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Plant-based Diets & A New Solution for Climate Change

For many years Dr. Karunas Zhu has long been engaged in promoting vegan education, vegan green life, anti-aging, vegan nutrition and industrial development. In 2016, he founded the Taiwan Vegan Academy, dedicated to fully equipping everyone with the knowledge of health and food safety. He likes to share his personal experiences, which have benefited significantly from a healthy vegan diet and a lifestyle devoted to the Earth. 

In Dr. Karunas’ speech, he addressed the increasing impacts of climate change. Right after returning from Singapore and Indonesia, he joked about how his red sunburned face was the best proof of being under the scorching "winter sun." Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are the main causes of the greenhouse effect. Among the three elements, methane is the most damaging. The global warming effect of one ton of methane is 20 times higher than that of CO2. 
According to statistics, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of the total release of greenhouse gases world-wide. Dr. Zhu mentioned that the greenhouse gas output of other industries is also a source of grave concern. Nevertheless, many arable lands world-wild are being used for feed production and a lot of water and nature areas are being polluted by the livestock industry (animal waste, etc.). Above all, he feels duty-bound to promote veganism for the environment!
 
“Super bacteria" in the environment might seem distant to us. However, Dr. Karunas Zhu talked about a girl from his university (NTU), who, after graduating from the top university in Taiwan, soon passed the government examination and was promoted to be a supervisor in her job. Unfortunately, at a young age, she contracted a super-bacteria. Although the Hospital continued to treat her with antibiotics, Dr. Karunas also visited and encouraged her a few times. She still passed away due to a long time high fever. Dr. Karunas stressed that the reason why a bacterial strain is more strongly resistant to various antibiotics and also multi-drug-resistant!  For instance, when an “A” antibiotics cannot kill the last bacteria, they grow A antibiotic resistance. Although B, C, D, etc. antibiotics are designed to eliminate normal bacteria, they ironically only strengthen the “super bacteria." In contrast, in order to increase the economic benefits of production, a large amount of antibiotics have been used in livestock animals, causing bacterial drug residues and drug resistance problems. Especially, meat and seafood drug residue hazards have become a public health problem. Once the human body is infected by drug-resistant bacteria, it will not only suffer from illness and even death, but also increase the costs of medical care. There is a high possibility that such risks can be minimized, as long as everyone understands the benefits of vegan diets – a great way to avoid these disruptions!
 
As the Dean of the Taiwan Vegan Academy, Dr. Karunas Zhu emphasized, a plant-based diet can not only reverse climate change, but also reduce diseases caused by non-vegan diets and save millions of lives and ecosystems. Vegan Green Life is a new global consensus, a new trend and brings forth the wave of the green economy.

by Rita Sung/宋明佳 撰譯