WHAT EVERYBODY EVERYWHERE CAN DO
PART 1: PERSONAL CHOICES
HOW YOUR CHOICES MATTER
Reduce beef consumption
Rearing cattle for beef is the foremost reason for tropical deforestation. Forests are slashed and burned for agriculture and grazing. Beef production is considered to be one of the most inefficient uses of resources on the planet. In the United States, 47 percent of land is used for food production. Of that, 70 percent is to grow feed for cattle. Only 1 percent is for fruit, vegetables, and nut production for human consumption.
Cattle rearing has grave negative impact on air quality and climate change. While eating, cows produce methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Simply put, as cows chew, they burp huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere.
Methane (CH4) is a gas that is more detrimental to the environment than carbon (CO2). Every molecule of methane is equivalent to 23 molecules of carbon. Of the methane in the atmosphere, nearly all is due to livestock. About 10 to 12 percent of all United States greenhouse gas emissions are due to beef consumption.
Beef production requires 50 times as much land as production of rice, potatoes, and wheat combined. Reducing the amount of beef that you eat by half or a quarter makes a significant difference. Fewer cattle will be bred, less cattle feed produced, less land needed, and less methane in the environment. Modifying your dietary choices is the easiest way to conserve resources and positively impact our environment.
Beware of Palm Oil in Your Products
Read ingredient labels and do your best to avoid products that list palm oil as an ingredient. Palm oil production entails the destruction of key wildlife habitats in Indonesia and Africa. Fires intentionally set to clear the land for oil palm plantations have destroyed 80 percent of Indonesian forests, negatively and dramatically affecting the lives of the people, animals, and plants who live there.
Palm oil is found in almost everything we purchase including cosmetics, processed foods, cooking oils, and detergents. Companies choose palm oil for their manufacturing because it is the cheapest vegetable oil in the world and yields these companies tremendous profits.
Palm oil masquerades under many names, including: elaeis guineensis, etyl palmitate, glyceryl, hydrogenated palm glycerides, octyl palmitate, palm fruit oil, palm kernel, palm kernel oil, palm stearine, palmate, palmitate, palmitic acid, palmitoyl oxostearamide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-3, palmityl alcohol, palmolein, sodium kernelate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl lactylate/sulphate, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium palm kernelate, stearate, stearic acid, vegetable fat, and vegetable oil (although not all vegetable oil contains palm oil).
Avoiding palm oil can feel daunting, if not impossible. But simply reducing palm oil consumption can go a long way to helping orangutans, proboscis monkeys, and other animals who live in habitats that are being burned for oil palm plantations.
The choices you make in your supermarket affect ecosystems. If you see any of the ingredients that we listed on a product label and you are not sure if it contains palm oil, you can call the product company and ask whether or not its ingredients include palm oil. If so, you can ask if the palm oil is sourced sustainably.
Your voice lets the company know that you, as a consumer of their products, care about their palm oil use. The more they hear your concerns, the more likely they are to consider changing their ingredients.
3. SUPPORT ANIMAL-FREE ENTERTAINMENT
Support entertainment venues that do not include exotic animals
When wild animals are captive for entertainment, they are robbed of their natural fulfilled lives. Remember, they are born to enrich their environment, not ours.
Here are some alternatives:
Cirque du Soleil features amazingly talented human performers who will wow you with their feats of athleticism.
Instead of visiting zoos, go outside and observe local wildlife, visit a farm animal sanctuary, volunteer at a shelter, or watch a nature documentary on IMAX.