Trying to adjust to the dystopian reality of having a climate denier (amid an embarrassment of other dreadful things) as president of the United States has made for a challenging few weeks. I’m finally emerging from the fog of disbelief and despair, licking the wounds of anguish, and clearing my head of despondency. I have to now, more than ever, draw on my core strength of grassroots activism. Not that I ever put a great deal of stock in government making large strides in creating a sustainable future, but at least, for a few years, it felt like there was some leadership assistance pushing the burdensome boulder of climate mitigation and animal liberation up the mountain of complacency, but that arduous rock just came crashing down on our heads.
Trump has pledged to revive the carbon emitting U.S. coal industry, create oil pipelines, roll back regulations protecting our air and water, and kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan that includes historic reductions from carbon pollution and expansion of the clean energy economy. Before the election, a study by Lux Research estimated that Trump’s energy policies would create 3.4 billion tons of additional carbon emissions in eight years, if he gets two terms.
It is now up to us to stand up, shake it off, roll up our sleeves, and get to work. We can no longer rely on our government to hear the thunderous warnings of the climate scientists; we have to save this planet ourselves, one person at a time, one plate at a time. We need a massive scale, global shift to a vegan diet.
We are at a critical time with the planet warming exponentially. Many scientists warn that to avoid catastrophic climate change, we need to keep the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gasses at 350 parts per million (ppm). This September, the planet registered at 400 ppm, surpassing that crucial threshold. We need immediate action to mitigate the damage that is coming from disastrous droughts, shattering storms, rising sea levels, climate refugees, and devastating famine.
The current trajectory for climate change mitigation is a shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and alternative transportation options. This takes time, money, resources, infrastructure change, and most critical to our discussion here, government involvement. We no longer have the luxury of sitting back and hoping that whatever administration is in power will help this planet or her animals. We must step up and take control of the situation ourselves.
Ok, so here is the hopeful part amidst the doom and gloom. A global shift to a plant-based diet could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help mitigate some of the worst effects of climate change, end the suffering of millions of farmed animals, and would take little or no time, money, resources, infrastructure change OR government involvement to make it happen. In fact, it could practically happen overnight. It would just take the will of the people to alter their food purchases to plants. It’s that simple. It can be done.
But it starts with you and me. Outreach is key and that is why I have dedicated my life to educating our community about the power of our plate and why it is so vital to choose only animal-free foods. But I can’t do it alone, Compassionate Living needs you! If you are in the Bay Area, won’t you make a commitment in 2017 to helping us promote a vegan diet on the grassroots level by volunteering for our Outreach Team? If time is tight and activism is not for you, perhaps you would become a monthly donor and help us sustain our outreach throughout the year.
In whatever way you can help, let’s climb out of the Trump Slump and get to work! The animals and the planet are counting on us.