Celebrate Earth Day

Published 9:44 pm Monday, April 22, 2019

To the editor:

April 22 marks a half century of celebrating Earth Days, but do we observe it? We can each do our part by reducing our driving, use of electricity and consumption of animals.

Why the focus on meat and dairy? A recent article in Nature argues that animal agriculture is a major driver of climate change, air and water pollution and depletion of soil and freshwater resources. Oxford University’s prestigious Food Climate Research Network reports that solving the global warming catastrophe requires a massive shift to plant-based eating.

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Animal agriculture results in carbon dioxide emissions due to burning forests to create animal pastures and the operation of machinery to raise and transport animals. More damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and animal waste ponds, respectively. Meat and dairy production dump more animal waste, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined, and it’s the driving force behind wildlife extinction.

An environmentally sustainable world demands that meat and dairy products in our diet be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

Let’s celebrate the observance of Earth Day at our supermarket.

Sullivan Nectar