Vegetarian from AfarVenerables Chodron, Tarpa, Semkye, and Jampel attended a monastic conference about the environment and global warming where we learned that the global meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all cars, buses, trucks, and planes combined.
The Abbey has been vegetarian since its inception and we thought it would be good to encourage others to be vegetarian as well. We want to inspire and empower each other to make a noticeable difference in the world by doing something quite simple yet important. Thus we're beginning "Vegetarian From Afar" to inspire others to reduce their meat eating.
To be a part of it, folks make a commitment not to eat meat (including fish and chicken) one day a week. There are many great reasons to participate and here are just a few:
FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF COMPASSION:
As sentient beings, animals want to be happy and to be free of suffering just as much as we human beings do. Thus let's cherish their lives as we cherish our own.
From the viewpoint of global warming and climate change: If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. alone would save:
* 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months
* 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year
* 70 million gallons of gas - enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare
* 3 million acres of land, more than twice the size of Delaware
* 33 tons of antibiotics
"The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide... far more than transportation" (meatlessmonday.com).
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
* Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France
* 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages
* 4.5 million tons of animal excrement
* Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant
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