible for 65% of emissions of nitrous oxide. So when it comes to climate change, animal agriculture is the enemy.


 What may surprise you is that the solution to the climate issue is a simple lifestyle choice and can be one of the most healthy ways of living, and that is simply following a plant-based diet. As Americans, our leading killers are heart disease and cancer. In a study conducted by Dr.Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr patients with established cardiovascular disease were administered a plant-based diet and 99.4% of the patients managed to avoid a cardiac event and some even had coronary artery disease reversed in 34 weeks. So if these diseases can be prevented and reversed with a plant-based diet, it makes sense that the two longest living populations in the world eat a diet either very low or entirely devoid of animal products. The Okinawans in the mid 1900w and 96% of their diet was plant-based (mostly purple sweet potatoes.) Now, Okinawa has over a dozen KFCs and they are the most obese population among Japanese. The only population that lives longer than the Okinawans did in the mid 1900s are the adventist vegetarians who eat a 100% animal product free diet. When it comes to cancer, the very blood of men eating a plant-based diet kills 13x more cancerous cells than a person eating a standard American diet. As well as blood from plant-based eaters slows cancer cell growth by a factor of 7x-8x.


Here’s what Iris Briand, founder of Sol Food Nutrition and an expert from our community has to say about plant based eating;   

“It depends on the person. But it’s a good idea to to have a bit of animal protein here and there, for examples used as a garnish. But overall plant based.” “Longest living cultures eat mostly plant-based, that’s the common thread.”

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The Environment – Protection For The Future