John-John Williams IV and Sarah Meehan sample plates from three restaurants participating in Baltimore Vegan Restaurant Week. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun video)
Right on the heels of utter devastation wrought by hurricanes Florence and Michael comes an alarming report in the prestigious journal Nature that mitigation of global climate change will require a massive switch to plant-based eating.
The report concludes that global warming threatens the world's very food supply, in addition to generating scorching heat, raging wildfires, devastating hurricanes, massive flooding, and rising sea levels. It was compiled by an international panel of 23 climate experts and follows the latest warning about rising temperatures by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
A 2010 United Nations report blamed animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 70 percent of freshwater use and 38 percent of land use. Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by operating factory farms. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
In an environmentally sustainable world, just as we replace fossil fuels by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources, we must also replace meat and dairy products in our diet by vegetables, fruits, and grains.
Our next supermarket visit offers a superb opportunity to get started.