A First-Of-Its-Kind Magazine On Environment Which Is For Nature, Of Nature, By Us (RNI No.: UPBIL/2016/66220)

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Soy is mostly used as cattle feed…

TreeTake is a monthly bilingual colour magazine on environment that is fully committed to serving Mother Nature with well researched, interactive and engaging articles and lots of interesting info.

Soy is mostly used as cattle feed…

वीगन जीवनशैली के विषय में यह भ्रम भी है कि इसके लिए सोयाबीन खाने की आवश्यकता है जबकि ये बिल्कुल गलत है। वीगन अर्थात पौध आधारित आहार के लिए हम अपने पारंपरिक अनाज, दालें, फल व सब्जियों के ओर मुड़ें जो आज धरती के अधिकांश जगहों पर आसानी से व बहुत कम मूल्य में उपलब्ध है...

Soy is mostly used as cattle feed…


We Asked: Do you know the world has lost 69% of forest land only because of cheating it away for agricultural purposes? Do you think artificial nonindigenous agriculture like growing soybean and almond on a much larger scale today mainly to satiate the vegans makes sense?

Our world population is growing exponentially. By 2050, the earth will host a whopping 9.6 billion people. And of course, there will be unprecedented demand for food, housing, fashion and travel. That is where the problem lies- population growth! It may seem farfetched from the topic we are discussing, but in actuality the problem is in the numbers, and so will the solution be in future. A few decades ago, industrial agriculture seemed to be the perfect answer to the problem of world hunger. Nonagricultural lands and forest lands were encroached upon aggressively in order to meet the demands for food production. It was only in the recent times that the negative impact of industrial agriculture came to the forefront. An assessment published by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) found forest land amounting to 43 million hectares, cleared across the Tropics and Subtropics for this purpose- the largest direct driver mainly being commercial and animal agriculture. India herself lost 668,400 hectares of forest land between 2015 and 2020 for mega infra projects, a news report said. To meet the rising demands for food, an average of 2 acres of rainforest is decimated every day. The negative side of the industrial agriculture is not only the quantum of production, it is also the methods and choice of produce. Intense animal agriculture contributes to 14.5% of greenhouse gas emissions that is leading to drastic climate change. 92% of the world’s freshwater is used for farming purposes, rearing livestock and producing animal products. All this is being done at the cost of destruction of our forest lands leading to extinction of multiple species of wildlife. While there is nothing wrong in going global, we need to learn to put our consumerism on a tight leash. We have forgotten to eat and wear local, as a result we are increasingly demanding that non-indigenous products be grown or manufactured locally. This demand puts pressure on the availability of land, and our farmers are forced to make a foray into forest land. When these products are imported, they leave a dangerous amount of carbon footprint. Since we are specifically discussing soybean and almonds, we have to face the fact that the world now produces 13 times more soy than before, and it comes at a great cost to the environment. Of course, all that soy is not consumed by humans alone, it is a major contributor in industrial animal fodder, but just by making better choices we can contribute to a lesser production of soy. To be a vegan, we don’t necessarily need to depend on soy or almonds for milk. Did you know that millets like ragi can give us the tastiest milk and milk products, apart from the fun fact that ragi is a local produce? So, simply by giving up animal products and lessening the consumption of non-indigenous products like soy, we will be able to make a huge impact in the environment. Are we going to sit back and watch our only home being destroyed? No! Let us start thinking beyond soybeans and almonds. Let us start  to contribute  to reach NetZero by 2050.  Make choices every single day that will affect our environment, our climate and other species in a positive way. To make more room for wildlife and plants, make conscious decisions about your food, lifestyle as well as the size of your family. It is not just enough to be a vegan; we need to consume mindfully to have a positive impact on our environment. Start by assessing your food consumption – scrutinise the kind of food you eat, and its source. Combating climate change will have to start with the choices on our plates, we will have to shift our demands from industrial produce to agroecology which will preserve eco systems, that will support polycultural crops to ensure that the health of the earth’s soil stays vibrant. Eat low on the food chain, even one vegetarian meal can significantly reduce greenhouse emissions. Eat local – cutting down on fossil fuels for transportation will reduce carbon footprint. Ditch bottled water – the extraction of the water as well the production process of the bottles is notoriously harmful for communities and wildlife. Think twice before shopping – do you really need all those items on your list? And when you do buy, buy in bulk. Eliminate the use of single use plastics and multiple trips to the stores. Avoid trendy plastic based textiles. Choose natural fibers. Commute sustainably. Drive green - use car pools, public transport or bicycles as much as you can. Take-offs and landings use up most energy, so try to choose to fly nonstop. At home use energy efficient devices like LED bulbs. Boycott wildlife products. Go paperless – embrace digital! Be a part of programmes that are transforming the earth – those that are cleaning up oceans, recycling, upcycling. Support green communities. Choose to have a small family – the earth is already reeling under pressure to provide food, water, land and fuel to the existing 7.5 billion people. A sustainable population will lead to promotion of human rights, better access to health services, better education and standard of living, and will allow ecosystems to thrive. Use your vote to elect representatives with strong environmental alignment.  In a world under threat of bio diversity loss, we are obligated to make a paradigm shift in our overall lifestyle decisions. And what better time to start that now-while reading this article! -Shakuntala Majumdar, President, Thane CPCA

