Date: 27 Jan 2020
Author: Claire Insley
In the light of the Australian bush fires and the devestation caused there, we need to ensure a similar situation doesn't happen here in New Zealand. While on the face of it, the appalling fires seem to be hard to understand, the links between them and climate change are there. How do we forge a new future? The good news is that we already have the solutions to climate change, deforestation and ocean dead zones. It is a simple solution – one that few like to admit. The inconvenient truth is that animal agriculture is a huge driver of all of these. If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, going vegan will drop at least 1 tonne of CO2 per annum compared to the average meat eater. The human body was never designed to eat the copious quantities of meat that we averagly consume. During our evolution, we would be lucky to get 5 kg.p.a; now we consume on average 76 kg.p.a! The resource cost of raising 70 billion land animals to feed less than 6 billion people, delivering only 18% of their calorific needs is completely unsustainable. We have 10 years to make the required changes to turn climate change around. It CAN be done, we all must take the time to think about what we can do to reduce our climate impacts. What is really required is a change of consciousness. We need a more compassionate world, where we consider the needs of others. We need to look at how empathic we are to the suffering of others. We have all been affected by the plight of those caught in the fires. People and animals alike have lost lives and land. Pictures of burned koalas have torn our heart strings. Many Kiwis have loved ones who have lost everything. Changes we make today will help prevent these events in the future. Bring in those feelings of loss and sadness from the Australian bush fires and turn them into positive action for you and your family. What are those changes? An easy way to reduce your carbon footprint by up to 73% is to reduce your meat intake, ideally to zero. There are few things that we need as new. Second hand and used items are ideal ways to reduce unnecessary consumption. Spending money on experiences rather than things; spending time with loved ones, rather than at work. As we spend time in nature, we can feel the healing energies of fresh air rejuvenating us and filling our minds with the stillness of the forest. We look up at the trees, hear the birdsong and feel a sense of peace and tranquility. Being in nature fills our soul in a way that buying stuff from Amazon doesn't.