This letter to the editor appears online only and not in the Tucson Citizen’s print edition.
Save the planet: go vegan
Animal agriculture takes a devastating toll on the Earth.
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
Animals raised for food produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire human population.
Livestock waste emits ammonia, nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide and other toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.
A study by Duke University Medical Center showed that people living downwind of pig farms are more likely to suffer fatigue, nausea, headaches, respiratory problems and more.
Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of water and land.
A meat-based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day whereas a vegan diet requires only 300 gallons.
An estimated 55 square feet of rain forests may be razed just to produce one quarter-pound hamburger.
The world’s cattle consume a quantity of food approximately equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people.
Although other factors certainly contribute to environmental problems, the best way to save the planet, lessen animal suffering and improve your health, is to go vegan.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals