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This series was prepared by Paul Clark for St. Catherine's in North Vancouver, and generously shared with us here at St. John's for the Season of Creation! 

Hi again,hope you had some fun trying a new veggie recipe or having a good conversation around the benefits of a plant based diet.

Heres some more background information and further benefits that I’ve come across.

First: Its equitable. Forcing developing nations to forgo fossil fuels in their attempt to get out of poverty is not just. Unless renewables can be brought on stream at reasonable cost the 1 billion people that burn wood today could be better served by natural gas as an interim step.   Solar and wind will require massive infrastructure investments and years to complete. In the case of food , most developing nations are more plant based already. Unfortunately the trend is to eat more meat. If the west lessens its meat consumption it may encourage people in developing nations to stay veggie.

Second: Its fast. People can switch diets overnight if they want to and save money. Very few people can buy an electric vehicle to say nothing of the delivery times which have already stretched to over 2 years for many models. As well, producing the batteries is very carbon intensive. It takes between two to four years of driving for the electric vehicles total carbon emmisions be less than a comparable gas vehicle. Therefore it will take up to six years to even start to see some impact on total emmisions. On a side note, the mining of the metals to make the battery ( nickel, cobalt and lithium) are very environmentally destructive .Toxic by-products and unsafe mining practices in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo are just some of the not so green aspects of the electric car.  Also some of the big proposed mines are being opposed by local indigenous peoples who have already had much of their traditional lands ruined by development.

Third: It has indirect benefits. As mentioned last week it prevents deforestation. Land use is reduced by 75% so the need to clear-cut forests in the Amazon is eliminated. Water use is ten times less . Factory farms are unbelieveably in-humane. I worked on a chicken farm when I was young and witnessed the conditions and treatment. The cages are stacked on top of each other with no room to move and the smell is overpowering. I wont go into the more graphic details which I’m sure you have already heard.

Finally if none of the above are issues you feel strongly about then perhaps the greatest benefit is for your own health. Next week we will dive into the nutritional and disease prevention aspects of a vegetarian diet. Stay tuned.

In the meantime here is a website that can give you information on everything vegan.