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Change Your Diet, Save the Climate

Pat | 13.10.2009 01:15 | Animal Liberation | Climate Chaos | Ecology

An open letter to Greenpeace, and all too many other 'environmental groups' , in response to their ongoing campaigning against SOME of the causes of climate change.

"Climate Change and Livestock Farming" slideshow by
"Climate Change and Livestock Farming" slideshow by

Did you see the news about Greenpeace occupying the roof of parliament?

The protest was to promote their '12 simple steps the
UK can take to save the climate':

This is a response by 'Veggies of Nottingham' to their email bulletin (further below)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: Re: Greenpeace volunteers still on Parliament as MPs arrive

Hi there.

It was terrific to see thirty-one Greenpeace volunteers on the roof of
Parliament as MPs arrived for their first day back after the summer

I was more amazed to see that out of as many as '12 simple steps the
UK can take to save the climate' not a single one addressed the
serious impact of livestock production and the simple solution of
consuming less (or no) livestock products.

We've got less than two months until the global summit on climate
change and so far bold action has been trumped by short term
interests. It's our generation that must take charge and save our
climate. And we can, but the clock is ticking.

The clock is indeed ticking. There is no time left for diet deniers.
By effectively ignoring livestock issues, many environmental groups
and climate campaigners are allowing that all possible steps to
mitigate climate chaos are NOT being pursued.

If you haven't already, please send a message to your Greenpeace
compadres today and urge them to commit to addressing the dietary
changes that are needed to save the climate and the planet.

You can also watch a slideshow featuring a few simple but scary facts
and figures, find out more and follow the references at

If you've already changed your diet, don't make a donation to support
our campaign for personal action to save our climate, spend it instead
on sharing a vegan meal with a friend.

Thank you for interest and congratulations to everyone up on the roof.

Pat at Veggies
13 October 2009

Forward this email to a friend »

More Veggies goodness on the web and on the streets.
We're also on twitter - come be our friend at
If you would like to find out about getting active in your local area, contact, or

Why have you received this email?
Either because you have sent me a Greenpeace e-bulletin with no
information on the devastating effects of livestock production on the
climate, on food and water shortages, and on the health of the planet
and all its inhabitants, or because you are one of the all too few
groups working hard for genuine social change to save the planet.


2009/10/12 Jamie Woolley, Greenpeace
> Hi there.
> Thirty-one Greenpeace volunteers are still on the roof of Parliament as MPs arrived for their first day back after the summer break. More volunteers are handing out copies of our climate manifesto on the street which outlines the 12 simple steps the UK can take to save the climate.
> We've got less than two months until the global summit on climate change and so far bold action has been trumped by short term interests. It's our generation that must take charge and save our climate. And we can, but the clock is ticking.
> If you haven't already, please send a letter to your MP today and ask them to commit to the 12 policies we've outlined that are needed to save the climate and the planet.
> You can also watch a video featuring a few of the volunteers on the roof to find out more and read all the updates on our site.
> If you've already written to your MP, you can also make a donation to Greenpeace to support our campaign for global action to save our climate.
> Thank you for your support from everyone up on the roof.
> Jamie Woolley
> 12 October 2009
> Forward this email to a friend »
> More Greenpeace goodness on the web
> We're also on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and twitter - come be our friend!
> If you would like to find out about getting active in your local area, visit
> Why have I received this email?
> Either because you have signed up for the Greenpeace e-bulletin or a friend has forwarded this onto you.


Follow Veggies Catering Campaign News at

Promoting mutual support & communication between groups working for
the rights & welfare of animals, for human rights, sustainable living,
peace & social justice since 1984.


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elephant in the room.

13.10.2009 09:09

You have to dig very deep to find any reference to vegan diet in the websites of either Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth or even Climate Camp. Despite the facts made public by that stalwart of radical thinking The United Nations this 'elephant in the room' is still skirted around by the main enviromental organisations. It does not appear in either GP's or FoE's reccomendations for living a greener lifestyle. Climate Camp does not offer any recommendations other than join the action. The question is why? Could it be the demonisation of the AR movement and the bad PR that any connection would bring or could it be that most of the people within these movements are not vegan and some are not even vegetarian so there is nobody to push this issue. Any vegan knows that even the most intelligent carnivore will talk the biggest load of unresearched bollocks to defend their eating habits.

