Issue No. 1

Photo: Planet Friendly News

Photo: Planet Friendly News

Animals

Lab Animals Deserve a Life

6,412 non-human primates are experimented on each year in Canada. If they survive the ordeal of years of testing, they are euthanized way before their natural life spans. Last year, three primates were transferred to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Ontario on a trial basis. This is an experiment we should support!

Food

The Protein Wars Are Here

Over 20% of Canadians either eat no meat or are eating less meat. 63% of vegans are younger than 38 years. Over 42% of flexitarians are boomers. 32% are pledging to reduce meat intake in the next six months. [Dalhousie University study, 2018.]

Climate Change

Countdown to 2030

Earth is warming faster than expected, taking us to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 (UN IPCC report, 2018). Prevention requires fundamental changes starting now. Aside from drastically cutting our use of fossil fuels, researchers say Western nations need to eat 90% less beef and 60% less dairy.

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speaking words of wisdom

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

— Dr. Jane Goodall

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

– Desmond Tutu

Photo: Red Squirrel, Planet Friendly News

We are sleepwalking towards the edge of a cliff
— Mike Barrett, Executive Director of Science and Conservation, World Wildlife Fund, UK

The WWF’s 2018 “Living Planet Report” says the global wildlife population has been decimated by 60% over the last four decades thanks to: deforestation, pollution, over-fishing and hunting. And species extinction rates are now 1,000 times those of the previous era NOT impacted by human activity. In addition, 4,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish are in rapid decline. “We are now jeopardizing our own future, nature is not a ‘nice-to-have’, it is our life support system,” says Barrett, referring to the inter-connectivity of all Earth’s systems.

ON THE HORIZON

  1. German scientists have developed technology that determines the sex of chicks BEFORE they hatch. Why does this matter? Because males don’t lay eggs, they are deemed useless by the egg industry and are ground-up ALIVE in macerators, gassed, drowned, or suffocated, soon after birth. This new technology could end the annual hatching of 4-6 billion male chicks just to suffer. The first “no kill” eggs (Respeggt) are now on sale in Berlin.

  2. Ever heard of the Extinction Rebellion? Environement Jeunesse? These are just two of the initiatives being spearheaded by young people around the world protesting the lack of government action on Climate Change. Greta Thunberg anyone? Watch the 15-year-old Swede’s stunning “truth-to-power” speech to attendees at the UN’s COP 24 in December.

The young have a special stake in this … since they’ll still be here cleaning up the mess the rest of us created like drunks at a party.
— Elizabeth Renzetti, theglobeandmail.com
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6 reasons to love Clean Meat

1. Zero animal cruelty (would save 70 bn animals a year globally – 50 bn of which suffer in factory farms).

2. Minimal environmental impact (uses 99% less land, 5x less water).

3. Less saturated fats and cholesterol.

4. No antibiotics (resistance to which now seen as biggest threat to human health (source: UK govmt.).

5. No growth hormones.

6. No bacterial contamination.

worldanimalprotection.org

Photo: Planet Friendly News

FOR THE ENVIRONMENT and ANIMALS

Data Point

  1. Americans, on average, eat three burgers a week. If this was reduced to two, it would be like taking 12 million cars off the road for a year. [vegnews.com]. We can take this as a proxy for all those in any nation consuming the standard American diet.

quick action

  1. Make Ecosia your search engine and plant a tree everytime you do a search! Go to ecosia.org

PLANT-BASED BURGER BEATS BEEF

In a Life Cycle Analysis study commissioned by BEYOND BURGER through the University of Michigan (using the same assessment methods as a National Cattlemen’s Beef Association study in 2017), the Beyond Burger scored impressive results in terms of low environmental impact compared with a quarter-pound of beef:

✓ 90% fewer GHGs
✓ 46% less non-renewable energy
✓ 93% less impact on land
✓ 99% less impact on water security

Sentience:
An animal’s conscious awareness of the world and of themselves.

