Letter to the editor

Ryan Huling

Dear Editor:

In response to your article “Teams battle it out for the title of top vegan iron chef” (4/20/09), it was encouraging to see that Dining Services has recognized eating vegan foods as the best way to reduce our collective impact on the planet. According to a recent United Nations study, raising animals for food contributes more to global warming than all of the cars, boats and trains combined. If we really want to make a difference, the first step would be to cut out the meat.

Across the board, animal agriculture squanders the limited resources we have by funneling them through animals raised for meat and other animal products. For example, we currently feed more than 70 percent of the grains raised in this country to animals raised for food, rather than eating the grains directly. Similarly, nearly half of the water and 80 percent of agricultural land consumed in this country is used for livestock, when it could be used to grow food directly for human consumption. This wasteful use of our resources has a devastating effect on our local environments as well. Currently, farmed animals produce about 130 times as much excrement as the entire U.S. population, much of which finds its way into our local waterways.

Thankfully, it’s never been easier to find delicious and “green” meals on the go. With local grocery stores stocking the shelves with products like vegetarian barbecue “riblets” and vegan pizza – not to mention local veggie hotspots like VegiTerranean serving up award-winning cuisine daily – there’s never been a better time to eat sustainably and cruelty-free. For more information about the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment, visit peta2.com to request free stickers and a DVD.

– Ryan Huling

College Campaign Coordinator, peta2.com