The loss of forest land, accounting for 69% due to its conversion for agricultural purposes, is a concerning trend. Forests are vital for maintaining ecosystem balance, providing habitats for diverse species, and acting as carbon sinks to mitigate climate change. Deforestation on such a large scale raises questions about sustainable land use practices and the long-term implications of these actions. The rise of artificial, non-indigenous agriculture, particularly the large-scale cultivation of crops like soybeans and almonds to meet the demand of the vegan population, requires careful consideration. While it is important to respect dietary choices and offer food options for various preferences, the sustainability of these practices must be evaluated. Growing soybeans and almonds on a massive scale requires significant amounts of land, water, and resources. The expansion of such agriculture often leads to deforestation, habitat destruction, and biodiversity loss. Additionally, the intensive use of water resources for these crops raises concerns in regions prone to water scarcity. A more sustainable approach involves promoting indigenous and locally adapted crops that require fewer resources and have a lower ecological footprint. Emphasizing a diverse and balanced diet, inclusive of locally available fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, can reduce the dependency on non-indigenous crops and contribute to food security. Striking a balance between meeting dietary preferences and preserving the environment is crucial. Encouraging responsible land management practices, reforestation efforts, and the adoption of sustainable farming techniques like agroforestry and organic farming can contribute to a more sustainable food system. Education and awareness about the environmental impact of dietary choices are essential. Engaging in dialogues and promoting conscious consumerism can help individuals make informed decisions that support both their dietary needs and the preservation of forests. In conclusion, the loss of forest land for agriculture is a significant concern. While addressing dietary preferences is important, large-scale cultivation of non-indigenous crops like soybeans and almonds for the vegan population raises sustainability issues. Adopting a sustainable approach, promoting indigenous crops, and encouraging conscious consumerism can help strike a balance between dietary choices and environmental preservation. Prioritizing long-term environmental sustainability while meeting the dietary needs of the growing population is crucial. - Basant Kr Mahato Rajan, director,ABC KIds College, Bihar

बढ़ती जनसंख्या का दबाव एवं वन भूमि के स्वामित्व देने की सरकारी प्रक्रिया के कारण वन भूमि तेजी से घट रही है। वन मंत्रालय की एक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार अभी 21.23% से में वन क्षेत्र है जो चिंता का विषय है। आबादी के अनुसार वन क्षेत्र का 33 फीसदी होना चाहिए। जितनी तेजी से वन भूमि घटेगी जैव विविधता एवं पर्यावरण को उतना ही तेजी से नुकसान होगा। आंकड़े बताते हैं कि 5 सालों में 1. 2 लाख हेक्टेयर जंगल खत्म हो चुके हैं। शाकाहारी श्रेणी में आने वाली फसल बादाम एवं सोयाबीन की जहां तक बात है, इन फसलों के विकल्प में अन्य फसलों के उत्पादन पर विचार किया जाना चाहिए। बादाम की फसल, जिस लंबी अवधि में पक कर तैयार होती है, और उसे जितने पानी की आवश्यकता है, इतनी लंबी अवधि में अन्य सजद एवं सरल वैकल्पिक फसलों को लिया जा सकता है। - सतीश उपाध्याय, वरिष्ठ पर्यावरण विद्, मनेंद्रगढ़ जिला एमसीबी छत्तीसगढ़

