Mercy For Animals India has written to the prime minister, asking that policy measures promoting plant-based foods be implemented this Earth Day. Our letter highlights the continued rise in pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and the disproportionate percentage of these emissions generated by the dairy industry. The letter also appeals to the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, as well as the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to keep this planetary wrecking ball from stealing our future.
According to a joint report by the Vasudha and Shakti foundations, Indian farmed animals are responsible for over 200 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Moreover, cows and buffaloes in the dairy industry are the main source of methane emissions. Methane is the second-most-abundant human-caused greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. It is responsible for an estimated 23 percent of all warming caused by human-induced greenhouse gases.
Mercy For Animals believes that a shift to animal-free foods holds transformative potential. It could not only curb climate change but combat air and water pollution and, in turn, the disproportionate impact of concentrated animal feeding operations on vulnerable communities. As many chefs can attest, the popularity of plant-based foods is growing, and requests for animal-free dishes are ever more frequent. India has an advantage, with its diverse agriculture and abundant foods, such as legumes, cereals, fruits, and vegetables, which can be used to create a wide variety of plant-based products.