Desmond Bellamy – Special Projects Coordinator, PETA Australia – Byron Bay
Here’s a terrific New Year’s resolution: let’s stop wasting food!
The latest analysis from Rabobank shows that Australians now spend over ten billion dollars on food that ends up in their garbage bins. We have the shameful distinction of being the fourth highest wasters of food in the world.
Besides burning an average of $1,026 from the average household’s budget, food in landfill decomposes anaerobically, producing methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times stronger than carbon dioxide. Additionally, the CSIRO have estimated that cattle alone are responsible for 48% of enteric methane emissions and 6% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
The impact on animals is far worse. Land clearing is putting 28,000 animal species at risk of extinction within the next 25 years. That land is cleared to provide grazing or grains for hundreds of millions of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens who live in appalling conditions, packed into sheds or branded or castrated without pain relief, before being crammed into trucks for the long ride to a terrifying and often agonising death.
Arable land could be used far more efficiently to grow plant-based food for humans, and to regenerate forests, which act as natural carbon sinks. Studies have shown that a meat-based diet requires far more energy,land, and water than a vegan one.
Have a look at how much food was thrown out over the holiday season, and let’s decide to reduce our wasteful footprint by moving to efficient, cruelty-free vegan fare.