Do you know the world has lost 69% of forest land only because of cheating it away for agricultural purposes? Today, systems linked to animal agriculture—that is those related to the breeding, rearing and slaughter of animals for meat, eggs and dairy—occupy nearly half of the global surface area. At the same time, 83 per cent of all agricultural land is occupied by facilities linked to the rearing or feeding of animals used for food. A group of scientists who published a paper in Science and the Total Environment titled ‘Biodiversity conservation: The key is reducing meat consumption’ warn meat, egg and dairy consumption is the largest threat to most plant and animal species through the land cleared to rear animals for these industries and grow the crops to feed them, and their other environmental impacts. Do you think artificial non-indigenous agriculture like growing soybean and almond on much larger scale today mainly to satiate the vegan makes sense? While up to 828 million people in the world lack enough food to eat, one-third of the world’s cropland is used to feed cattle, chickens and other animals reared for food. In fact, up to more than 90 per cent of worldwide soy production is used to feed these animals. Researchers have found that if humans were fed with crops direct instead of channeled through animals, an additional four billion people could be fed. What’s more, a University of Oxford study found a glass of dairy milk to be nearly three times worse for greenhouse gas emissions than milks made from plants. The study also showed dairy milk trumped almond, oat, soy and rice milks in water and land use. The best and easiest thing we can do as individuals to help animals, the planet, improve our own health and fight world hunger is to be and eat vegan. -Dr Kiran Ahuja (B.P.Th, DNHE), Manager of Vegan Projects, PETA India

Out of almost 8 billion people, only 1-2 percent is vegans out of which many are raw vegan, fruitarians etc. Have we lost it? or are we blind? Or someone still fooling us? The total world production of soybeans in 2020 was 353,463,735 metric tonnes, where is this produce going- to feed who? The 8 million people can’t consume so much of the produce even if they eat only soya whole year. The total production of almonds in the world is  3,214,522 tonnes and all vegans must be so rich to consume all that in a year without giving anything to non-vegetarians and vegetarians- even they require this dry fruit for festivals and share with their high altitude ration. When I found out how desertification and climate change was caused, I became a vegan from a hardcore non-vegetarian who even had a poultry farm. Actual reason for desertification, climate change, water pollution and poverty are animal agriculture for human consumption in different ways such as meat, egg, diary, leather etc. As per Wikipedia (or any other research data will show), animal life stock bio mass is 100MT + almost double of humans and this is a huge burden on the mother planet in so many ways. They mainly  eat vegan food soya, corn. The resources to maintain such huge number of livestock is humongous. It requires only common sense to identify where our resource is draining in the form of land, water calamities etc. No government or country required to save us; we can save ourselves by one action- avoiding animals from our plate. This way of life is not sustainable. Be a leader change the world. - Capt. Joseph Pinto, SHARAN, and a farmer, pilot, entrepreneur, and now working for a sustainable planet

