Kochi (Kerala): Former Union Environment Minister and Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Thursday suggested that people should become vegetarian if they want to "do something" for the cause of checking global warming, arguing that the carbon footprint of a vegetarian diet is lower than that of a non-vegetarian diet.
Speaking at an international book fair here, Ramesh said: '"If you want to do something for (the cause of) global warming, become a vegetarian. Because I think the beef industry has been a huge culprit in global warming. Two things- a large amount of land are taken up. As you know, cattle population emit methane which is a more powerful greenhouse gas than even carbondioxide."
"I know that beef curry is a very important element in Kerala's diet. But there is no doubt in my mind that the carbon footprint of a non-vegetarian diet is greater than the carbon footprint of a vegetarian diet," he said.
The Congress leader continued: "When I was environment minister in 2009, I said at an international conference that I would appeal to the world before giving advice to India to stop eating beef. Immediately, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) gave a statement supporting me. That's the only time when VHP supported my statement."