Thursday, April 22, 2010

MOTHER EARTH......Our Home Sweet Home

"Among other things, 1970 in the United States brought with it the Kent State shootings, the advent of fiber optics, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Apollo 13, the Beatles' last album, the death of Jimi Hendrix, the birth of Mariah Carey, and the meltdown of fuel rods in the Savannah River nuclear plant near Aiken, South Carolina -- an incident not acknowledged for 18 years." (Earth Day Network)

It took a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin named Gaylord Nelson, back in 1970 to finally take a stand and propose the first nationwide environmental protest. This gathering of thousands of people focused our interests and concerns on our home front... our local environment..... our Earth.

On April 22nd, 1970.... The first Earth Day..... led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.

Today is Earth Day 2010. What will YOU do to protect our Earth from further destruction? What will YOU do to reverse the damage and devastation that our Earth suffers daily?

“Many environmentalists suggest switching to compact florescent lights, turning off the water when you brush your teeth, recycling, or driving a hybrid car. While these things do help, the environmental benefits of these actions pale in comparison to the good done by going vegan—eliminating your consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy products—the single best thing you can do to protect our environment and reduce pollution.” (Action for Animals)

Ever wonder what impact we have on this incredible Earth? Check this out:

*A 2006 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) concludes that animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.

*Researchers at the University of Chicago have determined that just going vegetarian is more effective in reducing global warming than driving a hybrid car.

*The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that animal waste is responsible for 80 percent of ammonia emissions in the United States.

*According to the Audubon Society, over half of the water used in the US goes to raising animals for food.

*The EPA reports that waste from factory farming pollutes more water sources than all other industries combined.

*According to a US Senate Committee on Agriculture, livestock produce 130 times more urine and feces than the human population of the US—all without the benefit of a sewage system. This manure—more than 500 million tons of animal waste annually, according to the EPA—far exceeds what can be used for fertilizer.

*The Sierra Club reports, “America’s drinking water, rivers, and lakes are at risk from giant, corporate-owned factory farms… waste leaks into our rivers and streams, fouling our air, contaminating our drinking water, and spreading disease.”

*According to a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistical bulletin, 80 percent of the agricultural land in the US is used to raise animals.

*Time Magazine reports that we feed 70% of the grains and cereals grown in the US to livestock. This is very inefficient because most of the feed gets wasted and only a small amount of the protein is converted to flesh. Animals require many times more calories—in the forms of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn—than they return in the form of meat.

*The University of Chicago notes that raising animals for food requires ten times as many crops as we’d need if we just ate the grains directly. If we were not using all that land to grow crops to fatten chickens, pigs, and cows, we could reforest millions of acres in the US alone. Or, we could use the grains that are not wasted on livestock to feed all the starving people in the world many times over.

*Commercial fishing drift nets are wiping out biodiversity, as miles of nets sweep up all the fish in their path, and often damage delicate coral reefs. Commercial fishers have devastated the ocean’s ecosystem to the extent that large fish populations are only 10 percent of what they were in the 1950s.

*The fish on ocean-based farms are plagued by parasites and diseases, which they pass to fish living near the farms. When foreign fish escape from their underwater cages, they threaten the well-being of native fish species. Fish farms pollute coastal waters with massive amounts of fish feces and require huge numbers of wild-caught fish to feed their captives

*Rosamond Naylor, Senior Research Scholar at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, reports that it takes about three pounds of wild-caught fish to grow one pound of farmed shrimp or salmon. She also says fish farming often produces a flow of effluent, containing feces and uneaten feed, which contributes to pollution of coastal waters; additionally, hundreds of thousands of acres of coastal wetlands have been destroyed for aquaculture ponds and facilities

It all starts with YOU, ME and EVERYONE. As each one of your cities celebrate Earth Day today.... I invite you to consider "what are YOU going to do to help clean up YOUR environment, to lessen YOUR impact on your local city and to make YOUR Earth healthy again?"

Until Next Time.......


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