पारंपरिक अनाज के बजाय सोयाबीन को बढ़ावा देने का जिम्मेदार कौन? अगर हम बात करें कि धरती पर सबसे ज्यादा प्रभाव हम इंसान अपनी किस गतिविधि के माध्यम से डाल रहे हैं, तो वो है कृषि और पशुपालन। संयुक्त राष्ट्र के ‘खाद्य एवं कृषि संगठन‘ के अनुसार हम धरती के स्थानीय भाग का 38ः आज कृषि में इस्तेमाल कर रहे हैं और कृषि योग्य कुल हिस्से का लगभग 77ः प्रत्यक्ष या अप्रत्यक्ष रूप से पशुपालन में इस्तेमाल किया जा रहा है। आज हम इंसानों की जनसंख्या लगभग 8 अरब पहुंची है और हम हर वर्ष 70 अरब से ज्यादा फार्म के स्थलीय पशुओं को मांस, डेयरी, अंडा आदि के लिए पैदा कराते और मारते हैं। हमारी 8 अरब की जनसंख्या आज धरती पर एक बोझ बन चुकी है क्योंकि हम जितनी अधिक तादात में होते हैं, उतना अधिक संसाधनों का दोहन करते हैं। बिल्कुल वैसे ही फार्म के पशु भी जितनी अधिक संख्या में होते हैं उतना अधिक उनके चारे-दाने, चारागाह, रहने के लिए भूमि की आवश्यकता पड़ती है। आज धरती पर स्तनधारी प्राणियों के कुल बॉयोमास का 62% फार्म के पशु जैसे गाय, भैंस, भेड़, बकरी आदि हैं, 34% इंसान और 4% में 6000 से ज्यादा प्रजातियों के स्तनधारी प्राणी हैं। मांस, डेयरी, अंडा उद्योग के कारण उपजाया गया यह असंतुलन आज जलवायु परिवर्तन, प्रजातियों के विलुप्तिकरण, जंगलों की कटाई, मिट्टी के विनाश आदि समस्याओं का प्रमुख कारण है। आज धरती पर उगाई जाने वाली प्रमुख फसलों में धान, गेहूं, मक्का व सोयाबीन है। धरती पर उगाए जाने वाले कुल सोयाबीन का 77% और कुल मक्के का 80% तक आज पशुओं को खिलाया जाता है। जबकि कुल सोया का मात्र 7ः मानव उपयोग में लिया जाता है। सांसद मेनका गांधी के अनुसार भारत में भी उगाए जाने वाले कुल सोयाबीन का अधिकांश हिस्सा यूरोप में फार्म के पशुओं को खिलाने के लिए निर्यात किया जाता है और भारत का 60% से अधिक मक्का भी पशुओं को ही खिलाया जाता है। इस प्रकार न सिर्फ सोयाबीन बल्कि मांस, डेयरी, अंडा आदि के लिए बढ़ाई जा रही कृषि की मांग का बुरा असर आज धरती पर हर तरफ पड़ रहा है। ये पशुउत्पाद कृषि के कुल ग्रीनहाउस गैस उत्सर्जन के 60% के लिए जिम्मेदार हैं जबकि इनसे धरती के सभी इंसानों की सिर्फ 37% प्रोटीन की व 18% कैलोरी की मांग की पूर्ति होती है। पशु उत्पादों को छोड़कर स्थानीय व मौसम आधारित पौध आधारित भोजन की ओर मुड़ना आज पर्यावरण के हर आयाम को बचाने के लिए नितांत आवश्यक है क्योंकि ऐसे पौध आहार को उगाने के लिए अपेक्षाकृत बहुत कम भूमि, पानी, रसायन की जरूरत पड़ती है और ग्रीनहाउस गैस उत्सर्जन भी काफी कम होता है। यदि धरती की बड़ी आबादी पौध आधारित ‘‘वीगन‘‘ जीवनशैली को अपनाए तो हमें सभी इंसानों का पेट भरने के लिए कम भूमि की आवश्यकता होगी और इस तरह से हम जंगलों की कटान को कम कर पाएंगे और बची भूमि को वापस जंगलों को सौंप सकते हैं। वीगन जीवनशैली के विषय में यह भ्रम भी है कि इसके लिए सोयाबीन खाने की आवश्यकता है जबकि ये बिल्कुल गलत है। वीगन अर्थात पौध आधारित आहार के लिए हम अपने पारंपरिक अनाज, दालें, फल व सब्जियों के ओर मुड़ें जो आज धरती के अधिकांश जगहों पर आसानी से व बहुत कम मूल्य में उपलब्ध है। इस तरह वीगन जीवनशैली को अपनाना आज धरती पर जीवन को बचाने की दिशा में किया जा सकने वाला सबसे अधिक प्रभावशाली कार्य है जो हर व्यक्ति विशेष कर सकता है। -अभिषेक दुबे, पर्यावरण एवं पशु सशक्तिकरण कार्यकर्ता, नेचर क्लब फाउंडेशन, उत्तर प्रदेश

Topic of the month: Do you think people must become responsible and adopt zoo animals? They can form groups and contribute together for one inmate. This way the financial burden will be distributed. Also share your ideas and the good that can come out of such initiatives? You may send your views (either in Hindi or English) in 300 words at [email protected]. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.

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