At this year’s Environmental Media Awards, honoree and vegan activist Russell Simmons didn't mince words during his speech. He addressed the elephant in the room: animal agriculture.
According to Variety, Simmons said:
A lot of environmentalists say we don’t want to bring the food we eat into our discussion, but we have to. The number one cause of global warming is the animals you eat. As activists you are conscious beings and you have to wake up and be more conscious.
Simmons is absolutely correct. How can a room full of “environmentalists” celebrate their work while dining on food that’s one of the leading causes of climate change?
Let’s look at the facts.
For starters, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.
Simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints in half. Keep in mind that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy.
There is no such thing as "sustainable" meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
It’s high time for the environmental movement to embrace a vegan diet. We applaud Simmons for speaking truth to power. It’s one of the many reasons we’re proud to have him as a Mercy For Animals supporter.
But going vegan isn’t just good for the planet; it also spares countless animals a life of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, violent deaths.
Join Russell Simmons and the millions of others who are helping protect farmed animals and the planet by switching to a vegan diet. Click here to get started.