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In what is being praised as a firm and radical stance, France’s new environment minister, Nicolas Hulot, announced this month that France plans to outlaw the sale of all diesel and petrol motor vehicles by 2040.
Since cars and trucks with internal-combustion engines are so popular today, that may be hard to fathom for many, but France is not the only country to take such a stance. For example, Norway plans to ban petrol cars by 2025.
This announcement was made only one day after Volvo said it will no longer manufacture cars and SUVs that are fueled with petrol as of 2019. Only electric or hybrid vehicles will be made by the company at that point.
These grand gestures and strong decisions are wonderful. So are other efforts to halt climate change by cutting back on cars fueled by petrol and diesel. Other countries and companies should follow their lead.
However, we could halt climate change a lot quicker by going vegan. That’s the elephant in the room not being discussed often enough when looking at ways that we can act to protect our environment before it’s too late.
As NBC News reported, global warming could be slashed if everyone went vegan, and eight million fewer people would die each year by 2050.
Findings from the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America show that if people adopted a vegan diet, we could cut food-related emissions by a whopping 70 per cent.
Marco Springmann, lead author of the study, said: "We do not expect everybody to become vegan, but climate change impacts of the food system will be hard to tackle and likely require more than just technological changes.
"Adopting healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets can be a large step in the right direction," said Springmann.
"The time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet is now," claimed Leonardo DiCaprio, when addressing the UN climate summit in 2014.
That same year, the UN drew attention to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that said the effects of climate change are already evident on every continent and "across the oceans." Those will only worsen unless major change occurs.
The UN has concluded that animal agriculture is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."
Also, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has revealed that animal agriculture causes a greater number of greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector. GoCompare Energy (GCE) recently reported that meat-eaters create twice as much carbon dioxide as vegans.
It’s clear that living a vegan lifestyle can do wonders for the world - and may just be the single most important step that we can take to help both human and non-human animals who share the planet.
Robin Raven is the author of Santa’s First Vegan Christmas. She has written for publications such as The Malibu Times, Alabama Baby & Child Magazine, the official website of Melissa Gilbert, and USAToday.com. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and is now furthering her education. Robin often has her nose in a book and her arms around a rescued animal. She’s a vegan foodie who blogs at RobinRaven.com and loves to connect with readers on social media. You can follow her @RobinRaven on Twitter.
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