Class Presentation - University of Idaho

Save Our Planet
“If there is no action before 2012, it is too late. What we do
now in the next 2-3 years will determine our future. This is
the defining moment.”
- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of IPCC
“We are really running out of time, in fact this next year or
two years are the critical time period. ”
- Dr. James Hansen, Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for
Space Studies
“We are so close to the red line, we may wake up tomorrow
and discover there is nothing left to save.”
- Maneka Gandhi, former Indian Environment Minister
“We have a full-scale planetary emergency.”
- Al Gore, former US Vice President
The Union of Concerned Scientists, some 1,700 of the world’s
leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the
sciences issued this warning as far back as 1992:
We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific
community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great
change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if
vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet
is not to be irretrievably mutilated.
The scientists issuing this warning hope that our message will reach
and affect people everywhere. We need the help of many.
We call on all to join us in this task.
- “1992 World Scientists' Warning to Humanity”. .Union of Concerned Scientists.
Retrieved on 17-01-2009
Global Environmental Crisis
Unprecedented ice melts in the Arctic and Antarctic
Melting of many of the world’s glaciers
Submergence of 18 islands already around the world
25 million environmental refugees in 2007 alone
Decimation of rainforests at 13.5 million hectares per annum
Species loss 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the expected natural extinction
Ocean acidification and water pollution causing oceanic dead zones and
affecting marine life and ecosystem
80% of global fish stocks fully or over-exploited
Water scarcity and food insecurity
Atmospheric CO2 levels at 385 ppm steadily reaching 450 ppm ‘catastrophic’
Exponential increase of Methane vs Carbon Dioxide
Frequency and intensity of ‘natural’ disasters all over the world, including,
droughts, floods and wildfires
Main Cause of Global Crisis
 Many sectors contribute to Greenhouse Gases
(GHGs), however
 ONE SECTOR is the single largest source of two
of the most significant GHGs: methane and
nitrous oxide
 This sector is also our single largest user of land
and water; a major cause of deforestation, widescale land degradation and species loss; and a
major polluter of our rivers, oceans and drinking
supplies: it is ANIMAL AGRICULTURE
“Livestock’s contribution to environmental
problems is on a massive scale and its
potential contribution to their solution is
equally large. The impact is so significant
that it needs to be addressed with urgency.”
- U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006
the facts
Livestock Production
One of the biggest contributors to GHG
Livestock industry accounts for 80% of all GHG
emissions from agriculture.
Livestock accounts for 18% of global GHG emissions
from human activities – more than the entire transport
sector globally.
-“Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006 ” (PDF). Ch. 7, P.272. Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
livestock industry
The single largest source of methane & nitrous oxide
 37% of global methane emissions
- 23x more potent than CO2 over 100 years
- 68x more potent than CO2 over 20 years
 65% of global nitrous oxide emissions
- 297x more potent than CO2
 64% of the world’s ammonia
- contributing to acid rain
- affecting biodiversity
 9% of total CO2 emissions
- “Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006 ” (PDF). Ch. 3, P. 82, 112, 114. Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
Environmental Costs
livestock industry
Land Use
 Livestock sector is by far the single largest
anthropogenic user of land.
 Feed crop production uses 33% of the global arable
 Feedcrop production uses 471 hectares of land (33%
of total arable land).
 Livestock sector is a major cause of wide scale land
degradation with 70% of all grazing land in dry areas
considered to be degraded because of overgrazing,
compaction and erosion.
“Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006” (PDF). Ch. 7, P. 270, 272. Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
Environmental Costs
livestock industry
Water Pollution
 Livestock industry is the largest sectoral source of water
 Animal wastes contribute to large oceanic “dead zones,”
which extended to nearly 7,903 square miles in the Gulf of
Mexico during Summer 2007.
 More than 2 billion tons of animal manure was produced in
the late 1990s allowing 100 million tons of nitrogen finding its
way into our water systems.
 Once pollutants, including nitrogen, phosphorus, antibiotics
and pesticides, reach the waterways they cause a great deal
of damage to aquatic and human life.
– “Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006” (PDF). Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
– “NOAA and Louisiana Scientists Predict Largest Gulf of Mexico “Dead Zone” on Record This Summer”. Ben Sherman. Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
livestock industry
A Major Cause of Deforestation
 70% of the Amazon deforestation is due to clearing
land for pasture and a large part of the remainder for
livestock feed crops.
