I appreciated the recent piece “Horrors of ‘Humane’” (Sarah McLaughlin, November 1), bringing to light the truth behind meat, dairy and egg labeling, which is so often misleading. As Sarah covered, there is a lot of mystery behind ‘big ag’, a lot that is shrouded in darkness. Of course, this includes the horrific living conditions endured by farm animals. But the evils of animal agriculture extend beyond cruelty. Factory farming is polluting and destroying our planet on a massive scale. It is the source of more greenhouse gas than any other industry, accounting for 18 percent of global emissions! Global warming is a real issue, and one which will continue to wreak havoc in our lifetime and that of our children and grandchildren. We must take every action we can to help slow and repair the damage being done.

What can we do? We can campaign, lobby, beg for the industry to be better, smaller, cleaner. But large-scale change takes time. What if there was a barely-perceptible alteration to our day-to-day lives that would help UCSC drastically reduce it’s impact on the environment? For example, what if we replaced one or two dining hall food items with versions that have no link to animal agriculture? Hundreds of universities across the country have embraced this kind of initiative, and in doing so, have prevented hundreds of millions of grams of carbon emissions.

The Cool Campus Challenge invites all UC campuses to reduce their carbon footprint and increase sustainability. UC Davis and UC Berkeley have made a great head-start in their efforts by implementing a partnership with Hampton Creek, a food technology startup focused on making cleaner, more sustainable foods affordable to everyone.  It’s time we joined the ranks. Let’s make sustainability our legacy at UCSC.

Ava Donovan
Art & Community Studies