Climate change can be invisible — we cannot always see emissions entering the atmosphere, or oceans warming. But, now that hundreds of thousands of birds are falling from the skies in New Mexico — and biologists are blaming climate change* — will we act to save the Earth?

Since 1970, we have lost 3 billion birds due to insect decline and habitat loss. If we want to live in a world enriched by warblers, bluebirds, sparrows, blackbirds and flycatchers, we must change habits. We can start now by going vegan.

Animal-derived ingredients require excessive deforestation, which decimates animal and insect populations, and strips migratory birds of resting grounds. Animals farmed for food generate potent greenhouse gases, like methane and nitrous oxide, and manure that ends up in waterways.

Food choices make a huge difference in fighting climate change: a quarter of all greenhouse-gas emissions come from food production, and 58 percent of those food-related emissions come from animal-derived ingredients. Let’s keep birds in the sky, by keeping other birds — and all other animals — off our dinner plates. For a free vegan starter kit, visit PETA.org.

Jessica Bellamy

The PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

(Editor’s note: The recent deaths of birds was determined by students at NMSU to be the result of an unseasonably cold summer day, when much of their food sources also died, leading to starvation.)