After an unprecedented victory by the Green Party in Germany's elections, Green candidate Winfried Kretschmann is preparing to be the party's first appointed governor in the state of Baden-Württemberg. One newspaper called it "the start of a new political era in Germany."
The Green era could be the animal-friendly era, too, if the party opts to support healthy vegetarian and vegan diets. It would make perfect sense, considering that a German study conducted in 2008 concluded that the diet of a meat-eater is responsible for more than seven times as much greenhouse-gas emissions as the diet of a vegan is.
Raising animals for food is one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions. (Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide together are responsible for the vast majority of global warming.) In addition, runoff from factory farms pollutes our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.
And where does all that farmland come from? An area of land equivalent to the size of seven football fields is bulldozed every minute in order to create pasture and raise crops for farmed animals.
You don't have to be German to go green. Just order a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit—and maybe you won't feel so guilty about your old incandescent light bulbs.
Written by Michelle Sherrow