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2020 vision through the smoke

The Editor

Dear Editor,
2020 is not just a year; it’s an expression, meaning clear or accurate vision. But our vision of the first few days of the year has been of bushfires turning day into night, and cattle, sheep and native animals dying by the hundreds of thousands. Our vision is impeded by our watery eyes – tears of grief, or seeping discharges caused by toxic smoke.
But crying doesn’t help. We know that climate change is making droughts and conflagrations far more catastrophic. Bureau of Meteorology stats show that 2019 was our hottest, driest year on record, and 2020 is not likely to be any better. We donate to victims; we lobby for renewable energies and cleaner transport. But daily, most Australians contribute their money to the industries that cause a significant portion of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions: meat, dairy and eggs. Cattle and sheep emit large amounts of methane, while forests are razed for grazing or to grow grains that are fed to factory farmed chickens and pigs. All these animals suffer tortuous treatments like castration, mulesing, debeaking and dehorning before their agonising deaths. It’s not only destructive, but also wasteful - more than 80% of farmland is used for animal agriculture, which produces just 18% of our food calories.
Eliminating meat and dairy and eating plant-based diets instead would free up land for reforestation. Researchers say that is the best way to store large amounts of carbon. Let’s use our 2020 vision, and head for the vegan food aisle.
Desmond Bellamy
Special Projects Coordinator
PETA Australia
PO Box 2352
Byron Bay NSW 2481
0411 577 416