Dod G

And ALL Say I

13.10.2009 10:12

Guerrilla Gardening and supporting Vegan Organic Network,oh growing your fruit n veggies helps too....

In Unity, Happy Birthday Veggies!!! Love you all!!xxx

Mr Happy

Completely Agree!

13.10.2009 10:57

I can't take any "clmate activist" seriously unless they are trying to achieve or maintain a vegan diet. Being vegan is great for people, animals and the planet as a whole.


don't trust the FAO

13.10.2009 12:30


You may be interested to hear that the FAO's "Livestock's Long Shadow" report includes these words:
"It is hard to see an alternative to the intensification of livestock production. The principle means of limiting livestock's impact on the environment must be to reduce land requirements for livestock. This involves the intensification of the most productive arable and grassland used to produce feed or pasture".
(download the report from

The report didn't advocate cutting meat consumption, it advocated intensification of livestock and more factory farming! This report was doing the bidding of large agribusiness, and has successfully suckered the vegan movement. Much of its methodology was dodgy in reaching the figures that it did, since the authors were in such a hurry to make headlines and forward the agenda of intensive agribusiness.


Environmentalists who don't recognise an Elephant when they see one

13.10.2009 12:59

The effects of meat consumption go far beyond the simple arithmatic on gases caused by livestock farming, waste of resources and forest destruction to grow food to feed the animals - that's just worse than all the world's transport.

Not factored in to that UN equation are the resources needed to treat people with heart problems, cancers, diabetes and host of other preventable diseases self inflicted and caused by bad, highly processed, vitamin and mineral deficient diets that are overloaded with processed meats and not enough fruit and vegetables.

5 a Day Day
- Homepage:

A very simple reason why

13.10.2009 13:09

You won't (or shouldn't) see "environmental" organizations making that final jump from "eat very little animal products" to "eat NO animal products" for a very simple reason. You can't make that final step for environmental reasons as simply untrue that "none" is better "almost none" (see footnote if you need a proof). You need a MORAL argument to justify that final step to veganism.

Please don't take this as in any way, shape, or form and argument against vegetarianism/veganism. I'm just talking about the arguements we use. I think it quite possible to present a "moral" case why "none" would be better than "almost none" even if very slightly worse environmentally. It doesn't cost a lot of human food to go from "almost none" to "none".

Proof --- assume that vegetable food for humans is being produced optimally (can't produce any more). There will be residues form that process that while inedible for humans, perfectly good food for some animals and so there would be SOME animal food available in addition to the maximium amount of vegetable food under conditions of sustainablility. Yes of course you can compost the plant residues and so return the mineral nutrients back to the Earth that way, but it doesn't "cost" anything if it's bacteria in the rumen of an animal doing that proceessing instead of bacteria in a compost heap.


Nice one Pat

13.10.2009 15:00

Furthermore it is hardly difficult to be vegan here in the UK. The only "ethical" justification for eating meat is because it would otherwise go to landfill or just be left to rot. Dumpster divers, those who eat from bins and those who eat roadkill may have an environmental and moral argument to eat whatever they find (in fact many vegans could learn a thing or two from this)but for those who pay for a living sentient being to be cruelly murdered often in agony and fear I see no excuse whatsoever.
The rainforests are being destroyed so people can eat soya fed meat. The days of pigs and chickens fed on household scraps are long gone, plus I have some vague idea that it may even be illegal post BSE, swine flu etc to feed animals waste. Beyond the carbon ootprint there is also the water footprint (plus loads of others that haven't even been thought of yet) to consider. Veganism is lower impact on all counts.
It is impossible to feed the nation Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall style without everyone eating next to no meat or dairy so factory farming, disease, environmental desecration, slurry in the water supply, oestrogens in the water supply and widespread atrocities taking place against sentient beings all come as part of the package.
Debate about this matter is all important and I am fed up with the nonsensical excuses and ridiculous fallacies sprouted out by omnivores e.g "you die if you don't eat meat", "I'm a strict vegetarian, I only eat chicken twice a day and fish, no I don't bother about looking at ingredients" etc etc etc

Lynn Sawyer

vegan is definitely the way to go

13.10.2009 16:27

Vegan / raw organic food locally grown is hard to beat for environmental or any other reasons. Growing your own can make a huge difference (waste scraps can be given wildlife or composted to produce heat etc).

mail e-mail:

My two pennies

13.10.2009 21:13

This is a great point. Most of the mainstream environmental organizations refuse to talk about meat production or even, in many cases, agribusiness. A truly ecological movement would have to assess these, as well as many other issues of megamechanical production.

