World Ocean Day: Stop Eating Meat To Protect The ‘Lungs Of Our Planet’ – NZ Vegetarian Society


Celebrated on 8th June 2021, World Oceans Day is an important reminder to everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life.

Often referred to as the ‘lungs of our planet,’ oceans are a critical part of the biosphere. World Ocean Day is celebrated with the aim to connect people around the world to celebrate and honour our shared ocean. Organizational leaders around the world provide resources to inform the public of human actions and the affect they have, as well as creating projects for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.

Researchers have predicted that all fisheries will completely collapse by 2048, mainly due to the loss of bio-diversity caused by overfishing and the multiple other human threats facing ocean wildlife and ecosystems (including climate change and pollution).

It is important to realise that oceans are not an inexhaustible resource, and these fragile marine eco-systems are not able to withstand our continuous abuse. 80% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the sea, with spokesperson from the NZ Vegetarian Society, Charlotte Besant, saying “If the oceans die, we die. It really is that simple.”

With the destruction of our natural world highlighted through documentaries like ‘Seaspiricy,’ more people are deciding to exclude animal products from their diets. Even though eliminating seafood from your diet is the best way to stop supporting the rapid depletion of fished species and the many other marine animals who fall victim to fisheries as by-catch, consuming meat and other animal products also has a devastating impact on the sea.

Animal agricultural operations produce massive amounts of waste, polluting rivers, streams and the ocean. Fertilizers, pesticides and antibiotics from operations producing crops that feed farm animals end up in the ocean and contribute to the extinction of marine life. Methane emissions from factory farms also add up significantly to climate change and ocean acidification.

According to the UN, agriculture accounts for the most use of water, with up to 70 percent of global water usage being used for crops to feed livestock. Many places around the world are currently facing water shortages and droughts, yet animal agriculture is consuming such a large proportion of freshwater. It is estimated that it takes 2,393 litres of water to make just one hamburger and 15,415 litres of water to produce one steak! This is an extremely concerning reality. Imagine all the water that could be saved by following a plant-based diet!

Our world needs transformational change, and the more people turn to a plant-based diet, the better it will be for the planet. The NZ Vegetarian Society offers support and advice if you want to start your veg~n journey. You can sign up to a free 21-Day-Plant-Based-Challenge where you will receive recipes and motivation to ensure your success.

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