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Group says meat consumption contributes to global warming

EarthSave Twin Cities, a local group, is one of 40 worldwide chapters of EarthSave International, a health and ecological movement. The group aims to “educate, inspire and empower people to shift toward a plant-based diet and to take compassionate action for all life on Earth.”

Founded in 1988 by John Robbins, the son of one of the partners of Baskins Robbins, John rejected the family business, citing health reasons. He is a celebrated author who spent 10 years researching his landmark book, “Diet for a New America.” Since then, he has authored several other books, including “How to Live to be 100.”

Howard Lyman, past president of EarthSave International and author of “Mad Cowboy,” used to be a Montana rancher who raised 7,000 cattle a year but became a vegan after a near-death experience after a surgery. In the recovery room he asked himself why someone as healthy as himself should have come so close to death. His conclusion was his diet—he targeted his meat consumption as the culprit. His research discussed how public lands are covered with cow dung and urine, and declared that cow “emissions” are more damaging to the planet than is carbon dioxide from cars. Factory farming pollutes our lakes and rivers and even deep wells from which many communities get their drinking water. Our meat-eating culture does all this so that we can kill ourselves by eating at fast-food establishments. Major objections to these ideas come from drug companies, the dairy industry, and the Cattlemen’s Association.

Lyman has since gone back to Montana to find out that most all his friends are either dead or in nursing homes. After sharing his story on the Oprah Winfrey show, her response—“I guess I don’t eat any more hamburgers”—brought them both into court where they won, even though the members of the jury were all cattlemen. These cattlemen concluded, “If we limit their free speech then ours could be limited in the future.” The Cattlemen’s Association kept after Howard for many years until a judge finally ruled, “You can’t sue a man for telling the truth.”
An EarthSave report authored by Noam Mohr, “How Environmentalists are Overlooking Vegetarianism as the Most Effective Tool Against Climate Change,” is one idea that has received much attention in the collective clamor to halt global warming. Mohr writes:

Global warming poses one of the most serious threats to the global environment ever faced in human history. Yet by focusing entirely on carbon dioxide emissions, major environmental organizations have failed to account for published data showing that other gases are the main culprits behind the global warming we see today. As a result, they are neglecting what might be the most effective strategy for reducing global warming in our lifetimes: advocating a vegetarian diet …

By far the most important non-CO2 greenhouse gas is methane, and the number one source of methane worldwide is animal agriculture.

Methane is responsible for nearly as much global warming as all other non-CO2 greenhouse gases put together. Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2. While atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen by about 31 percent since pre-industrial times, methane concentrations have more than doubled. Whereas human sources of CO2 amount to just 3 percent of natural emissions, human sources produce one and a half times as much methane as all natural sources. In fact, the effect of our methane emissions may be compounded as methane-induced warming in in wetlands—the primary natural source of methane.

With methane emissions causing nearly half of the planet’s human-induced warming, methane reduction must be a priority. Methane is produced by a number of sources, including coal mining and landfills—but the No. 1 source worldwide is animal agriculture. Animal agriculture produces more than 100 million tons of methane a year. And this source is on the rise: Global meat consumption has increased fivefold in the past 50 years, and shows little sign of abating. About 85 percent of this methane is produced in the digestive processes of livestock, and while a single cow releases a relatively small amount of methane, the collective effect on the environment of the hundreds of millions of livestock animals worldwide is enormous. An additional 15 percent of animal agricultural methane emissions are released from the massive “lagoons” used to store untreated farm animal waste, and already a target of environmentalists for their role as the No. 1 source of water pollution in the U.S …. (To read or download the full report, see

EarthSave Twin Cities meets on the third Sunday of the month (with rare exceptions) for delicious vegan potluck dinners at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 4842 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls. Everyone is welcome. You need not be a vegan or vegetarian to attend.

Please bring a plant-based food, dish or prepared dessert (no meat, dairy, eggs, honey or refined sugar) to share with four to six others along with a serving utensil, a copy of your recipe/ingredients to set by your dish, your personal place setting and your smile! A social time begins at 5:30 p.m. with a plant-based dinner at 6 p.m. A program (a new one each month) begins at 6:45 p.m., educating on the powerful effects our food choices have on our health and all life on Earth. Come and bring a friend with you.

Also, on July 15, EarthSave Twin Cities will sponsor a picnic at Minnehaha Park. Call 651-645-6298 for more information. Also see and




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