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Would You Go Vegan To Save The World? New Study Suggests It’s The Best Option

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Congratulations! If you made it here to read this article it likely means you are a vegan, vegetarian, follow a plant-based diet or are at least legitimately interested in what you can do to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Thank you!

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Veganism has been on the rise over the past decade or so, and for good reason! Many people are starting to learn the truth about where meat and animal products actually come from, the health risks associated with a diet dense in animal protein and the profoundly devastating effects that modern agriculture and factory farming is taking on our environment. I always say, if you can’t do it for the animals, and you can’t do it for yourself — do it for the planet!

So How Does A Vegan Lifestyle Protect Our Environment?

Researchers at the University of Oxford published a study that showed how cutting out meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individuals carbon footprint by as much as 73 percent — times that by 7.6 billion.

On top of that, the researchers also found that if everyone in the world simply stopped consuming these foods altogether, the global farmland that is currently in use could be reduced by 75% — an area equivalent to the size of the United States, China and the entire European Union combined. And here we are worrying about overpopulation. This shift in diet and lifestyle would not only result in a significant drop in greenhouse gas emissions but also free up huge amounts of land lost to animal agriculture — one of the main causes for an alarming rate of wildlife extinction facing our planet today.

The Study

Published in the journal Science, it’s one of the most comprehensive analyses available thus far on the damaging effects that modern farming and agriculture have on our environment. Data from nearly 40,000 farms in 119 countries was included.

Findings revealed that production of meat and dairy is responsible for nearly 60% of agricultures portion of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Researchers examined 40 agricultural products during the study, which covered 90% of all food that is eaten worldwide. They observed the impact each of these foods had on the environment by analyzing emissions, water pollution and air pollution.

Lead author Joseph Poore said,

“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use.

“It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car,” he explained, which would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy,” he added.

A portion of the research was aimed at looking at various techniques that are used to produce the same foods and found vast distinctions in terms of their environmental impact.

For example, cattle raised on natural grass pastures used 50 times less land than those that were being raised on deforested land — which can produce up to 12 times more greenhouse gas emissions in comparison. Compare this to the emissions released for plant-based protein sources such as tofu and peas, and you’re looking at a drastic difference.

Poore told The Guardian, “Converting grass into [meat] is like converting coal to energy. It comes with an immense cost in emissions.”

This study is the result of a five-year-long project which ironically enough started off as an investigation into sustainable meat and dairy production. After just one year into the study, Poore stopped eating animals altogether.

According to Poore, the next step is to find ways to test his proposed approach in practice. He told the independent,

“The problem is, you can’t just put environmental labels on a handful of foods and look to see if there is some effect on purchasing,” he said.

“Consumers take time to become aware of things, and then even more to act on them. Furthermore, the labels probably need to be in combination with taxes and subsidies. My view is that communicating information to consumers could tip the entire food system towards sustainability and accountability.”

Some Final Thoughts

It’s important to know that we have a lot of options here, it’s not simply vegan or nothing. We can use this information to take action in our own lives and do what we can to reduce our own impact. You don’t have to go vegan overnight, however if this information resonates with you, you can start cutting out meat and dairy products to start with. This will give you time to explore a new palate of flavors and alternatives to your favorite foods. Also, even if you could never imagine yourself giving up meat, that’s fine — you don’t have to. You can follow a plant-based diet and still eat meat once in a while if you feel called to do so.

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Alternative News

What Is Humanity Capable Of? This Man Got 152 Million Mangrove Trees Planted In 10 Years

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal's Minister of Environment, has led one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen. The program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta, Senegal.

  • Reflect On:

    If one person can do this, why can't the 'global elite' who have access to tremendous resources do more of this type of thing? What's really on?

Haidar el Ali, who once served as Senegal’s Minister of Environment, led a program that has successfully planted 152 million mangrove buds in the Casamance Delta of souther Senegal over the past decade. This represents one of the largest reforestation projects the world has ever seen.  He’s been planting since 2009, and the success of the project truly goes to show what the human race is capable of, let alone one person.

