Meat, egg, dairy industries account for 65pc worldwide nitrous oxide

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Mumbai, Feb 29 (UNI) Nitrous oxide is about 300 times more potent as a global-warming gas than carbon dioxide.

According to the UN, the meat, egg and dairy industries account for a staggering 65 per cent of worldwide nitrous-oxide emissions says Puja Joshi of PETA Dishoom.

''Millions of chickens spend their entire lives confined to tiny battery cages in huge factory warehouses, which contain as many as 1,500 to 2,000 cages. Each cage holds six to seven birds who are packed together so tightly, they cannot even stretch a wing.

Nine-day-old chicks have their sensitive beaks cut off with a searing blade in a process called debeaking. Hens lose their feathers because of stress and constant rubbing against the wire cages leading to bruises, abrasions and boils in their bodies,'' Ms Puja adds.

Keeping this in mind, Grasim Mr India 2003 Rajneesh Duggal who has turned a vegetarion says, ''After hearing about the cruelty involved in raising and killing animals for food, I have begun advocating vegetarianism to all my friends.'' A state-level Judo champion and the best athlete in his school, Rajneesh says, ''One doesn't have to eat meat and eggs to get enough protein. You have soya for that, and legumes and pulses are packed with protein. I watch meat-eaters struggling with their weight, but I have no trouble keeping fit.'' ''Eating meat is not only bad for your health but it is also disastrous for environment. In a groundbreaking 2006 report, the United Nations (UN) determined that ''raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined,'' Ms Puja says.

Senior, UN Food and Agriculture Organisation official Henning Steinfeld reported that the meat industry is ''one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems''.

''Unfortunately, too many Indians eat a fatty, cholesterol-laden, meat-based diet. As a result, India now has one of the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the world. Studies show that meat consumption is directly connected to rise in cardiovascular diseases, strokes and several types of cancer. For that reason alone, millions of people all over the world are choosing to go vegetarian,'' adds Ms Puja.

''The best thing you can do for animals, Mother Earth and your own well-being is to go vegetarian'', says Rajneesh. ''It doesn't take a lot of effort, and the rewards are long-lasting and bountiful,'' he adds.

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