Former President, Mary Robinson, has called upon the people of Ireland, and people in all developed nations, to convert to veganism.
Or, at least, to become a vegetarian. The 72 year old has been playing a part in the negotiations between world leaders, regarding the Paris Agreement on climate change.
She has been rallying for “climate justice”, as the meat trade is actually incredibly damaging to the environment. She declared each of us need to make a change – starting with our dinner plates.
“We don’t need to consume as much as we have in the world. We have a world where there’s inequity and inequality. We need each of us to think about our carbon footprint. Eat less meat, or no meat at all. Become vegetarian or vegan.”
The meat industry is consuming huge amounts of fossil fuels, grains and water. Trees, which would normally be absorbing greenhouse gases, are cut down to make way to provide space for grazing, and to grow crops to feed farmed animals.
Cows also produce huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas; almost a quarter of the whole world’s production.
Ireland has a very low percentage of forest land, when compared to our EU counterparts. However it has committed to increasing the number of cows grown and slaughtered here, following the dismantling of milk quotas.
Studies from the University of Chicago have proven that switching to a vegan diet is actually more effective in the fight against climate change than switching from a standard car to a hybrid!
However, many Irish farmers have been angered by her call to action, for the obvious hit their trade would receive.
And with a rather hallow note, I will mention that according to The Irish Times, Mary Robinson isn’t actually a vegetarian or vegan herself….
I am a vegan, and hope that Mary will follow through on her comments and join the side.