Highlighting the significant reduction of green house gas emissions that the choice to go vegan can have, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have urged the Byron shire council ‘to take a bite out of climate change by serving only vegan food at official meetings, functions and other events.’
In a letter to Byron shire mayor Simon Richardson, PETA points out that while the council’s goal of becoming Australia’s first ‘zero emissions community’ is admirable, it could immediately reduce its emissions – without any cost to ratepayers – by enjoying eco-friendly plant foods.
The request, recently reported on the ABC North Coast Facebook page, has generated a cascade of comments from both vegans and non-vegans with some commentators stating that their new motto is ‘go meat, go milk, go eggs’ while the moderator has had to remind some more vociferous anti-vegan campaigners that any ‘offensive language’ will be removed.
Mayor Richardson has told The Echo that he understands the issue and that while the Byron shire produces around 26,000 tonnes of co2 a year, of which about 17,000 is from cattle, he would prefer to look at ways that farmers can transition into other agricultural crops and different breeds that might have lower emissions.
Yes, Byron shire council should stop the steak. We would be taking it a step further than the German Environment Ministry who took meat and fish off the menu. Veganism is about the animals, the environment and our health. This would be sending such a positive message out into the world.
Some people feel a need for fanatical causes – many turn to fanatical religion, or in Australia to Hanson and anti-Islamacism. Others embrace Peta and fanatical animal liberation. They and other holders of fanatical beliefs share in common that their need to hold these beliefs is rooted in their personalities and also common is their lack of regard for the destructive outcomes of actions that flow from their beliefs. Just as ISIS and their friends are spreading their dreary message of fanaticism around the Islamic world and beyond, Peta is trying to impose its dreary vegan world view on the rest of us. My concern is that that just as the Islamic iconoclasts destroyed the beautiful Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, these fanatics will want to tear down the statue honouring my uncle Bill Clifford in front of the unused Railway Station in the Bay – the statue that honours him as the father of our wonderful dairy industry. Be warned these people were happy to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of graziers and stockmen – many aboriginal. They will have no compunction whatsoever at destroying the livestock industry in the Byron Shire and the proud heritage of animal husbandry in our region.
Perhaps some of the Byron graziers with the assistance of BSC might like to look at getting involved with James Cook University and the red algae/seaweed feeding research. Feeding cattle seaweed is incredibly healthy for them, and adding just two percent of red algae (Asparagopsis) can reduce cattle methane output by up to 99%. Who knows, maybe the non-marine park area of Byron coastline might be a good place to try our hand at kelp farming? Could be a very viable industry as the miracle algae is in very short supply right now.
Not an entirely PETA friendly action, but healthier livestock, healthier environment and a step on the path to people eating more sustainably sourced foods.