 By year 2010 cattle are projected to be grazing on
some 24 million hectares of neotropical land that was
forest in 2000.
 “If we lose the forests, we lose the fight against climate
change.” - Declaration signed by 300 climate experts
at the 2007 United Nation’s Climate Change
conference in Bali.
– “Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006” (PDF). Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
–“Livestock’s Long Shadow Rome 2006” (PDF). Ch. 5.3.1 P 188. Retrieved on 17-01-2009.
Effects of Deforestation
 Deforestation causes 18-25% of global carbon emissions.
 Deforestation affects rainfall and freshwater, soil productivity, clean air, forestry,
and biodiversity resources.
 Habitat destruction through deforestation is a major cause for loss of biodiversity.
 Heavily deforested areas can see a 300 fold increase in the risk of malaria
infection compared to areas of intact forest.
 Tropical forests are critical to the survival of over a billion of the world’s poorest
and most vulnerable people.
 Deforestation and overgrazing are two causes of desertification. By 2020 about
135 Million people risk being driven from their lands because of continuing
- Global Canopy Programme: Forests Now Declaration,,
- State of the World's Forests 2007, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, 2007, Part 2, Selected Issues
in the Forest sector
-UNDP – Human Development Report 2007/2008 Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity In A Divided World
Environmental Costs
livestock industry
Loss of Biodiversity
“We are in an era of unprecedented threats to biodiversity. Fifteen
out of 24 important ecosystem services are assessed to be in
“The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human
consumption is a threat to the Earth’s biodiversity.”
-UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
 Livestock take up 30% of the earth’s land surface which was once
habitat for wildlife.
 Tropical forests hold half of the world’s species which are becoming
extinct at an alarming rate due to deforestation for meat production.
 Species loss today is 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the expected
natural extinction rate.
- Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2007
-International Union for Conservation of Nature 2007
livestock industry
Environmental Costs
Water Scarcity - The Facts
 Over 1 billion people worldwide do not have access to
clean water.
 More than 2 billion people do not have proper sanitation.
 By 2025 there will be 1.8 billion people living with
absolute water scarcity and 2/3 of the world’s population
could be living under water stressed conditions
 On a global basis, the amount of fresh water available
per person is falling rapidly.
-Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
-United Nations Environment Programme (2002): Global Environmental Outlook
livestock industry
Environmental Costs
Water Scarcity - Usage
“Meat production, particularly the production of feed,
consumes large amounts of critically important water
- U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization, 2006
 Homes use 10% of all water
 Industry uses 20%
 Agriculture uses 70% most of
which is used by the livestock
- Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
- Saving Water: from Field to Fork, SIWI, IWMI, Chalmers & SEI, May 2008
Environmental Costs
water scarcity
Does our choice of food matter?
 Livestock sector is among the most damaging sectors to the
Earth’s scarce water resources.
 Producing 1 kilo of beef requires 13,000-100,000 litres of
 Producing 1 kilo of wheat requires 500-2000 litres of water.
 Water-intensive food items like meat and dairy products is
placing increased stress on food production systems.
 A diet containing less meat and dairy products is not only
healthier than our current eating habits, but is better for the
- Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
- Pimentel D and Pimentel M 2003 “Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment”,
Am. J, Clin. Nutr. 2003; 78(suppl): 660S-3S.
- SIWI, IWMI, May 2008 ‘Saving water from field to Fork’
- Food Matters, Cabinet Office, July 2008, p.15
Environmental Costs
Energy Use
Does our choice of food matter?
 One calorie of animal protein requires more than 10 times
as much fossil fuel input as does one calorie of plant
 Producing 1 kg of beef leads to the emission of greenhouse
gases with a global warming potential of 36.4 kg of CO2.
 1 kg of beef produces the same amount of CO2 emitted by
the average European car every 250 km, and burns
enough energy to light an 100 watt bulb for 20 days.
 Grain fed to animals reared for human consumption loses
90% of the energy form the original grain.
-Pimentel D and Pimentel M 2003 “Sustainability of Meat-Based and Plant-Based Diets and the Environment”,
-Animal Science Journal, Evaluating environmental impacts of the Japanese beef cow-calf system by the life cycle
assessment method, 2007.
