Greetings intelligent viewers and welcome to and welcome to Good People, Good Works. Governments are becoming increasingly concerned about animal agriculture's role in driving global warming.
It has become clear that a fundamental change in diet is required and urgent government action is needed to ensure the future survival of all species.
In today's show, the first in a two-part series, we'll see how various government agencies, cities and public officials around the world are working to reduce or halt meat consumption in their respective countries to better national health, enhance environmental protection and address the most pressing issue of our times - climate change. Adrian Ramsay (m):
It's clear that climate change is a massively urgent issue. Scientists from the (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, clearly agree that we've got to take urgent action over the next few years to reduce carbon emissions by a substantial amount and avoid the worst excesses of climate change and the effects that it will have around the world.
HOST: The ２００６ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report 『Livestock's Long Shadow』 concluded that livestock raising is enormously damaging to our biosphere as it fouls our waterways and seas with huge quantities of animal waste, fills the atmosphere with tremendous amounts of toxic greenhouse gases and consumes nearly a third of the Earth's land surface, with this invaluable space being occupied by intensive animal agriculture-related activities.
Methane and nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere are ７２ and ２７５ times more warming than CO２ respectively over a ２０-year period and these and other greenhouse gases from the livestock industry are rapidly heating our planet. Adrian Ramsay (m):
Moving away from factory farming would really help us to tackle climate change and there are a number of reasons for that. One of them is the deforestation that's happening in so many parts of the world which is affecting indigenous communities and wildlife, but it's certainly increasing climate change as well. And one of the main reasons for deforestation is clearing land for intensive rearing of animals or, or for growing food to feed to those animals, when we know crop production is a far more efficient way of feeding people. So ending deforestation is one of the arguments.
But of course the emissions from intensive farming, including methane emissions, are very substantial and have a real effect on the changes in the environment that we're seeing.
HOST: On an annual basis, raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector worldwide.
In fact the paper 『Livestock and Climate Change,』 published in World Watch Magazine in ２００９, estimates that more than ５１％ of human-caused global greenhouse gas emissions are from a cycle of producing and consuming animal products.
How much difference does it really make for an individual to take the pledge to be veg？ According to a ２００８ German study, a meat eater is responsible for the production of over seven times the amount of greenhouse gases as compared to a vegan.
And a Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency report concluded that a global shift to plant-based diet could lessen future climate change mitigation costs by a staggering ８０％. Robert Flello (m):
To raise a kilogram of meat requires something of the order of eight kilograms of cereal. Sustainable？ There was the issue about the current annual worldwide production of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans alone, if used to feed people instead of feeding animals, would solve much of the world's food problems.