In recent years the state of the planet has become a serious issue as global warming has stated to accelerate, below is a summary of the major scientific findings:
At the end of summer 2007, the Arctic ice sheet had melted more than ever before in history, which was 50% below the levels recorded in 1970.
NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally announced that by the end of summer 2012, the Arctic could be almost ice free.
In 2007, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released a report called 'Livestock's Long Shadow', which revealed that the livestock industry generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent – than transport. It is also a major source of land and water degradation. Making it one of the major contributors to global warming.
Across the world honey bee populations were dramatically reduced by a strange phenomenon that has become known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). US farmers are warning that CCD could severely affect food supplies, as bees are used to pollinate crops.
Drastic drops in bird populations in both Canada and the United States has been linked to climate change and habitat loss due to urbanization and factory farming land use. The extent of the bird decline is alarming, with the Audubon Society having recently identified 20 common birds in the US whose numbers have declined by more than 50%. The list includes such well-known avian as the eastern meadowlark and the whippoorwill.
Glaciers in the northern hemisphere are retreating.
Permafrost is thawing and releasing dangerous methane and CO2 into the atmosphere.
The list goes on
All the above findings, apart from maybe CCD (which may be linked to pesticides, but that is still unknown) are directly related to the warming of the planet, and many people are even concerned about humanities chance of survival.
Humanities desire for meat leads us to breed and eat 55 billion farm animals per year, a figure that is difficult to comprehend, and is having an absolutely devastating effects on the planet and also our health.
Action must be taken now in order to avoid major catastrophes. And the fastest way to halt global warming is for all the people in the world to become vegetarian. Making this choice is the single fastest way to curb global greenhouse gas emissions.
The food that we already grow to feed the animals (mostly soy and corn) could be used to feed the humans directly, which would create a huge surplus of food, since livestock does not return the same amount of protein that we feed it. Cows for instance return only about 8%. And with 40% of the worlds grains being fed to cattle, this would free up massive amounts of food to feed to humans, thus eliminating global hunger.
If the world stopped eating meat, we could also stop clearing land (the Amazon for example), which would also help to alleviate a whole host of other problems that the planet faces. Billions of dollars would be saved on health care each year, as heart disease and colon cancer (2 of the Western World's biggest killers) would become almost non-existent, and humans in general would live better lives. People would have better health, countries would have more money, the environment would be cleaner, there would be less natural disasters, global hunger could be eradicated, the earth would become like a paradise, all for a few pieces of meat.
In a letter sent to 10 Downing Street, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Ingrid E Newkirk, told Gordon Brown: "We heartily agree with your statement that 'hunger is a moral challenge to each one of us as global citizens, but it is also a threat to the political and economic stability of poor nations around the world'."
Around 760 million tonnes of grain would be used to feed chickens, pigs and other farmed animals, she said - more than seven times the amount used to produce biofuels, she said.
"While we appreciate your willingness to re-evaluate the EU biofuel targets, we ask that you also address the urgent need to shift Britain's diet away from the wasteful conversion of resources into feed for farmed animals.
"Adopting a vegetarian diet and publicly advocating the same would do far more than provide a 'photo-op' for you - it would set a grand example and show a deep commitment to ending world hunger. In addition to the obvious ethical issues surrounding the cruel conditions imposed on animals mass produced for food, it can take up to 16 pounds of precious grain to produce just one pound of meat.
"Your moral invocation that 'with one child dying every five seconds from hunger-related causes, the time to act is now' is absolutely correct, and starving children warrant a change in Britain's eating patterns. Will you lead the UK and the world in the charge against hunger by going vegetarian and advocating a vegetarian diet?"
More Global Warming Statistics
If all British people ate a meat-free diet for 7 days a week, this would be the equivalent of removing the CO2 emissions from 12.5 million, or half of all the UK households, which is a saving of 91 megatons of CO2.
If all British people ate a meat-free diet for 6 days a week, this would create greater carbon savings than removing all the cars off the UK roads, which is 29 million cars.
Researchers at the University of Chicago have also found that switching to a vegan diet was more effective at countering global warming than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid Toyota Prius.
What if All UK Household Switched to an Animal Free Diet?