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In a detailed, fact-based
editorial, George C. Wang, M.D., Ph.D.
presented a strong case for veganism on the CNN website. Its headline was
simple and direct, with a pro-vegan message like one not yet before presented
on the news website: “Go vegan, save the world.”
Wang reports that there is a lot of public
attention on how policy changes on climate issues often overlook a major
contributor to the climate crisis, and that is animal agriculture. He also
draws attention to the fact that, although livestock has a bigger negative
environmental impact than transportation, people hesitate to address it.
He explains that it is important to take
responsibility for individual choices because every individual choice
ultimately does matter, and the choice to eat meat at a meal can have a bigger
impact than you might realize. Ultimately, it is in the hands of individuals to
decide what is important and how they wish to use the power they have to stop the
destruction of the climate.
Wang goes on to examine possible dietary
solutions, ultimately concluding that a vegan diet is the most effective diet
for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He also points out that veganism leads
to a decrease in the demand for agricultural land and further land clearing.
Driving his point home, he also addresses
the fact that there is more than enough food to feed everybody on the planet,
yet people go hungry while 35 percent of the world’s grains are fed to animals
who are considered livestock. At the same time, 80 percent of the land that’s
being cut down in the Amazon is due to animal agriculture as well.
Wang doesn’t deny that there are
challenges that stop some people from going vegan, but he claims that
challenges like overcoming old habits are small compared to the harm that’s
being done to the environment.
He concludes, “It is rare that a single
choice of ours can have a broad and decisive impact on the climate crisis. We
have a moral imperative to choose and advocate for plant-based diets for the health
of our planet and the well-being and survival of generations to come.”
Who can argue with that?
George C. Wang, M.D., Ph.D. is an integrative
medicine physician, assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University
Medical Center, and adjunct assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine. His strong article on CNN is sure to open hearts
and minds to the importance of veganism for personal health as well as the
health of the planet.