Want the Luck of the Irish? Go Vegan!

By Rebecca Libauskas

There’s more to eating green than just using FD&C Green No. 3 food coloring. If you’re craving a shamrocking St. Paddy’s Day feast, opt for planet-friendly vegan delights. Picture your table with Mock ‘Corned Beef’ and Cabbage, Vegan Irish Stew with Savory Herb Dumplings, Vegan Baileys Irish Cream, Irish Whiskey Cake, and a pot o’ gold worth of other tasty cruelty-free treats. Vegan foods aren’t just kind to animals and beneficial for your health—opting for them is the best thing we can do to combat the effects of the climate catastrophe. So let’s make our own luck for a green planet.

Animal agriculture emits immense amounts of climate pollution. It’s responsible for around 15% of total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, surpassing—by some estimates—the combined emissions from all modes of transportation. So it’s no surprise that an Oxford University study suggests that meat-eaters are responsible for about 2.5 times as many greenhouse gas emissions as vegans.

Raising animals for food uses nearly 70% of all agricultural land, leading to pollution, deforestation, and species extinction. This unsustainable practice destroys precious ecosystems and carbon-storing trees all over the world. In the U.S., 80% of agricultural land is for animal farming and feed crops. Plus, factory farms produce dust, contaminants, and massive amounts of waste, which pollute waterways and compromise air quality. But it’s animals who are the primary victims of this cruel food system.

Factory farming prioritizes profit over animal welfare, resulting in hellish conditions. Animals are confined to small spaces and subjected to genetic manipulation and drugs. These sentient beings are deprived of the opportunity to engage in natural behavior such as raising their families, exploring the soil, building nests, and participating in other activities essential to their well-being. Many never experience the sun’s warmth on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re crammed into trucks destined for the slaughterhouse.

Are you ready to turn over a new four-leaf clover? With a variety of delicious vegan options available, going green has never been easier. Getting started is a snap! Request a free copy of PETA’s vegan starter kit. It will guide you through the transition to a greener, luckier life.

This St. Patrick’s Day—and every day—skip the animal-derived foods and fill your plate with items that are truly green. Check out PETA’s blog posts “Green Your Plate This St. Patrick’s Day” and “ShamROCK Your World With These Vegan St. Patrick’s Day Recipes.” In addition, see “10 Animal-Friendly Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day” for some ideas for the whole family. Remember, whether for animals, the environment, or your own health, we can have a positive impact on the world with vegan foods.