world governments convened for the COP10 conference in Japan to solve
the complex issue of biodiversity loss, scientists affiliated with the
World Resources Institute (WRI) submitted an article describing the
devastating environmental impacts of current food production methods.
WRI Vice President for Science and Research Janet Ranganathan and former
WRI fellow Frances Irwin highlighted the need to achieve sustainable
food security before ecosystems are irreversibly damaged.
instance, the climate-regulating Amazon rainforest, already one-fifth
less its original size, has been collapsing primarily due to livestock
grazing and growing feed crops.
The researchers wrote,
“…Delegates should turn their attention to the root cause of the
problem: the ways in which we meet our need for food. Food supply … is a
leading factor in the five principal pressures causing biodiversity
loss... While producing food relies on harvesting nature's bounty, food
production often degrades the very ecosystems it depends on.” The study
went on to suggest key holistic strategies, including restoring degraded
lands into forests and promoting the use of vegetable proteins to
Experts during the United Nations biodiversity
conference also confirmed the importance of changing both food
production and consumption patterns as main ways to protect ecosystems.
Sukhdev - Study leader for The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
(TEEB), Special Advisor and Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative
(M): Today something like 25% of all land is in some form or the
other used for cattle and for meat food. So if you could somehow think
of more efficient ways of making use of the same land, I think that will
be a huge favor that we do ourselves. So we should reduce
our meat consumption in my opinion as well.
Not only land but also oceans and other waterways could be protected
from the damaging pollution of chemicals, pesticides and animal waste,
by turning to organic growing practices and eliminating meat production.
Prof. Paul Leadley – University of Paris-Sud (M): The
pollution problem is very strongly related to agricultural practices,
which produce much of the especially nitrogen, phosphorous, pesticides,
and herbicides that enter the coastal waters and cause a lot of damage
to marine ecosystems in general.
One of the most important ways
of dealing with that is changing the way that we do agriculture. Organic
farming has important advantages, and that’s especially the getting rid
of pesticides and herbicides and that is extremely important for the
quality of the soils and also water quality.
It also has to do
with the amount of meat that we produce. Meat production actually
increases the amount of plants we have to grow and it also creates a lot
of animal wastes that are part of the problem of that nutrient
pollution. Those are two important things we can do.
appreciation, World Resources Institute and other international experts
for highlighting food production methods and their effects on our
ecosphere. Let us act now to reduce impact and save lives by adopting
sustainable organic plant-based fare.
As during a July 2008
videoconference in the US, Supreme Master Ching Hai has long advocated
the shift away from livestock production and meat consumptionto ensure a
stable food supply and a restored planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We
can help to better prepare for the future food crisis - it’s not
future, it’s already there - but we can help to minimize it or curb it,
by helping the developed nations to understand that vegetarian diet is
the cure for food shortage.
This is a life and death matter for
everybody; it’s not a personal choice. And we are eating meat, eating up
the whole planet, eating up half of the food supply and let other
If people change to a more benevolent lifestyle
that is respecting all lives, then we will beget life and our lives will
be spared. And nature will restore the balance and repair all damage.
people have to realize this, and they have to know it’s urgent and they
have to cooperate. The more vegan people join the circle, the more
chance we have to save the planet.