International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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by Prof. Reuel Lahmer, Costa Rica

from EVU News, Issue 1, 1996

Do you know that our survival depends on trees? Since 1950 the earth has lost over half its tree cover. To clean the air from the pollution of cars and industry we need a tree cover the size of the United States. By destroying forests Homo Sapiens is committing suicide.

Do you know that one tree releases about 100 gallons of moisture each day? An acre of trees can absorb the carbon monoxide produced by 50 cars driven for 12 hours? One acre of avocado trees can produce 10,000 pounds of delicious food, one acre of bananas 24,000 pounds?

Do you know that the reason for ripping out the tropical rain forests is to grow cheaper beef for the USA? Thirty per cent of the world's oxygen comes from the Amazon rain forests. Trees purify the air we breathe, bring rain, provide fuel and shelter for man, animals, birds and insect live, timber, paper and employment for thousands, lasting beauty and sweet smelling perfume. Can anyone imagine anything more beautiful and beneficial than a tree?

Do you know that it is estimated that 90% of the farm land in England is used to raise food for animals. That enough seed grains to feed animals is imported by England each year from India and other third world countries which could feed 13,000,000 needy children?

Do you know that Costa Rica has deforested more of its land than any other Central American country but that now its has more National Forests and protected land areas than any other Central American country?

Do you know that the banana tree in the East is called the Paradise Tree (Musa Paradisiaca)? Because the banana costs so little there is a tendency to think that it has little nutritional value. The opposite is true. It is high in potassium and Vitamin A and has ample amounts of phosphorus, magnesium and Vitamin C. In tropical countries the banana has played a notable role as sustenance for millions of people.

Do you know that pollution, erosion, desertification, forest destruction, global warming, ozone layer depletion, any one of these hazards could, unchecked, bring to an end developed forms of life? We are faced with all and one at the same time. How soon can people be awakened to the need to give absolute priority to winning 'The Battle for the Planet'?