Raya Mananquil: Vegetarianism as a greening effort

Supermodel and Gen M Judge Raya Mananquil urges, ‘Go Green—Go Vegetarian’.

Supermodel and Gen M Judge Raya Mananquil urges, ‘Go Green—Go Vegetarian’

Top model Raya Mananquil — who is also a judge on ETC’s Gen M — has stripped down to a green bikini for a new Earth Day–themed ad for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia. In the ad, the longtime vegetarian dons a pair of leafy “wings” and cradles a baby pig below the words, “Go Green. Go Vegetarian.”

“I encourage everyone to go vegetarian to stop abuse and cruelty to animals all around the world,” says Mananquil. “And a vegetarian diet is a great way to help the environment, so what better time to start than Earth Day?”

“Raya Mananquil knows that going vegetarian is the best thing that people can do for animals, the environment, and their own health,” adds PETA Asia Director Jason Baker. “The easiest way for everyone to fight climate change this Earth Day is to kick the meat habit.”

A recent U.N. report determined that the meat industry is “one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global” and recommends that the meat industry be “a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water storage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity”.

  • Land degradation: Animal grazing has been responsible for loss of topsoil and eventual desertification in many parts of the world; after animals destroy the land’s protective vegetation, wind removes the soil and converts formerly productive rangeland into desert.
  • Climate change: Satisfying the world’s appetite for animal flesh requires fuel to produce fertilizer for the crops that are fed to animals, gas to run the trucks that take the animals to slaughter, electricity to freeze their carcasses, and much more. It takes more than 10 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein as it takes to make one calorie of plant protein. In fact, researchers at the University of Chicago in the U.S. have concluded that switching from a meat-based diet to a vegan diet does more to fight climate change than switching from a standard car to a hybrid does.
  • Water storage: Each day, animal agriculture consumes 2.5 trillion liters of water—enough for every person in the world to take eight showers.
  • Water pollution: Waste, antibiotics, and pesticides from factory farms and slaughterhouses contaminate water sources. Farmed animals produce 13 billion metric tons of excrement a year—that’s 48 times as much as the world’s human population produces.
  • Loss of biodiversity: Forest lands in China and South America are being destroyed to clear space for grazing or to grow food for farmed animals.

And factory farming causes immense animal suffering. In today’s industrialized meat and dairy industries, chickens and turkeys have their throats cut while they’re still conscious, piglets have their tails and testicles cut off without being given any painkillers, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive on the decks of fishing boats, and calves are taken away from their mothers within hours of birth.

In addition to being kinder to the environment and to animals, a diet that excludes meat, eggs, and dairy products can lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and acne in adults as well as allergies, ear infections, and juvenile-onset diabetes in children. Ninety percent of Filipinos are lactose-intolerant, and avoiding dairy products can help people’s bodies work more efficiently. A healthy vegan diet can also help anyone stay slim.

Mananquil is part of a long list of international stars — including Geneva Cruz, Pamela Anderson, Natalie Portman, Sir Paul McCartney, Maggie Q, and Barbie Hsu — who have kicked the meat habit.

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