Ahead of the G20’s Environment and Climate Sustainability Working Group (ECSWG) meeting in Mumbai (May 21-23), supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and Aashray Foundation will converge at a central garden in the city on Friday, in inflatable dinosaur costumes, bringing with them the message: “Stop Eating to Extinction. Go Vegan!”

The “dinosaurs” are urging the ECSWG to tackle the climate catastrophe witnessed across countries through policies that encourage consumers and businesses to go vegan. 

“Raising animals for food is a leading cause of environmental degradation, as it requires massive amounts of land, energy, and water while emitting enormous quantities of greenhouse gases,” said PETA India Campaigns Manager Radhika Suryavanshi. “PETA India urges G20 participants to help mitigate the worst effects of the climate catastrophe by committing to promoting vegan foods.” 

Meat, egg, and dairy production is a leading cause of pollution and the resultant ocean dead-zones, habitat destruction from land use, and species extinction, PETA said. The production consumes one-third of the world’s freshwater resources and, by some estimates, creates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation systems combined, it added. “Researchers at the University of Oxford found that every person who goes vegan lowers their food-related carbon footprint by up to 73 per cent, making it conceivably the single biggest way to reduce one’s negative impact on the planet.”

Vegan eating also helps animals, contends PETA India, as   its video exposé ‘Glass Walls shows “chickens used for eggs are confined to cages so small they can’t even spread a wing. Cows and buffaloes are crammed into vehicles in such large numbers that their bones often break before they’re dragged off to the slaughterhouse, and pigs are stabbed in the heart as they scream. On the decks of fishing boats, fish suffocate or are cut open while they’re still alive. Newborn male chicks in the egg industry are ground up, burned, or buried alive since they can’t lay eggs, while male calves in the dairy industry are commonly abandoned, left to starve, or killed since they can’t produce milk”, a PETA statement alleged.