Earth Day – Go Green in the City

Posted in: Activism

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Earth day, the one day of the year where people across the globe celebrate the protecting of a planet no one is actually protecting. People bang out a shower, throw on green and go to work. There they may, in light conversation, have short chat about how things really do need to change and how we are hurting our planet. Yet they themselves choose not to change. The facts are there for everyone to see. Our oceans are dying, our water is toxic, our air is poisoned and yet here we are; our hands in our pockets, all shaking our heads at whoever is to blame. “They ought to change”, we think, “they ought to cut back on driving, change their lightbulbs to environmentally friendly ones, take shorter showers and recycle”. While all the while the trees are cut down, precious resources are used at an unprecedented rate and into the ocean garbage goes. Happy Earth Day!

So, we make these minute changes, because they make us feel like we are doing our part. But what if we could actually make a change that had a serious impact, a change that would substantially help our planet. Would you do it?

The most under-acknowledged devastator to the environment is animal agriculture. Luckily some people and their organizations have opened their eyes to this as well as the unethical treatment of animals in the animal agriculture industry. One of them is us – Animal Advocates of South Central PA! We use Earth Day as a tool to teach others of the devastation occurring due to everyday choices. The one day when people should be most receptive to the truth. Our diets are destroying our planet. While many make small changes to their lifestyle, such as shorter showers or recycling, they are missing out on a huge change they can make that will benefit our planet the most – living a vegan lifestyle. For instance, just one burger equals two months of showering. That is an extreme waste of resources all for just one meal for one person. A person who follows a plant-based vegan diet produces the equivalent of 50% less carbon dioxide, uses 1/11th oil, 1/13th water, and 1/18th land compared to a meat inclusive diet.

For our children and our children’s children we must make a change but the change must not only be for us. This goes above and beyond ourselves. Our oceans are dying and by 2048 we could see fishless oceans. It’s not only fish that are suffering – for every one pound of fish caught, up to five pounds of unintended marine species are caught and discarded as by-kill This includes dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, and many other sea dwelling animals. 40 to 50 million sharks are killed in fishing lines and nets every year unintendedly. Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels. As the blue planet, most of our world is made up of oceans yet we are pulling all the life from within them.

Earth may be made up mostly of ocean water, but we are limited on what fresh water we have. 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water and 4,100 children die every day from contaminated water. In the United States 80-90% of water consumption, about 34-76 trillion gallons, goes directly into animal agriculture every single year. 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef alone. Every beef burger that is consumed contributes to a massive waste of fresh water.

It doesn’t stop at water; animal agriculture is costing us our trees, too. Animal ag is responsible for up to 91% of rainforest destruction. Two acres of rainforest is destroyed every second and 137 plant, animal, and insect species are lost every day to this destruction. We are destroying the Earth’s lungs, all for the sake of what – more meat, more heart disease and diabetes?

While our food choices are destroying the oceans, wasting fresh water, destroying the rainforest, and killing us; 21,000 people die of starvation every single day. It doesn’t need to be like this, 1.5 acres can produce 37,000 pounds of plant-based food. While 1.5 acres can produce 375 pounds of meat. It’s time we all accepted our role in these tragedies.

Some people may honestly not know this is happening or what the true cause of all this destruction is. That’s where organizations like the Animal Advocates of South Central PA come in. By attending events like Go Green in the City in York we can spread this information and advocate for compassion – as well as eating sustainably. It’s up to each one of us who learns this truth to share it with others and let them know that they are just as responsible – that each of us can change and make a difference. There is no looking to tomorrow or hoping someone else takes responsibility. It’s beyond you and its beyond me. This is about the children of the future, the animals, and the home we all share.

I want to be able to say I did everything in my power to help save the environment, don’t you?

* Facts and information were gathered from Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret.

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