When I first decided to stop eating animals, over 20 years ago, and later to stop eating dairy and eggs, I didn’t even consider the environment as one of the reasons why. I hadn’t thought about the environmental impact that animal agriculture has on the world. I had heard from different sources that animal agriculture was bad for the environment but most of the statistics went over my head and seemed so esoteric. Giving up some of my favorite foods for environmental causes was not a compelling enough reason to go vegan for me. I also didn’t consider health issues as one of my reasons to go vegan (I do now). I just didn’t want to contribute to killing animals if I didn’t have to. I mean, if you could live a happy healthy life without harming others, why wouldn’t you?
So when I talk to people about why I am vegan I rarely bring up environmental issues. They have always seemed irrelevant. But times are changing and I am learning that there are very compelling arguments for going vegan strictly for environmental reasons.
If you are interested in learning about the environmental impact of animal agriculture on our environment and do not want to do a lot of reading then check out the entertaining and educational documentary film Cowspiracy. Here is the trailer Cowspiracy. Cowspiracy was released a couple of years ago and has brought the environmental impact of animal agriculture to the general public in a very digestible format.
A couple of weeks ago I attended the sold out Cowspiracy Conference, in Berkeley, California. The venue was packed, the speakers were fabulous (including award-winning journalists and authors, environmentalists, and a former cattle farmer and lobbyist in Washington) and the food was great. There were so many people that I could not get in to see all of the speakers I wanted to see. It is amazing how many scientists, environmentalists and world leaders are stepping up and calling for us to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products. It is clear that for those who are passionate about environmental issues, veganism or at least vegetarianism must be considered.