Just like Al Gore, Loren wants to go meatless for environment | Inquirer Business

Just like Al Gore, Loren wants to go meatless for environment

/ 12:10 AM April 02, 2016

Al Gore

Al Gore

Two weeks before former US Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore’s visit to the Philippines, Sen. Loren Legarda, a known advocate of the environment, expressed her admiration of Gore’s vegan diet.

“I wish I could go vegan, too,” quipped Legarda during an interview with Inquirer Science and Health.


Legarda had just attended the opening of the booth of British meat substitute manufacturer Quorn Foods during the Great British Festival held from Feb. 26 to 28 on High Street of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City. There, she sampled the company’s various “meat” products—processed meat substitutes made to look and taste like real meat.


A staunch advocate of the environment who won his Nobel primarily for his efforts in making climate change a global concern, Gore, according to reports in the US press, had gone vegan. The Washington Post reported on Nov. 25, 2013: “It is unclear why Gore, one of the nation’s most visible climate activists, has given up dairy, poultry and meat products. People usually become vegan for environmental, health or ethical reasons, or a combination of these three factors.”

Legarda’s reason for becoming vegan—if ever she becomes one—would be clear: “Since I am an environmentalist, I really have to walk my talk. I have helped create laws to protect it, but in terms of my eating habits, I can’t do it yet.”

Top environment lawyer Kenneth Berlin, The Climate Reality Project president and CEO, confirmed to Inquirer during the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training at Sofitel Hotel in Manila, that Al Gore was vegan. As proof, this writer was shown the customized menu for the three-day sessions at the hotel, indicating an all-vegetarian and vegan fare made from locally sourced plant-based ingredients.

Appetizers in the menu included Malaysian Gado Gado, Caesar salad with herbs croutons, salad bar with greens and red lettuce, assorted tomato, bell pepper, carrots, cucumber served with gherkins, olives marinated, pearl onion, capers, herbs, bread croutons. This was served with soft rolls and mushroom soup.

Main-course lists

Gore’s group’s buffet-lunch main course for the first day included Risotto with asparagus and parmesan cheese, Italian caponata in tomato sauce, Japanese tempura vegetables, wok-fried abalone mushrooms Chinese-style, steamed rice. Dessert consisted of assorted éclair, French pastry, chocolate roulade, and fresh sliced local fruits.


Buffet-lunch main course list for the second day had eggplant sambusa, deep-fried bean tofu with hot bean sauce, vegetables in green Thai curry, stir-fried broccoli with garlic, steamed rice with apple tarte tatin, chocolate opera, crema catalana and fresh sliced local fruits as desserts.

Main course for the buffet lunch for the third day listed lasagna with artichokes and marjoram, vegetables and bean curd Pad Thai, French ratatouille of vegetables, vegetable okonomiyaki (Japanese vegetable pizza style) and steamed rice. Desserts included banana cake and fresh-cut fruits.

Sen. Loren Legarda

Sen. Loren Legarda

Legarda added that she would need a plant-based nutritionist to help her transition from being a meat eater to being vegan. By definition, a vegan shuns not just meat (pork, beef, chicken, fish) but also animal byproducts such as eggs, dairy and butter, and does not use or wear items made from animal byproducts, such as leather or fur.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Gore was, indeed, vegan for environmental reasons. Worldwide annual consumption of meat and its byproducts have jumped dramatically from 44 million tons in 1950 to 272 million tons in 2009, according to Earth Policy Institute president Lester R. Brown in his book “World On The Edge.”

Recent analysis by environment experts have found that livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

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Al Gore, chair of The Climate Reality Project, was in the country from March 12 to 16 to visit Tacloban and to lead the training of the new members of Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training.

TAGS: environment, Loren Legarda, US

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