Keep the Blue Mountains Food Co-Op free of animal cruelty
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We ask that the directors and board of the Blue Mountains Food Co-op maintain the Co-op as an ethical place for consumers to shop and refrain from selling animal meat. The sale of animal meat runs counter to the green, ethical and sustainable values held by many local residents.
The Blue Mountains Food Co-op has been viewed and promoted as a place for 'conscious consumers' to shop. The over-riding policy of the food co-op is “Good Food that Doesn’t Cost the Earth.” However, the production of animal meat is an environmental, ethical and animal welfare issue. On another level it impacts the emotional wellbeing of the many who are sensitive to animal suffering.
Animal agriculture is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse emissions and global warming.
A research review published in leading journal Science (August 2018) notes that "Meat consumption is rising annually as human populations grow and affluence increases. ... This trend ... has major negative consequences for land and water use and environmental change."
"Meat produces more emissions per unit of energy compared with that of plant-based foods because energy is lost at each trophic level." (Science, August 2018)
"The most important anthropogenic GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, and nitrous oxide (N2O). Meat production results in the emissions of all three and is the single most important source of methane." (Science, August 2018)
Methane (formed in the stomachs of ruminant animals such as cows, goats, sheep and buffalo) contributes up to 51 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Methane is released primarily by belching and breathing, and is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. Animal agriculture of all kinds, including pig and chicken farming, additionally increases deforestation, another major contributor to climate change.
Currently, we are in the sixth wave of animal extinction due chiefly to deforestation, loss of habitats and climate change. "The most substantial direct way in which meat production affects biodiversity is through land conversion to agriculture." (Science, August 2018)
Animal agriculture also uses a third of all freshwater used in agriculture. (Science, August 2018)
Climate change is a very serious global and national issue. Australia is the highest emitter of greenhouse gases per capita of any OECD country, and will also be one of the worst affected by climate change. According to projections by government site "Climate Change in Australia", we will experience an increase in drought and heatwaves, and greater occurrence and intensity of extreme weather events such as wildfires, floods and cyclones as well as loss of inland water and species including those beneficial to our food supply.
We, the customers and supporters of the BM Food Co-op ask you to lead on climate change and reflect our values. Unfortunately, too many who claim to be green and sustainable, continue to prop up the meat industry. Rather than hollow claims, we ask you to back these with more difficult decisions, and ban the sale of meat from your outlet.
Many global leaders on climate change are calling for a reduction in animal agriculture. Though it may not be popular, the statistics on this bear out the facts.
Let’s hope we can all come together to build a better world based on our highest values rather than cave to the need and greed for animal meat, and those that profit from it.
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