26 Mar A Hoof in the Door to Human Earth and Animal Liberation
Dear Climate Healers,
Alicia Santuro and Alexandra Paul were on trial for misdemeanors, with the prospect of a 6 month imprisonment each, for rescuing two chickens from Foster Farms, one of the largest poultry producers in the world. They were prosecuted by a district attorney with tremendous experience in obtaining felony convictions and who had clearly bought into the corporate line from Foster Farms.
Contrary to the wildest expectations of even the defense legal team, both Alicia and Alexandra were acquitted by a jury of their peers. They were set scot free and this is the second time this has happened in a few months. It’s as if the American public is telling us activists to go ahead and put an end to animal exploitation, once and for all.
Thus began a banner week for Animal Liberation. Following talks at S-Vyasa University and Natureville in Bengaluru, I joined with over 500 animal liberation activists from all over India during the Bengaluru Animal Rights March and public outreach over the weekend. We marched for four kilometers through the busy streets of Bengaluru, distributing flyers on Saturday. On Sunday morning, we went to a dog park and spoke to animal lovers about dairy and meat consumption. In the evening, we went to four different locations to do outreach among the weekend crowds.
On Monday, I spoke to students of development economics at Azim Premji University in Bengaluru, followed by a screening of Cowspiracy at the University. On Tuesday, I spoke at Sri SakthiKailashh women’s college in Salem, Tamilnadu at their International Conference on the Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity and Ecosystem. The Conference was organized by the Department of Biotechology and Microbiology in association with the Siddha Vetha Center for Transdisciplinary Studies.
Thus ended my month-long tour of India. I’ve been invited to come back and help with a new initiative to restore land and ecosystems globally, through an umbrella initiative anchored by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with India taking the lead as President of G20 in 2023. I’m looking forward to see where that goes.
The Million Vegan Grandmothers Take On the Legal System
Meanwhile, the Million Vegan Grandmothers did their bit cajoling the District Attorney of Merced County, California, to do her job on behalf of the public, instead of merely following orders from corporate headquarters at Foster Farms.
Date: March 15, 2023
Merced County District Attorney
550 West Main Street
Merced, CA 95340
Dear District Attorney Silveira,
We are deeply saddened by the multiple eyewitness accounts and videos of systematic and ongoing animal abuse being perpetrated by California’s largest poultry producer, Foster Farms. We understand that you yourself have in your possession attorney reports documenting Foster Farms’ routine violation of California Penal Code 579 (a) and (b). Despite this mounting evidence, however, no legal action appears to have been taken against the company to put a stop to the abuses. On the contrary, animal rights activists Alexandra Paul and Alicia Santurio are currently being tried for having rescued two of Foster Farms’ sick chickens from a slaughter truck. Their trial speaks volumes about the legal system’s de facto prioritization of corporate rights over animal rights.
As vegan grandmothers, we are accustomed to making the moral case against the exploitation of animals; in the current instance, we demand simply that legal justice be done, and that Foster Farms be held accountable for their crimes in accordance with animal cruelty legislation already on the books. As for Alexandra Paul and Alicia Santurio, since their actions were, arguably, morally necessitated by California’s failure to enforce a law designed to protect the very animals they rescued, we ask that the case against them be dropped.
The world is watching.
The Million Vegan Grandmothers
3145 E Chandler Blvd #110-233
Phoenix, AZ 85048
As you know now, the District Attorney lost her case and therefore, please feel free to copy this letter and amend it accordingly before sending it on to her.
Meanwhile, Dotsie Bausch of Switch4Good asked me to provide her with top 5-10 facts about animal agriculture and climate change to pass on to the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Committee. Here is the list I came up with, including sources:
Top Six Facts About Animal Agriculture and Climate Change
1. 77% of the agricultural land on the planet is directly used for raising animals, while 23% is used for raising crops. Since half the crops are fed to animals, animal agriculture accounts for 86% of the agricultural land area of the planet.
2. 7% of the ice-free land area of the planet provides 85% of the food we eat in the form of plant foods. Animal agriculture takes up 43% of the ice-free land area of the planet, while providing just 12% of the food we eat in the form of meat, dairy and eggs. The seafood we eat constitute the remaining 3%, for which we we have been destroying the entire ocean,
3. Each and every day, the methane that is emitted from animal agriculture causes more incremental planetary heating than the CO2 emitted from all fossil fuel sources combined.
4. Land stores three times as much CO2 as the atmosphere. 98% of the CO2 stored on land is in forests and croplands while 2% is in deserts and grazing lands used for animal agriculture.
5. In the past 10,000 years, humans have cut about 3 trillion trees, about half the trees on the planet, mainly to raise animals for food.
6. If we restore the native ecosystems on the grazing lands that are currently being used for animal agriculture, we can reverse climate change.
 Calculated from the land use breakdown on Page 4 of the UN IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land Use, 2019 and the biomass distribution on Page 836 of the UN IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 11.
 Calculated from the biomass distribution on Page 836 of the UN IPCC AR5 WG3 Chapter 11.
 Rao, S. K., “Animal Agriculture is the Leading Cause of Climate Change,” Journal of Ecological Society, Vol 32-33, 2021.
 The ratio of the CO2 sequestration on land to the CO2 in the atmosphere is calculated from data found in the UN IPCC AR5 WG1 Chapter 6, Fig 6.1, Page 471. The percentage distribution of CO2 is taken from the Integrated Science Assessment Model (ISAM) of the University of Illinois and it was reported in Rao, Jain and Shu, “The Lifestyle Carbon Dividend,” AGU 2015.
 Crowther, T.W., et. al., Mapping Tree Density at a Global Scale, Nature 525, Sep 2015, pp. 201-205.
 Rao, Jain and Shu, “The Lifestyle Carbon Dividend,” AGU 2015.
The Opportunity Cost Deception
By now, it is well known that the UN IPCC makes dire pronouncements about the harmful impacts of climate change, admits that animal foods have an order of magnitude greater climate impact than equivalent plant foods and yet the UN openly serves animal foods at all Climate Change meetings. As author, Aurora Almendral, states, “It is no secret that the climate change discourse is shrouded in obfuscation, disinformation, greenwashing and lies, both outright and of omission.”
With that as prelude, to illustrate the Opportunity Cost deception, imagine someone screaming at the top of his lungs that he is drowning in the ocean and needs a helicopter to come and rescue him. Right behind him, there’s a huge boat that he can climb onto for safety, but he chooses to ignore it because he couldn’t be bothered to make the effort to climb up the ladder hanging off the boat.
That life-saving boat is the Opportunity Cost of the 40% of the ice free land area of the planet that we could free up if we abandoned animal agriculture in favor of a plant-based Vegan world. Every day we choose to continue consuming animal products is a day we choose not to rewild that 40% of the ice-free land area of the planet and thereby start healing the climate. Instead, by choosing to continue consuming animal products, we choose to continue heating the climate, while destroying an additional 100,000 acres of tropical forest and extinguishing another 100 species, every single day.
Surely, when we know better, we can do better.
Thank you for your support.
HELP us every day to
Heal the planet.
It’s that simple.
Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOOvement together.
With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of Vega, Cow and Climate Healer and the Climate Healers core team
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Chip, Debra, Gabriele, Ilse, Jamen, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer).