Reading Time: 2 minutes Elon Musk has been challenged to a debate over his comments on veganism and climate change (Photo: Duncan Hull)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has been challenged to a debate after saying that even if everyone went vegan it wouldn’t stop climate change.

Musk made the comments on Twitter, prompting environmentalist Sailesh Rao – founder and executive Director of Climate Healers – to reach out and ask for a conversation.

‘Vegans wouldn’t stop climate change’

“I support people choosing whatever diet makes them happy, but it’s true that everyone going vegan still wouldn’t stop climate change. Moving billions of tons of hydrocarbons from deep underground into the atmosphere & oceans is fundamentally the issue,” Musk tweeted.

“Renewable energy production (solar, wind, geothermal), improving home insulation & electric transport will do the trick. Vegan/vegetarian helps a little, but isn’t critical. We should take the set of actions that maximize total public happiness.

“I def believe in the ethical treatment of animals & taking action of climate, but these are mostly separate moral issues [sic].”

Animal Agriculture and the planet

Rao responded: “Would you like to debate me on this topic, Elon Musk? Please check out the Animal Agriculture white paper where I’ve spelled out my position in advance.”

In the white paper, he concludes: “Animal Agriculture is the leading cause of climate change accounting for an estimated 87 percent of annual greenhouse gas emissions. We also illustrated the need to transition to a global plant-based economy first and that blindly eliminating fossil fuel usage first will accelerate the warming of the planet.

“The necessary global transition to a plant-based economy can be achieved through concerted, grassroots action, with or without the active cooperation of governments, scientific institutions, corporations, and the news media.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.