 

UN’S COP 24

Remarks to Attendees

“Right now, we’re facing a man-made disaster on a global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years: Climate Change … If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilizations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

David Attenborough, Dec 2018

PERSPECTIVE

The Coming Food Revolution

It’s nascent, it’s a tiny fraction of today’s multi-billion-dollar food market but food companies and investors are turning to the Clean Meat space. Check out the podcast hosted by thought leader and plant-powered ultrarunner, Rich Roll, with guest, Bruce Friedrich, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Good Food Institute in Washington, D.C., as they discuss Clean Meat – what it is (meat cultured from biopsies containing animal cells), and why it is seen by many as the answer to the myriad problems caused by our current food system. [The Rich Roll 402 podcast: Clean Meat with Bruce Friedrich].

Clean Meat is projected to be on the market in three to five years. Go to GFI.org to learn more.

However, some scientists sound a note of caution saying Clean Meat is early-stage technology and there are many hurdles to overcome before cruelty-free, muscle protein hits the shelves of grocery stores. Apart from yet-to-be-solved cellular biology issues, the model is not yet a commercially scalable business and there are no existing regulatory frameworks.

GET RESOURCED

Want to understand?

The mechanisms behind Global Warming in less than a minute? Go to howglobalwarmingworks.org and become one of a tiny minority of people who DO!

Want to learn?

To cook super-easy, yummy vegan meals?

Check out “Yam Chops”, by Michael Abramson or Bosh! The Cookbook and Bosh! Videos on YouTube.

Documentaries or videos more your style?

“Vegan 2018”. Spend an hour getting up-to-speed on the shift to plant-based eating. Produced by Plant Based News, this film supports the vegan perspective but it covers the high points of what’s going on in the food system revolution. [YouTube].

“73 Cows”. 15-min, non-graphic, video shows you one farm’s transition from raising animals to raising plants and, along the way, watch the farmer’s personal transformation. [YouTube].

Want to know the facts behind the egg industry?

Go to Egg-truth.com. Well researched and offers lots of resources to learn more.

THE DEEPER DIVE

Photo: Planet Friendly News

Photo: Planet Friendly News

THE CHALLENGE

Our meals are speeding up Climate Change and we’re being told we need to reduce our meat consumption by 90%.

What’s stopping us? How can we do it?

Even though 70% of Americans are concerned about Climate Change and 58% understand that it’s real and caused by human activity, 62% believe they can’t make a difference and a whopping 92% said they were too busy or it was too much effort! [Yale University study]

THE RESPONSE

Here are some easy ways to reduce our dietary carbon footprint [cbcnews.ca “What On Earth”, newsletter]:

  1. Waste less food. We throw out about one-third of our food which rots in landfill sites and generates methane which is approximately 25 x more powerful than CO2.

  2. Prepare more meals at home. They are half the carbon footprint of commercially-prepared food.

  3. Eat less. 20% of Canadian adults are obese; 40% of men and 27% of women are overweight.

  4. Eat less dairy and fewer meat-based meals or at least switch from beef.

  5. Avoid greenhouse-grown veggies. Unless the greenhouses are energy-efficient, they can actually use more energy than transporting veggies from further afield.

IF YOUR FOOD WAS A CAR

E.g., a Honda Civic. According to the non-profit, Environmental Working Group ewg.org :

A bacon, sausage and egg sandwich generates the same emissions as driving nine kms.

A 7-oz steak generates the same emissions as driving 50 kms.

In a year, an omnivore generates emissions equivalent to driving 15,000 kms. That’s the equivalent of driving across Canada three times and more than double the amount generated by vegetarians.

Equivalent kms per kg of food

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[World Resources Institute wri.org (global sustainability think tank) reported by CBC News]


*Editor’s note: What the world needs, another newsletter. But I think it does need this one. Another channel to help penetrate the walls of the echo chambers we all inhabit. It’s never been more important to have the information we need to live more sustainable lives -- for the planet, for the animals, and for ourselves. Turns out, they are more interconnected than we ever thought.

Planet Friendly News