[Letters] The world’s supersized appetite for meat

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[Letters] The world’s supersized appetite for meat

Killing the lights for Earth Hour will make for a nice romantic meal, but if you truly want to help combat climate change, don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy products. Animal products - eaten by candlelight or not - take more resources and cause more greenhouse gas emissions than do plant-based foods. According to Worldwatch Institute President Robert Engelman, the “world’s supersized appetite for meat” is one of the main reasons why greenhouse-gas emissions are still skyrocketing.

Each year, humans kill 50 billion land animals for food - that’s about six million animals an hour. All these animals produce huge amounts of waste, which releases powerful greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere. The livestock sector is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest of both methane and nitrous oxide, greenhouse gasses that are 25 and 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide, respectively.

A study from Germany’s Institute for Ecological Economy Research shows a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for seven times more greenhouse gasses than a vegan’s. So blow out the candle, turn on the lights and get into the kitchen and cook a veggie burger this Earth Hour. Doing so will benefit not only the environment but also animals and human health.

Jason Baker, vice president of International Campaigns, PETA Asia, Hong Kong

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