One point I would make is that I dont think its fair for any of us to say that someone doesnt have environmental activist credentials if they eat meat/dont push veganism (which is often an implicit argument in the case being made for veganism). Theres a big difference between seeking to change a rotten system and being environmentally friendly within that system. The second is individually much harder and much less productive and is what encouraging individuals to make dietary change on an individual level is about. Personal change will not bring about a social change and I think we all know that. All the dietary changes in the world would not stop destructive agribusiness.
So, while its okay to encourage people to go vegan (and you should!), I think its far more productive to encourage people and communities to challenge agribusiness, including those who consume animals, and the way corporate interests destroy the planet, rather than immediately looking at the meat on their plate. The process of challenging these businesses gives much more cause for personal reflection on how our lifestyles mirror the behaviour of the corporate giants, and this was probably the main causative factor behind my own move to veganism.

I think its also worthwhile noting that some of the societies which more frequently have the soundest ecological practices- especially certain indigenous communities, have always, and continue to hunt for meat. Indeed in many native north american communities, meat constitutes a much larger part of the diet than in most 'civilized' and capitalist societies. The difference is that practices are bound within a culture of respect for the animal and the ecological role it fulfils.
While In a european/'western' context veganism is clearly an important step, I dont think we should be arguing that just because someone eats meat it automatically discredits them as environmentalists. I'm sure no-one has these particular groups in mind when they say these things, but we always need to be careful making blanket statements.

But yes, great article and an important challenge to throw down to the big green groups!


Reap the bad seeds

13.10.2009 21:21

Climate change is attributable to many natural and man-made causes.

No-one can alter how Mother Nature acts, but mankind can alter the way mankind badly acts. By not eating murdered animals! If most of the omnivore humans stopped eating meat, and the world's current livestock were allowed to gradually dwindle naturally to as minimum as possible, mankind would not be murdering most livestock and conversally also reducing the pollution of this only world we all have. As it stands, we are all going to have to reap the bad seeds of pollution being caused by many who are not trying one iota to decrease pollution.

Simply put, the world's livestock is continually emitting mega tons of methane in to our only valuable atmosphere. Our landfill sites are building up huge quantities of methane which will eventually leak out in to our atmosphere. That landfill methane will be valuable wasted fuel that could power motor vehicles, were the methane harnessed properly to be eventually harvested in not too many years to come.

But it won't be harvested for mankind's beneficial use, simply because there's no almost immediate greedy profit to be gained from harnessing it, eh? Profit, that is, for greedy corporate money devourers.

Francis H. Giles

heres an elephant for you

14.10.2009 08:48

so your trying to force meat eaters to change their diets

this is like that guy who was protesting at the proposed third runway at heathrow then had to leave to pick up his parents as they had just flown back from holiday



Truth will not out

14.10.2009 18:14

Not really, Bob. No one should not try to force anyone.

It's simply a matter of choice. Best part of my life's over, so I'm not too fussed whether you pursue a diet that pollutes the atmosphere or not. Rather odd how your sort has to resort to saying some folk are forcing you! If truth will out, your sort probably do sense a non-meat diet dowes have many advantages for mankind, but your sort just can't face up to admitting it, eh? Still, there's going to be no shortage of wasted methane around, friend, eh?


Oh dear

14.10.2009 22:54

Not really an elephant is that Bob? You've been thinking again havn't you. Leave the thinking to us mate and you stick to masturbating. You're good at that.

Dod G

The Horses Mouth - Greenpeace say "eat less meat

15.10.2009 07:58

Croydon Launches 5 A Day Day Campaign 1st November
Croydon Launches 5 A Day Day Campaign 1st November

Greenpeace say

"Eat Less Meat" - Page 30

Like it or lump it ( destroy the planet and your body )

Eco Veggie Fayre

Elephants, Cattle and Horses Mouths

15.10.2009 10:06

"Climate Change and Livestock Farming" slideshow by
"Climate Change and Livestock Farming" slideshow by

If, as stated in Greenpeace's 'How to save the climate' guide, four average consumers in industrial countries pollute the atmosphere as much by their meat consumption alone as a family in Bangladesh does by everything it does, surely this is an environmental concern not 'just
a vegetarian issue', and should be highlighted on their front page, rather than buried on a blog?

