A high percentage of global warming is directly related to large scale animal agriculture, or factory farming, to supply an insatiable and growing global demand for meat.
If most of us reduced or eliminated meat consumption, and favored a plant based diet, that alone could reverse the current trend to global destruction.
For a crash course on why vegetarians and vegans (or anybody) should care about the environment, and why environmentalists should go veg, browse the links below.
Reclaiming The Spiritual Roots of Farming by Professor Emeritus John Ikerd of the University of Missouri. He is a brilliant and passionate evangelist for sustainable agriculture, organic and non-gmo. All of his papers are posted on the site.
Vegetarianism and Sustainable Agriculture by Judith Kingsbury. Vegetables and grains need much less land and water than animals, so it wouldn't be necessary to destroy rain forests or irrigate arid land, or create deserts with over pasturing. This idea isn't necessarily obvious to sustainable ag experts, mainly because they aren't vegetarian, and can't picture agriculture without lots of animals.
The Food Revolution, How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life And Our World, by John Robbins. This book takes on disease, factory farming, world hunger, GMO's, and fad diets. It makes a compelling argument for sustainable agricuture, organics & vegetarianism, by painting a graphic picture of what the North American meat-based diet is doing to the environment.
Veggie Revolution by Sally Kneidel, PhD, and Sara Kate Kneidel. In a straightforward, readable, personal and humorous way, Sally and Sara make the connections between vegetarianism, social activism and the environment.
Daily Granola: Another site that was hard to classify. It's about sustainable living, including green and referring to environment and agriculture, but also politics. Subtitled "finding your inner hippy one day at a time". DG is "A grassroots database of easy ways to make your life more sustainable day by day".
Environmental Attorneys: Even if you have no need or desire to consult an environmental attorney, this site is an excellent resource on environmental law, in the US and regionally, with over 50,000 pages. The environmental law content is extensive and free - that's why they're listed here. Anything you need to know about the subject is here - it's a unique and valuable resource.
Friends of Water has a great attitude towards water as part of our spiritual heritage, a basic human right, ours to conserve and protect. They have lots of excellent articles about water, a newsletter, and all sorts of water purification and conservation products. Tim at Friends says, "We're hoping to get the attention of 'householders', get them to think - and provide some tools they can use in their everyday lives that will increase their awareness, reduce their usage, and purify the water they are using."
Nature Conservancy The mission of the nature conservancy is to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth, by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy has five priority conservation initiatives to address the principal threats to conservation at the sites where they work, focusing on fire, climate change, freshwater, marine, and invasive species. Become a member, subscribe to their magazine, listen to podcasts.
Organic Consumers: Although Organic Consumers is about organic food, their activism covers all the related territory - environmental, non-gmo, political, especially in their extremely extensive articles index. I go there first whenever I'm looking for an article on any environmentally related topic, because they all live at OCA. My sincere thanks, to whoever maintains that database.
Union of Concerned Scientists: "UCS is an independent nonprofit alliance of more than 100,000 concerned citizens and scientists. We augment rigorous scientific analysis with innovative thinking and committed citizen advocacy to build a cleaner, healthier environment and a safer world." Translation: UCS is somewhat academic in tone, but not the sanctimonious tree huggers described by Grist, below. UCS aims to be main stream, and clearly wants to attract those whose environmental initiatives don't involve giving up their jobs and cars and going back to the land.
Acres USA: Bills itself as the oldest largest magazine covering eco-agriculture, aka sustainable agriculture. It isn't vegetarian, but is well worth reading. There are also articles on ecology, locally grown and marketed organic food, large scale production and distribution of compost and manure "tea", plus news about organic agriculture, and "the other side of agriculture", along with strong editorial political content of the less-government, sound financial management variety, plus very astute and farsighted reading of environmental and economic trends related to agriculture.
E: The Environmental Magazine: Published bimonthly by non-profit Earth Action Network, Inc. According to the mission statement, the purpose is to inform and inspire both the general public, and committed environmentalists by acting as a clearinghouse for news, info and commentary on environmental issues. The May/June 2003 issue has feature articles on the Bush administration's environmental agenda (rape, pillage, and burn), and ballot box strategies to save the planet.
Grist Magazine: "At Grist, we believe that news about green issues and sustainable living doesn't have to be predictable, demoralizing, or dull. We exist to tell the untold stories, spotlight trends before they become trendy, and engage the apathetic. We're fiercely independent in our coverage; we throw brickbats when they're needed and bestow kudos when they're warranted. And while we take our work seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously, because of the many things this planet is running out of, sanctimonious tree-huggers ain't one of them."
Mother Jones: If you're a die-hard bleeding heart liberal tree hugger (ie, committed environmentalist with a social conscience), you'll like Mother Jones. If you're not, you might have a stroke. Either way, read it. I like Mother Jones, not just because I like anything that supports my world view, but because of its straight-ahead, no b.s. tone. You'll find information in this magazine that you won't find most places.