For Immediate Release: 03 December 2009

Washington, D.C. ““ Friends of Animals, an international advocacy organization founded in 1957, is urging President Obama and other world leaders meeting in Copenhagen next week to consider all causes of global warming. This includes animal agriculture and the consumption of animal flesh, milk and eggs.

“Piece by piece, our planet and all of its life is being disrupted and destroyed due to our raising of animals whom we intend to kill and consume” said Lee Hall, Legal Director for Friends of Animals. “To take the environment seriously is to stop using more of it than we need, and that’s what all animal agribusiness does.”

Last month, the Worldwatch Institute released a groundbreaking report, Livestock and Climate Change, which revealed that 51 percent of the of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are directly linked to dairy and meat production. The emissions involved include clearing land to graze animals and grow feed, transporting animals and animal products, and even animal respiration.

Animal agriculture also contributes a whopping 80 percent of all methane gas emissions. Even small family-owned farms contribute to climate change ““ an organic dairy or chicken farm can produce more greenhouse gases than an industrial factory. The problem is so significant that the British government is asking its citizens to reduce their meat and dairy consumption.

“Not only does animal agriculture mean the killing of countless farm animals, it also means the loss of habitat for many free-living animals whose homes are destroyed in order to clear land,” added Hall. “The unnatural rate of extinctions of free-living animals is a tragedy for us as well; it poses the greatest threat of all to continued human life.”

The deteriorating climate is directly caused by our own actions, including what we eat. Each year, billions of animals are slaughtered for our consumption. If our leaders ignore animal agriculture as a significant contributing factor to climate change, then we are unlikely to meet any goals set in Copenhagen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and stop the impending climate crisis.

FoA encourages all those concerned about climate change to adopt a vegan diet. Veganism, a plant-based diet, is rooted in compassion and respect for all living beings and the environment we depend on. By going vegan, Americans can reduce our CO2 output by 1.5 tons per year and make even greater gains in reducing methane and other emissions.

Please visit our web site for a free online copy of our Vegan Starter Guide.