If you dig deep you'll find a single sentence on page 6 and one more on page 30 of a 32 page publication - this is hardly giving due weight to such an important contribution to climate change, water shortage and pollution, rainforest destruction, land use, inequitable food distribution, and so many other issues of environmental concern.

It is my genuine concern that by not seriously engaging with such vital matters, there is a real danger that others will make the same excuses as Greenpeace, the livestock issue will continue to be sidelined, and all hope of slowing climate change will be lost.

We are not asking Greenpeace to be a vegetarian/vegan organisation, but an environmental one.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation states that "livestock farming is the most significant contributor to today's most serious _environmental_ problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation". By practically ignoring the livestock issue, Greenpeace is failing in its mission to address one of the 'most significant' environmental issues.

They say that we need to see firm action taken on emissions reduction and deforestation at Copenhagen.

This must acknowledge that the UK could make greater carbon savings by enjoying alternatives to meat one day each week, than by taking 5 million cars off the road. It will not be possible to prevent rainforest roughly the size of a football field to be cut down every second, if we do not acknowledge that this happens to produce just 257 hamburgers. If cleared for soya production, 90% of that will go to livestock, and 90% of that food value will be wasted by the inefficiencies of animal products.

I am sure that Greenpeace know all this - as environmentalists they should not have to hear this from vegetarian/vegan organisations - and nor should the public. Time is running out and we must ensure that an issue that perpetuates such a major part of the problem of climate change is at the forefront of the measures taken to tackle the problem.

Their disappointment about the party conferences at which climate change barely got a mention, is matched by our disappointment that Greenpeace does not have confidence in its ability to make a big difference on a subject like dietary change which has so many positive benefits.

Greenpeace say that they don't campaign on livestock in the UK because there already numerous other organisations (including Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Vegetarian Society, PETA etc) promoting vegetarianism/veganism/meat-free Mondays etc.

I hesitate to suggest that we at Veggies should not campaign on climate change because there already numerous other organisations promoting environmental protection.

I would have liked to give a more detailed response, but time is short at the moment. Despite being a 'vegan/vegetarian organisation', we aim to address all related issues, and hence are busy preparing to provide catering support the the Great Climate Swoop this weekend.

I hope that rational debate will result in Greenpeace become willing to do EVERYTHING that it can to tackle climate change. But I'm not holding my breath.

Please check out the "Climate Change and Livestock Farming" slideshow by There is an animated version at

- Homepage:

Letter to pass to the management of Greenpeace

15.10.2009 18:16

Dear Liz Weatherley

I have seen your letter excusing Greepeace’s lack of action on dietary changes so many times now and every time I read it I want to scream. We know you are not a vegetarian organisation because you have studiously avoided the subject (in the UK at least) for years. That isn’t the point - you are an environmental organisation and the single biggest threat to the planet comes from livestock production for meat and dairy. It is the primary cause of deforestation and loss of biodiversity, it is one of the primary causes of desertification and nitrogen pollution, of overuse of fresh water, of global impoverishment and antibiotic resistance, it is the second biggest source of greenhouse gases and some scientists argue that this is an underestimate. Worse than this headline figure, livestock are destroying the planet’s ability to absorb CO2 by degrading two of the biggest carbon sinks – soil and new forest growth. And this degradation is unremitting with forests still disappearing at an alarming rate and much of the world’s agricultural land degraded. Over 70 per cent of the arid and semi-arid lands that girdle one third of the world’s surface are seriously degraded.

You do not have to be a vegetarian organisation to confront this growing threat, you have to be an organization with principles. It is disingenuous to pass the responsibility for this massive assault on the planet to small organizations with few resources such as the Vegetarian Society, which does not campaign but has produced just one advert which has barely seen the light of day. Peta has a tiny presence in the UK and also does very little campaigning. As for Friends of the Earth – thereby hangs a tale. Twenty years ago I made a film on livestock’s global impact (Devour the Earth) and talking about it afterwards to Dave Gee, who was then Director of Friends of the Earth, I urged him to change FoE’s policy and campaign on this issue because in importance it dwarfed all their other campaigns combined. He replied that he knew I was right but it would not go down well with his supporters and he had no intention of losing them, their membership fees and their donations. May I suggest this is precisely the view of Greenpeace?

