Meat and the Environment

September 25, 2008

According to Livestock’s Long Shadow, a groundbreaking 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food causes more global warming than all the cars and trucks in the world combined!

This results from a host of factors, including the greenhouses gases emitted from the manure, belches, and flatulence of billions of farmed animals. Deforestation caused by the expansion of grazing and the growing of animal feed also causes global warming, as the trees are no longer there to absorb the CO2. The burning of fossil fuels used to produce the massive amount of feed crops, to heat and cool the buildings that house the animals, and to transport, process, and refigerate the meat also contribute to the problem.

Global warming is not the only area where the production of meat contributes to environmental degradation. In fact, the UN report states that “the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

Check out the following links listed below to learn more. And learn how consuming less meat and animal products, avoiding products from factory farms, and eating more plants can benefit the environment!

Reports: UN – Livestock’s Long Shadow, Pew Study – Putting Meat on the Table, Union of Concerned Scientists – CAFOs Uncovered Executive Summary

Popular Coverage/Summaries: New York Times – Rethinking the Meat Guzzler , Washington Post – Report Targets Costs of Factory Farming, New Scientist – Meat is murder on the environment.

For more on how you can incorporate more plant based meals into your diet check out Choose Veg


Gene Baur comes to Calvin!!

September 22, 2008

Gene Baur is one of the most influential animal rights activists in the United States. Co-founder and president of Farm Sanctuary, Gene is a tireless activist for the rights and dignity of animals. Gene has testified at numerous hearings regarding animal welfare laws, published pieces in papers such as the New York Times, and most recently, authored a nationally bestselling book! With such an impressive list of accomplishments, the Students for Compassionate Living is excited to welcome Gene to Calvin this week, where he will kick off the Michigan leg of his national book tour!

On Wednesday, Gene will be giving a public lecture at 7:30 PM in the Science Building, room 010, at Calvin College.  SCL will be hosting a wonderful vegan potluck prior to the lecture at 5:30 pm in the library lobby, 3rd floor. Don’t miss a great opportunity to meet and great an extraordinary advocate on behalf of animals! Join us for great food and a great talk.

Welcome to the SCL Blog!

September 18, 2008

This blog is a new idea we have for Students for Compassionate Living (SCL) this year! Our hope is that it can serve as a forum for students to discuss animal related issues, find out about upcoming SCL events, as well as events in the Grand Rapids area,  and perhaps even exchange delicious vegan recipes! The blog is open to posts from anyone. If you would like to post, make a comment to let us know!

SCL began a little over three years ago and is Calvin’s animal advocacy organization. Our goal has been to foster dialogue at Calvin regarding the relationship between humans and animals, to encourage students to think about what their daily choices can mean for the lives of billions of animals, and to educate students about the myriad of ways animals are used in our present society. We seek to support those who wish to pursue and explore the issues of Christian stewardship, animal welfare, and animal rights.

This year is already looking great for SCL! Regular vegan potlucks, different speakers, and panel discussions are already planned for the first semester. The first vegan potluck will be held this Friday, in the library lobby (by the fire place) at 5 pm. Come enjoy delicious vegan food, hear more details about what we have planned for the year and how you can help out, as well as share your own ideas and interests for SCL. If you aren’t sure what to bring, Oreos or drinks always work well. And if you can’t bring anything, no worries, there is always plenty of food! Hope to see you there!