As most of you reading this know, forests are one of the most exploited habitats on our planet, and a number of industries are responsible for their rapid destruction. Animal agriculture, alone, for example, makes up the large majority of amazon deforestation. It’s linked to 75 percent of historic deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Nearly a third of biodiversity loss to date has been linked to animal agriculture. According to some estimates,  27 per cent – more than a quarter – of the Amazon biome will be without trees by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues. (source)

To truly begin exploring how new ideas can be implemented practically, watch the following video we recently put out: Regenerate: beyond The CO2 Narrative

Deforestation is a tragedy that plagues our world, and it’s something that can be solved as we have the potential as one human race to initiate large scale tree planting and reforestation, and this example from Senegal is a great example of that.

In a video interview with BBC, Haidar described how the original mangrove forest in Southern Senegal was disrupted in the 80s and 90s as the nation began to build roads which diverted or ended the flow of rivers. “At the time there were no environmental impact studies, of course.” After this he described lumbermen who clear-cut the mangroves, and then goes on to explain that the salt from sea water ended up coming in as a result and poisoning nearby rice fields. This really got peoples attention to the point where they began thinking about replacing what had been lost.

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The truth is, the human race has a tremendous amount of potential. All we hear from politicians and mainstream media seems to be nothing but talk, without the implementation of actual solutions. They’ve been doing this for years, yet you have people like Ali out there who are actually getting things done without access to the resources that the world’s elite have access to. If one man can do something as tremendous as this, imagine if the most wealthiest people in the world came together, pooled their resources and started something similar? It seems that ideas are always given, and conferences are always held and initiatives are always started, but nothing ever seems to get done when it comes to the political sphere. Countries agree to enter into certain accords that really do nothing for the planet, and crisis’ like climate change and pandemics, for example, always seem to be used for the elite to somehow profit off of them.

It’s time to ask the question, do our ‘leaders’ really have the intention to change our world for the better? Are our global organizations and politicians put in place to tackle these issues really making planet Earth a priority?

It’s hard to imagine that we couldn’t change this planet and clean it up in the blink of an eye if it actually were a priority.

If we can shut down the planet for months due to an outbreak, why can’t we do the same to make sure everybody is fed? Why can’t we do the same to spark a massive global reforestation campaign? Why are there so many barriers and obstacles to implementing solutions that can help change our world? The solutions are abundant and available, so one should ask themselves, if the solutions to our problems aren’t the issue, what is? Something to think about…

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Alternative News

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Wins Key Court Case In Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A key victory came yesterday for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as a Washington DC court ruled the Army Corps of Engineers must perform an Environmental Impact Statement to show the Dakota Access pipeline will not negatively affect the tribe's land.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we seeing further shifts in the old paradigm of money first and environment second? Are we seeing the power of relentlessly standing up for what you feel will make humanity and nature thrive?

This is a huge victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of North Dakota. Their relentless energy towards having a full environmental impact statement (EIS) done with regards to the Dakota Access Pipeline that would run through their land and potentially impact their water supply, has finally paid off. This will bring the future of the Dakota Access pipeline into question entirely.

A Washington DC court ruled that the US army corps of engineers must conduct a full EIS given that their existing permits violated the National Environmental Policy Act (Nepa).

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win,” said the tribal chairman, Mike Faith. “It’s humbling to see how actions we took to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet.”

You may recall from 2016, the Sioux Tribe rallied and inspired millions all over the world to help in getting behind the movement to raise awareness about the environmental impact of this pipeline. People travelled from all over the world to join the tribe on the ‘front lines’ as clashes sometimes became violent between water protectors and police, as well as pipeline workers.

I recall being down in North Dakota covering this story and was amazed by the sheer amount of people coming to support, as well as the efforts police were taking to silence journalists from covering the story. Cell phone jammers were used to stop those on-site from live streaming what was going on. Independent media were the only form of media in Standing Rock for months until eventually, mainstream media showed up. There appeared to be a long-standing solidarity within mainstream media to portray water protectors as violent and to avoid telling their side of the story when it came to the pipeline. This was why independent media was so important at that time.

In December 2016, the Obama administration denied permits for the pipeline to cross the Missouri River and effectively ordered a full EIS to be done in order to determine what alternative routes could be taken as well as what impact the pipeline may have on the tribe’s treaty rights. Yet, during the first week of Donald Trump’s presidency, he signed an executive order to expedite construction of the pipeline. Construction of the 1,200-mile pipeline was completed in June 2017.

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Not long after, the tribe challenged the permits and won. The Army corps of engineers were ordered to redo its environmental analysis, but they did so without taking into consideration tribal concerns or expert analysis. This was likely to allow it’s the transport of oil to continue until they were again sued.

