With the end of the Christmas and New Year celebrations I hope that 2010 will see the start of a kinder, compassionate world for all beings.

It was Pythagoras who said, “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” So too, our ravenous appetite for flesh is destroying us and our world.

While there are 6.8 billion humans on the planet a staggering 53 billion land animals and 87 billion marine animals are brutally slaughtered every year for human consumption.

People either turn a blind eye to the senseless suffering and far reaching consequences of a meat and dairy based diet, or maybe they just don’t know.

Maybe they don’t know that the livestock industries are responsible for over half the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. This was the conclusion from a recent study by World Bank environmental specialists.

Or they don’t know that meat and dairy industries cause deforestation, land degradation, water scarcity, ocean and fresh water pollution, loss of biodiversity and species extinction.

According the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation livestock farming is responsible for over 70% of deforestation in the Amazon.

All of Earth’s inhabitants deserve to live happy, harmonious lives but if we continue down this path of relentless and brutal treatment of animals as mere commodities, as well as environmental ignorance we’ll see to it that no being including us humans will live in peace or have a habitable planet to live on.

A plant-based diet is not only healthier for us, it is has significantly less impact on the environment and climate change, and alleviates the suffering of other sentient beings.

My great hope for 2010 and beyond is that we humans realise the worth of our beautiful planet and all of her inhabitants as well as our own self-worth, and end the senseless slaughter of all animals and marine life for food.

Lefki Pavlidis
Hughesdale Vic 3166