Regarding climate change and meat animals: Isn't it better for sustainability if people eat less in general, regardless of what they choose to eat? It seems to me that learning to control your appetite is good for the planet.
Hi Phoebe, the following article I had written attempts to answer the question 'How is eating plants different from eating animals?' :
(References are quoted at the end of the article)Q& A on Compassionate Lifestyle:What is the difference between killing a plant and killing an animal? Both are life forms.
Unlike animals, plants do not have a nervous system. So, plants cannot feel pain when they are cut. There is no scientific reason to believe that plants bring a consciousness or psychological presence to the world. Plants do not have a brain or central nervous system. Therefore, they lack the fundamental mechanisms to experience pleasure, pain, and suffering. Fear and pain would serve no purpose in plants because they are unable to escape any threat. Any rational person understands the striking difference between slitting the throat of a sentient being (being that has consciousness and feels sensations) animal and plucking a fruit or vegetable. The unfounded rationalization that plants may feel pain would be an absurd justification for the needless killing of obviously sentient animals.
Even if there were grounds for acknowledging that plants can feel sensations, fact is that a vegan person who lives on a plant-based diet consumes far fewer resources, including plants, than either people on a meat-based diet or vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy products.
For eg, it takes:
900 litres of water to produce 1 kg of maize,
3000 litres of water to produce 1 kg of rice,
3900 litres of water and 2.1 to 3 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of chicken,
4900 litres of water and 4 to 5.5 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of pork,
15500 litres of water and 10 kg of plant matter to produce 1 kg of beef.
Thus, a person eating 1 kg of rice is consuming 1 kg of plant food and 3000 litres of water. A person eating 1 kg of beef has not only traumatized a sentient animal by killing it, but is also eating 1 kg of animal meat to produce which 15500 litres of water and 10 kg of plants (vegetable feed matter) were used.
Clearly, an animal-products eater kills many more plants than a plant-products eater. An animal-products eater uses much more resources such as land, water and plants than a plant-products eater.If people adopted a plant-based diet, then it would solve the problem of world hunger, as enough plant food will be available for everyone.
Minimize suffering to the starving humans, to the plants, animals and earth. Shun animal products. Do not consume dairy products, meat (bird, fish, animal), eggs, leather, silk etc. Adopt a plant-based diet. Content sourced from Jo Stepaniak (vegsource.com), TERI (The Energy Research Institute) and Arun Rangaswamy from I.I.Sc.