Is Vegetarianism Better for The Environment?

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Our Thursday green news brings you the latest on green architecture, climate change, energy and communities:vegetarianism, vegetarian diet

  • Is vegetarianism better for the environment? According to a recent article published by Mike Archer AM, Professor and member of the Evolution of Earth & Life Systems Research Group at University of New South Wales, people who choose to eat all-plant diets are actually responsible for the death of more animals than those who eat them. Archer’s article elaborates on the fact that our current agricultural system causes a lot of undue harm to animals. For example, Australian statistics  suggest that wheat and other grains production kills at least 25 times more sentient animals per kilogram of useable protein. He goes on to say that a plant-based diet causes more environmental damage, and a great deal more animal cruelty than farming red meat. Agriculture to produce wheat, rice and pulses requires clear-felling native vegetation, which alone results in the deaths of thousands of Australian animals and plants per hectare. As he states: “Since Europeans arrived on this continent we have lost more than half of Australia’s unique native vegetation, mostly to increase production of monocultures of introduced species for human consumption. If more Australians want their nutritional needs to be met by plants, our arable land will need to be even more intensely farmed. This will require a net increase in the use of fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides and other threats to biodiversity and environmental health.”
  • Young entrepreneur turns leftover cafeteria food into hot meals for the hungry: Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a nonprofit organization that collects leftover food from college campuses and supplies it to hungry community members. FRN was founded in 2011 by a young man Simon during his studies at the University of Maryland together with seven other college students around the nation. Today, there are 104 colleges that are part of FRN’s network, along with countless volunteers who collect and distribute the food. And unlike similar organizations such as City Harvest in New York City and D.C. Central Kitchen in Washington, D.C., FRN stands out since it focuses on college campuses and student volunteers. But Simon hasn’t stopped with FRN, he also founded other nonprofits organizations including MyMarland.net and The Love Movement, and is currently working on a project called Hungry Harvest, a for-profit company that sells surplus produce at lower prices and donates a bag of produce for every one sold.
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