-Dr. David Archer, Professor of Geophysical Sciences at University of Chicago
World Grain Supply
Our Choice: Food or Feed
Global Grain Crop Production:
2109 million tons (2007/08)
 36% to feed animals
 47% to feed people
 5% for grain-derived biofuels
 12% for other
-Crop Prospects and Food Situation, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, (calculated from data therein)
World Hunger
the facts
Food or Feed?
 Every 6 seconds, a child
dies from hunger.
 More than 1.02 billion
people in the world go
hungry every day.
 Hunger and poverty claim
25,000 lives every day.
 Whilst 760 million tons of
grain are fed to animals
every year.
-Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 2006
-World Food Programme
Overcoming World Hunger
 1 hectare of land produces:
• beef to support 1 person
• lamb to support 2 people
• rice to support 19 people
• potatoes to support 22 people
 With 1.02 billion people hungry in the
world (more than the populations of
USA, Canada, and the European
Union), diverting the critically needed
grain from cattle to humans would
ensure that the world’s hungry get
their share of food.
 The 760 million tons of grain feeding
animals now could cover the global
food deficit 14 times over.
- Diet, Nutrition and Prevention of Chronic Diseases, WHO/FAO 2003, (3.4, P 21)
- UN FAO & The State of Food Insecurity in the World, 2006
- Photo: Finbarr O’Reilly, Canada, Reuters, Mother & child at emergency feeding center, Niger
- George Monbiot, ‘The Real Crisis is World Hunger, if you Care, Eat Less Meat’, Guardian 15 April 2008
livestock industry
Future Outlook
Meat consumption is expected to double by 2050
 Raising animals for food is a major cause of deforestation,
land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution,
loss of biodiversity and global warming and yet the global
livestock sector is growing faster than any other
agricultural sub-sector.
 Dairy output is expected to more than double by 2050.
 EU’s subsidies to the livestock industry was 3,500,704,000
Euros in 2007, ensuring the industry’s continuing growth.
-UN FAO, Livestock’s Long Shadow, Rome 2006
-The livestock industry and climate – EU makes bad worse, Jens Holm & Toivo Jokkala, Parliamentary Group (p.
Status Quo  Our Future
 Following the unprecedented ice melt in Summer 2007, the
thickness of ice fell by nearly half a metre (19%) in large parts of
the Arctic in comparison to the previous five winters.
 The Arctic ocean is predicted to be ice free by the end of summer
of 2012, causing catastrophic climate change with increased
severity and frequency.
 The most devastating effect of rising temperatures is the release of
400 billion tonnes of methane gas from the melting permafrost and
the ocean seabed.
 This ticking bomb once triggered will result in runaway global
warming and there will be nothing humans can do to stop it.
- Natural Environment Research Council,
-Jay Zwally, NASA Scientist
-Methane Burps, Ticking time Bomb, Energy Bulletin, 15 December 2004
- Katey Walter, Nature 443; 71-75, 7th Sept. 2006
Status Quo  Our Future
 At least 18 islands have been submerged around the world already.
 Another 40 islands are at risk from rising sea levels, including the Maldives
(369,000 residents) whose president wants to relocate the whole island, the
Soloman Islands (566,000 residents) and Dubai (1.2 M residents).
 The IPCC estimates sea level rise of .4 to 1.4 meters due to thermal expansion
alone. However, the water released from melting ice bodies increases this
 Sea level rise will cause displacement of coastal populations. “About half the world
lives within 50 miles of a coastline.”
- James Hansen, Director of NASA GISS
 Environmental deterioration currently displaces 10 million people every year. 50
million environmental refugees are expected by 2010.
 UNHCR statistics show 25 million people became environmental refugees in 2007.
The fastest way to slow global warming and
curb climate change?
Cut down on short-lived greenhouse gases
such as Methane – the single largest source of
which is livestock.
Why Methane?
 Methane is x72 more potent than CO2 over 20 years but
cycles out of the atmosphere in 9 years.
 Even if the entire world switched to a zero carbon economy
and lifestyle tomorrow, it would take 100 – 1000 years for
CO2 to dissipate out of the atmosphere.
 Cutting down on short-lived GHGs will quickly translate
into cooling of the Earth which will give us time to deal
with CO2 emissions.
IPCC 4th Assessment, IPCC Fourth Assessment Report – Synthesis Report 2007, chapter 2
Methane Reduction
Buys us time in fight against global warming
“…many of us are saying if you want to make an
impact soon, slow down the melting of the glaciers,
slow down the rise of the sea level, and so on, give
us more time to deal with things, give us, society,
more time, shouldn’t you work more on methane?”
