Sanchez: Meatless

Nature Speaks

CHRISTMAS is just around the corner.

But here in Negros, be prepared to eat food like it’s Good Friday. Good grief, as Charlie Brown would say, Good Friday diet in Christmas holidays?

No lechon, no ham, no pork barbecues? Nada, nada? What a killjoy Christmas and New Year.

We can see the handwriting on the wall. The quarantine team at the Bacolod-Silay Airport that is part of the Provincial Task Force on African Swine Fever (ASF) has recently confiscated and disposed 20 kilograms of illegally shipped pork products from Cebu City.

Animal agriculture is responsible for 13 to 18 percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally, and less in developed countries (e.g. 3percent in the USA). Fossil fuel combustion for energy and transportation is responsible for approximately 64percent of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions globally.

In fact, livestock farming has a vast environmental footprint. It contributes to land and water degradation, biodiversity loss, acid rain, coral reef degeneration and deforestation. Nowhere is this impact more apparent than climate change—livestock farming contributes 18percent of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Over the next years, more than 50 billion land animals will be raised and slaughtered for food around the world. The world, not just Negros Island or the whole country, for matter. Most of them will be reared in conditions that cause them to suffer unnecessarily while also harming people and the environment in significant ways.

Nowhere is this impact more apparent than climate change—livestock farming contributes 18 percent of human produced greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is more than all emissions from ships, planes, trucks, cars and all other transport put together.

Jonathan Safran Foer wrote in his book We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast talks about the environmental impact of meat and dairy and offers practical suggestions for reducing our consumption of animal products instead. We hear again and again that in the US and the UK, to have any hope of slowing the climate emergency, we need to cut down on meat by 90 percent and dairy by 60percent. Safran Foer’s idea is that we eat meat and dairy only in the evening. Easy.

Well, at least faithful Catholics can eat a diet that is easy on the conscience.

And easy on our environment. So far, the provincial task force has already confiscated at least 500 kilograms of pork meat products at the airport since the start of the implementation of the 90-day temporary ban on September 18.

So let us contribute our part in easing the climate emergency, and eat wisely and safely.


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