Finally, as this Wednesday, federal judge James Boasberg determined that the environmental analysis by both the companies behind the pipeline and the corps was severely lacking, and the track record of Sunoco when it comes to oil spills is not promising, and “does not inspire confidence”, he added.

The fresh court-mandated EIS will be more in-depth than the assessment already completed by the corps – and could take years to complete. Next, the court will decide if the pipeline will be shut down while the EIS is being completed and until the EIS is approved.

“This validates everything the tribe has been saying all along about the risk of oil spills to the people of Standing Rock,” said Jan Hasselman, an EarthJustice attorney.

The Takeaway

The news of this Standing Rock victory may fall on distracted ears and minds at the moment considering the current global focus on the Coronavirus pandemic, but this is a big victory that shows the power of collective action and moving to stand up to actions of those who do not make the entirety of human ‘thrivability’ a part of their paradigm, but who instead operate from a space of disconnection and capitalization.

This news comes as I recently released my latest film Regenerate to everyone for free. The film re-examines our current mainstream approach to climate change and instead looks at our relationship to land, life, nature, money and each other as a whole. I propose that it is here where we will find the solutions we are looking for to truly allow our environment and each other, to thrive. You can check out the trailer below, and watch the full film here.

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Alternative News

Does Our Recycling Actually Get “Recycled?” (Video)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”...

  • Reflect On:

    Is it time, instead of "recycling" that the production of harmful materials simply be banned across the world?

Everyday we produce waste, in our current society, it’s almost impossible not to. Many of us make an effort to recycle our recyclables, but unfortunately much of that still ends up in the trash. There are also a lot of countries that don’t recycle at all so all of the waste – all of that plastic, effectively ends up in the ground or sadly in our oceans. For those of us who do recycle, we feel good about ourselves, and feel like we are doing our part to reduce our impact on the environment, but do we ever question what actually happens to our recycling and where it ends?

Like many other aspects of our society, our recycling is, for the most part, out of sight out of mind. We don’t actually know what is happening to it, we just drop it off into the appropriate containers and hope for the best. Unfortunately this is not helping and in many cases is making the issue of the global waste epidemic, much worse that we could ever imagine. Whether or not the waste is actually recycled doesn’t really matter, because as soon as it leaves the country it came from and is labeled as recycling it is counted as such, regardless of where that plastic and other waste actually ends up. Often, there is so much un-recyclable garbage and material mixed in with the stuff that actually can be recycled that it all just ends up going to landfills.

This could be avoided if communities and countries became more strict with their recyclable material standards, it could also be avoided if everything we manufactured was made of biodegradable substances, like hemp.

The following video from Sky Ocean Rescue shares some more eye-opening information about the truth about our supposed “recycling”…


Something Needs To Change

It is clear that our current “solution” to all of our plastic waste is not working, as the video says, we need to find a better solution to this epidemic. Recycling standards certainly need to become a lot more strict, and each country should be held responsible for their own recycling and potentially laws should be put in place by the UN that makes it illegal to export plastic waste and recycling, this would then force us to come up with a better option. It is not fair that there is no transparency towards what is really going on with the public. If people really knew, it is likely that they would take a stand against this.

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What Can We Do, Ourselves?

Sometimes, we truly have to take matters into our own hands, we cannot rely on our governments to do the right thing, I’m sure many of us are aware of this by now. If we truly want to make a difference we have to do as Gandhi says and,

“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

What does this involve? Taking responsibility for our own actions and dealing with these matters on a personal level. Do you know where your recycling is going? Have you ever actually looked into it? This is a great start, but an even more effective way to deal with this problem is to stop it before it starts. How can you lower your consumption and amount of waste you are producing? Can you choose products that are not packed in plastic? Can you use reusable, glass or stainless steel containers? Could you go back to the old-fashioned bar of soap? The fact of the matter is, we got along just fine without plastic for many years, we have other options and can all make a conscious decision to choose those other options.

We have to remember that as the consumer, we do have a direct say in what the big corporations are manufacturing. By opting out of plastic products, the companies will have no choice but to update their products and materials, or go out of business. We have already seen massive companies like Starbucks & McDonald’s making huge changes in this regard. If you need some ideas on how to reduce your impact, check out 10 Smart Hacks TO Cut Plastic Packaging Out Of Your Life.

Change starts with you!

Much Love

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