For the last few years, I have badgered Tony Juniper to take a similar course to the one I urged on Dave Gee and he refused, to such a degree that he rejected Viva!’s inserts on factory farming from their magazine Earthmatters, because seven people complained about one of them. A big mistake as a large number of people resigned as a result of that decision. Worse than this, he encouraged meat eating with cookery articles by High F W. Now, with a change of leadership, FoE has rediscovered its principles and has finally launched the campaign that it should have launched 20 years ago – and congratulations to them for that.

No one expects Greenpeace to tell people to go vegetarian or vegan – despite the positive impact this would have. We do, however, expect you to urge people to drastically reduce the amount of meat and dairy they consume because it is what the planet desperately needs. You have no qualms about urging people to drive less, to use less energy, to recycle more – so why the qualms about urging them to slash their meat and dairy consumption. Unless there is a clear and constant message from all those who claim act on behalf of the planet, it will not work

Reread your letter with its list of excuses for lack of action on this issue and you will see how morally threadbare it is. This is a huge disappointment to those of us who have supported Greenpeace for decades, applauded its courage and bravery and its ability to cut through political crap with incisive and daring campaigns. What a tragedy that on this issue, one of the most important confronting the planet, your courage has completely deserted you.

Regards – Tony Wardle (author of the report Diet of Disaster)

Associate Director
Editor - Viva!Life

Tony Wardle
mail e-mail:
- Homepage:

Devour the Earth

15.10.2009 19:46

due to the shortsightedness of Greenpeace
due to the shortsightedness of Greenpeace

"UK livestock emissions ... 1.15 million tonnes of methane every year"
"UK livestock emissions ... 1.15 million tonnes of methane every year"

Livestock's demand for water is as destructive as its demand for food.
Livestock's demand for water is as destructive as its demand for food.

Although Devour the Earth was produced in 1995 the information is still (sadly) very pertinent. It shows how long groups like Greenpeace have known the effects of livestock production. If they had gotten off their high horses 20 years ago and supported the work of less powerful groups the damage caused by livestock production might have been slowed. It may now be too late to reverse the growing global demand for meat, and Greenpeace et al must share the blame when we all fry...

«Devour the Earth» is online at and is available on DVD (from

The english text is written by Tony Wardle. Subtitles are available in the following languages: german, french, italian, spanish, czech, hungarian, slowenian, kroatian, russian, arabic, hindi, japanese and chinese.

The 20-minutes film shows in different chapters the global consequences of meat consumption.
The particular headlines:

* Wasted Food, Wasted Land
* Deforestation
* Global Warming
* Soil Depletion
* Acid Rain
* Suffering Seas
* Health and Welfare

And the script is at in these languages:
* de; * fr; * it; * es; * cz; * hr; * hu

- Homepage:

What's stopping Greenoeace? Political cowardice or industry lobbying?

19.10.2009 22:37

I was shocked to read this:

"Greenpeace doesn't campaign on livestock in the UK because there already numerous other organisations (including Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Vegetarian Society, PETA etc) promoting vegetarianism/veganism/meat-free Mondays etc."

Waow ~ what an eye-opener! this is shocking, really, as far as I'm concerned.. and also a stong incentive to action.

Maybe they should stop campaigning on deforestation, because rainforest SOS have it covered ?

I think you can use their owns words (from their website) back at them:

"Whether through political cowardice or industry lobbying, the government is failing to put their words into action.We're the last generation that can stop this global catastrophe, and we need your help."

If they are this worried, why don't they do EVERYTHING, as you say.


Climate chief Lord Stern: give up meat to save the planet

28.10.2009 13:00

People will need to turn vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming, quoted at

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”


Even Al Gore Agrees That Going Vegetarian Helps The Environment...

06.11.2009 19:01

... but stops short of saying he's headed in that direction!

Talking to ABC, Gore agreed with the UK’s Nicholas Stern that meat eaters have contributed greatly to increased global carbon emissions.”I’m not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat,” he said. “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis – not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.”

More info and critique on Gore's stance at

... and the makers of the real 'climate blockbuster' documentary, the Age of Stupid, address the convenient truth that eating less meat AND dairy is an important step to take to tackle climate change. Their related 10:10 Campaign suggests Meat Free Monday as a simple way to help cut C02. A good start perhaps? If people answer the call to cut the crap from their diet on one additional day a week year on year, they'll be free of livestock products by 2016, but is that quick enough?