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October 15, 2010

Eating for the Climate in Brazil

Advocates raise awareness about sustainable eating

Humane Society International

  • HSI's "Eating for the Climate" banner. HSI

  • Together with other groups and advocates. HSI

  • Vegetarian snacks. HSI

  • Campaign Manager Guilherme Carvalho with volunteers. HSI

On 10/10/10, Humane Society International (HSI), along with dozens of activists and volunteers from Sao Paulo, educated hundreds of Brazilians about the large impact that meat, egg and milk production have on global warming. The goal of the 10/10/10 Global Work Party, initiated by 350.org, is to raise awareness throughout the world about the urgency of global warming, and to offer viable solutions. The Global Work Party sent political leaders an important message: The world is ready to be proactive about climate change solutions.

HSI's 10/10/10 work party, "Eating for the Climate,” focused on the importance of making more environmentally-friendly food choices. In addition to educating people about the role of plant-based diets in slowing climate change, HSI distributed vegetarian food samples to show that climate-friendly vegetarian foods can be healthy and delicious, too. Read more about the impact of animal agriculture on the environment and climate change in Brazil [PDF].

According to a 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, animal agriculture emits approximately 18 percent of man-made, climate-changing greenhouse gases (GHG) globally. This number accounts for both the direct impacts of raising billions of animals for human consumption each year—67.5 billion land animals in 2008—as well as the indirect impacts of growing grains to feed these farm animals. In fact, these animals consume more than 60 percent of global corn production and more than 97 percent of global soy meal production, which generate substantial GHG emissions. Other sources of emissions from this sector result from animal manure and the use of fossil fuels by factory farms. In Brazil, where deforestation is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions, animal agriculture is a leading driver of Amazon deforestation, as forests are turned into pasture and cropland for the production of feed.

We can all be a part of the solution to climate change each time we sit down to a meal. Adopting eating habits less dependent on meat, eggs, and dairy products can help slow the effects of climate change. By making flexitarian, vegetarian, and vegan lifestyle choices, you not only help the environment but promote animal welfare as well.

For more information on how you can help, visit HSI’s webpage on humane eating or read An HSUS Report: The Impact of Animal Agriculture on Global Warming and Climate Change [PDF].

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