Kirk R. Smith, MPH, PhD
Professor of Global Environmental Health
University of California, Berkeley
- Interview with Supreme Master TV
Key to rapid emissions reductions
“The mitigation of non-carbon dioxide (NonCO2) greenhouse gas emissions can be a
relatively inexpensive supplement to CO2-only
mitigation strategies.”
“Methane Mitigation has the largest potential
across all the Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases.”
US Environmental Protection Agency, Global Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases, June 2006
Methane Reduction
Buys us time in fight against global warming
“Control of methane emissions turns out to be a
more powerful lever to control global warming than
would be anticipated.”
Drew Shindell, PhD
Atmospheric Physicist
NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
- NASA GISS Report: Methane’s Impact on Climate Change May Be Twice Previous Estimates
The single most effective action
individuals can take for their
health and for the survival of the
Reduce or eliminate meat & dairy consumption
“...the balance of environmental analysis suggests that a
healthy, low-impact diet would contain less meat and fewer
dairy products than we typically eat today.”
“Eat mostly foods of plant origin.”
-Cabinet Office, “Food Matters: Towards a Strategy for the 21st Century”, July 2008
-World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity,
and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. 2007.
Meat-free Diet
A quicker & easier solution
 Turnover rate of farm animals is 1-2 years,
while turnover rate of cars & power plants, etc
can be decades.
 Methane can disappear from the atmosphere in
9-15 years, while CO2 can stay in the atmosphere
for more than a century.
 Introduction of new techniques and further research
takes many years.
 Cut in CO2 involves fighting powerful & wealthy business
interests, while vegetarian foods are readily available.
- A New Global Warming Strategy, Noam Mohr, EarthSave International, August 2005
Meat-free Diet
Environmental Advantages
 If everybody in the UK ate no meat for 1 day a week, it would be
equivalent to replacing one billion light bulbs with low-energy ones.
 If everybody in the UK ate no meat for 2 days a week, it would save
an equivalent of almost 73 million return flights from London to Ibiza.
 If everybody in the UK ate no meat for 6 days a week, it would create
greater carbon savings than removing all the cars off UK roads (29
million cars).
- Pieter van Beukering, Kim van der Leeuw, Desirée Immerzeel and Harry Aiking (2008) Meat the Truth. The
contribution of meat consumption in the UK to climate change. Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM), VU
University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
- HM Government (2006) Climate Change, the UK programme 2006
Meat-free Diet
Health Benefits
Prevents high blood pressure
Lowers cholesterol levels
Reduces Type 2 diabetes
Prevents stroke conditions
Reverses atherosclerosis
Reduces heart disease risk - 50%
Reduces heart surgery risk - 80%
Prevents many forms of cancer
Strengthens immune system
Increases life expectancy up to 15 years
-American Dietetic Association position paper on vegetarian diets
-Jenkins DJA et al., 2003. Type 2 diabetes and the vegetarian diet, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol.
78, No. 3, 610S-616S, Sep 03
-Ornish D, Scherwitz L, Billings J, et al. Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease, Fiveyear follow-up of the Lifestyle Heart Trial. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1998; 280: 2001-2007
Being vegan means less emissions
than eating organic meat & dairy
Foodwatch of Germany compared the
GHG emissions of meat versus nonmeat consumption over a one year
period and translated that into car
 A vegetarian diet reduced emissions
by nearly a half.
 An animal free vegan diet produced
less than 1/7th the GHG emissions of a
meat eater – 86% savings in GHG
 An organic vegan diet produced 94%
savings in GHG emissions.
Spiegel Online International, 27 August 2008
Vegan diets are the most water
(tofu, whole grain
rice, 2 vegetables)
-Water Inputs in California Food Production, Water Education Foundation, September, 1991 (chart E3 p28)
Vegan or local food?
Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that “shifting
less than one day per week’s consumption of red meat
and/or dairy to other protein sources or a vegetable based
diet could have the same climate impact as buying all
household food from local providers.”
Source of Food Emissions:
 Transportation (Food Miles): 11%
 Agricultural & industrial processes: 83%
Source: Food-Miles and the Relative Climate Impacts of Food Choices in the United States,
Carnegie Mellon University, 2008
What our greatest scientists &
politicians say now…
“Please eat less meat; meat is a very carbon intensive commodity.”
- Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman, IPCC
“The single action that a person can take to reduce carbon emissions is
- Dr. James Hansen, Top World Climatologist, NASA
“I would advocate getting off of the meat diet, that it really is not sustainable.”
- Dr. Jonathan Patz, Professor of Env. Studies & Populations Health Sciences,
University of Wisconsin – Madison
“We have to reduce the meat consumption and one way of doing it is of
course that a larger amount of what we eat is vegetarian and everything else
other than meat.”
- Erik Solheim, Env. & Dev. Minister, Norway
What our greatest scientists &
politicians say now…
“We must transform ourselves from being passive consumers to active
consumers. We need to lobby government for change, eat less meat and
fewer dairy products, and garden more.”
- Professor Tim Lang, UK Government Advisor on Food Security & Obesity
“We should abolish meat subsidies, let meat bear its own environmental
costs and work to make modern vegetarian food cheaper.”
- Jens Holm, MEP, Sweden
“Unless we change our food choices nothing else matters because it is meat
that is destroying most of our forests, it is meat that pollutes the waters, it is
meat that is creating disease which leads to all our money being diverted to
hospitals, so it’s the first choice for anybody who wants to save the Earth.”
- Maneka Gandhi, Parliamentarian & former Env. Minister, India
And in the past…
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival
of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
Albert Einstein
“While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered beasts, how
can we expect any ideal conditions on this Earth?”
George Bernard Shaw
“Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all
human evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we
are still savages.”
Thomas Edison, Inventor
And in the past…
“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way
its animals are treated.”
Mahatma Gandhi
“Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks:
they’re only animals.”
Theodore Adorno - Philospher
“In their behaviour towards creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see
oppression vividly when they’re the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly
and without a thought.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer, Author, Nobel Prize 1978
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if
he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his
appetite. And to act so is immoral.”
Leo Tolstoy
Call for action
It’s time for the truth about meat to be brought to light. Animal agriculture and the
consumption of animal products are destroying our planet and are the root cause of
the most pressing challenges of our time.
We can no longer hide from the fact that meat is the single greatest contributor to the
most prevalent and deadly global health problems, such as cardiovascular disease,
diabetes and obesity.
We must recognize that meat is causing global food shortage as we feed over one third
of all grain products to animals (over 7 times the amount used for biofuels), and as
farmers in developing nations grow feed crop for animals rather than food crops for their
fellow citizens.
And we must address the reality that meat and dairy are the leading causes of global
warming, pushing our Earth beyond the tipping point, heading to where it can no longer
maintain life as we know it.
The facts and figures presented here are compiled from the latest research by leading
climate scientists, governmental bodies, the United Nations, many independent
organizations, and health professionals. They show clearly how by stopping the
devastation of meat production and consumption and embracing a plant-based diet, we
will be able to live in optimal health, preserve our planet and have enough food and
clean water for all.
UN on Climate Change, Executive Secretary, Yvo
de Boer, has pointed out that a bigger part of
higher food price increases comes from feeding
grain to animals being raised for meat. Secretary
de Boer stated, “The best solution would be for us
to all become vegetarians.”
The Bio-Da Versity Code by Earth Scope: A Community of Scientists Conducting Multidisciplinary research
across the Earth Sciences
Earthlings: Documentary video on the correlation between nature, animals, and human economic interests
A Delicate Balance: Documentary with the latest discoveries of some of the most prominent experts on
nutrition in the world, unravelling the mysteries behind the disease epidemic which has struck affluent
countries with a vengeance.
Nutrition Ecology International Center: An interdisciplinary scientific committee established with the purpose
of investigating the impact of all stages and methods of food production and consumption, with regard to
health, environment, society and economy
European Parliament: European United Left/Nordic Green Left: The Livestock Industry and Climate Change
– EU Makes Bad Worse
Global Canopy Program: An Alliance of 29 scientific institutions in 19 countries, which lead the world in
forest canopy research, education, and conservation
Food vs. Feed
Our Mission
To share scientific data
with the public, the media,
the government and other organisations
on the significant and devastating effects
of eating animal products
on the health of our planet,
including climate change, drought and deforestation,
and on global hunger.
To provide the means for individuals
to encourage the media to speak about these topics,
and to encourage governments and other institutions
to pass and adopt laws and policies
which will result in people eating less animal products
in order to reverse climate change,
ensure there is enough clean water for all our needs,
and feed the world’s hungry.