A vegan approach to Environmental Management Dr. Michael C. Morris Bay of Plenty Polytechnic
Don’t Shoot the Messenger How does the scene from MacBeth show the way we react to news we don’t like? Rachel Carson published silent spring in 1962 The industry reacted by personal attacks. Rachel Carson is an embittered spinster, or a Lesbian (therefore by implication ignorant)
The Food and Agriculture Organisation published “livestock’s long shadow” in 2006. Here is Federated Farmers’ intelligent, measured and scientific response “ it must be written by a vegan” (and therefore by implication wrong)
The Elephant in the room <ul><li>Click to edit Master text styles </li></ul><ul><li>Second level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Third level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fourth level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fifth level </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Environmental degradation has been blamed on... Population Transport Industrial growth Capitalism Lack of capitalism Communism Lack of communism Government corruption God’s wrath Etc...
Agriculture is responsible for 50% of global warming in New Zealand. More than any other industry This is caused by methane from cow burps (not farts) and nitrous oxide from animal waste Worldwide, livestock accounts for 18% of all greenhouse gases. More than transport.
Some facts Land clearance for farms is a leading cause of sediment build up and coral reef destruction Land clearance for meat is the leading cause of Amazonian deforestation Almost all of New Zealand’s lowland Kahikatea forest has gone New Zealand is a biodiversity “hotspot” Import of Palm kernel is contributing to rain forest destruction in Borneo
Some figures 90% of Waikato streams are too polluted to swim in Farming in the Waikato contributes more to stream pollution than the Hamilton and Ngarawahia sewage works A piggery of 16,000 pigs produces as much untreated sewage as a city of 23,000 Reid’s piggery in Carterton and the Kuku Beach Road piggery have been convicted for pumping raw sewage into the rivers
Some Facts New Zealand fertiliser use has doubled in the last 10 years Most of this finds its way into streams Nauru’s fishery has been totally destroyed by phosphate mining Present phosphate in New Zealand comes from disputed territory in the Western Sahara
Human rights Livestock agriculture cannot feed the world Source: Bender, W.H. 1997. How much food will we need in the 21st Century? Environment. 39 : 6-11, 27-28. 1 The actual world population in 1990 was 5.3 billion. Population that could be fed if everyone shared the dietary preferences and food system efficiencies of:
Population that could be fed if everyone shared the dietary preferences and food system efficiencies of: Source: Bender, W.H. 1997. How much food will we need in the 21st Century? Environment. 39 : 6-11, 27-28. 1 The actual world population in 1990 was 5.3 billion. USA 2.3 billion New Zealand 3 billion Europe 4.1 billion Japan 6.1 billion Bangladesh 10.9 billion Subsistence only 15 billion
Health <ul><li>Eating low on the food chain prevents </li></ul><ul><li>Adult onset diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Kidney Stones </li></ul><ul><li>Breast prostrate and pancreatic cancer </li></ul>
There are 90 million broiler chickens in New Zealand. Antibiotics are imported by the truck load to prevent these very sick individuals from dying before we are ready to kill them The source of the swine flu epidemic has been traced to a factory piggery in Mexico Bird flu outbreaks start in factory farms
Biggest Canine Joke in the Animal Kingdom! Homo Sapiens
Myth 2: Meat is necessary for protein The truth: Have a look at the protein tables below
Protein composition and price of eggs and various plant sources. Food composition data comes from the New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 6th Edition (Ministry of Health/Crop and Food Research, 2003). Price data comes from Woolworths online (www.woolworths.co.nz, accessed 23 June 2006). Food source Protein in 100g Cost (NZD) Cost per 100g protein Egg, whole, raw 12.0g $7.36 (battery eggs, size 7, 30 pack (approx. 1.470kg)) $4.17 Peas, frozen 5.4g $2.00/kg (Watties) $3.70 Sunflower seeds, kernel, dried 22.8g $7.90/kg $3.47 Cheese, Edam 26.7g $8.10/kg (Basics brand) $3.03 Peanuts, raw 24.3g $6.90/kg $2.84 Rolled oats, raw 13.5g $3.82/1.8kg (Basics brand) $1.57
Myth 3: Meat eating is what gave humans their brain power The truth: Genetic studies show human brain power is more to do with the ability to digest starch. There are several copies of the amylase gene in humans.
Myth 4: God wants us to eat meat. The truth: Adam and Eve and all the animals were vegan before the fall. Gen. 1:29
Other rationalisations Our ancestors ate meat Response. Our ancestors also lived in caves, spoke in grunts, had poor hygiene and did not own cell phones. Most of us have moved on since then.
Meat tastes nice. Response: Since when has pleasure been a basis for moral decision making. Maybe children taste nice too!
Animal eat other animals Response. Most animals don’t eat other animals. And why should we base our morality on the few that do.
Conclusion – something to think about Can you be an environmentalist and continue to... Drive a SUV Chop down trees Pour pollutants into streams Take food from the poor Or Eat high on the food chain