Archive for the Environment Category

Climate Crisis – Going Vegan Is The Easiest First Step Towards Reducing Your Carbon Footprint, Let Me Help

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Environment, Life, Vegan, Vegan Cooking, Vegan Recipes on August 16, 2021 by darkjade68

The main unspoken reason that people don’t want to give up Meat & Dairy, is taste

My girlfriend has been a vegan activist for years, and during outreach people will ask about protein etc., but generally what it comes down to is, they don’t want to give up their burger

I get it

For me it wasn’t all that hard going vegan (Been vegan since 2013), dairy gave me a lot of sinus issues, and meat just felt heavy

Also, I’d been both vegetarian and vegan at different times prior to finally going with veganism and sticking with it

What finally pushed me over the fence, was watching a film about factory farming/the treatment of the animals prior to killing them

But enough of that, you don’t even need to watch a film like that, or see pictures of the animals, with what’s happening with our climate, that is reason enough to make the switch

There’s no more time to let other people deal with global warming, it’s here

Our main goal is to slow it down at this rate, which is within our grasp to do, but only if we literally start changing our earthly habits right now

But, that can be overwhelming thinking about all of that, which is why I’m doing this post, to give people a ‘first step’ towards changing for ourselves and our planet


First of all, I have a Vegan Cooking Blog Here James Cooks Vegan

It’s always been my opinion, that asking people to go vegan without giving them suggestions in regards to what to eat, isn’t the best strategy

So many people never even try veganism because they simply don’t know where to start in regards to foods


Soy (Tofu, Tempe Etc.), Beans (Canned or Dried) (Soak and cook)), Beyond Meat (It’s not the same as meat, but it’s awesome if you want something like it (Burgers are largely about condiments anyways)), Lentils just to name a few

Here’s A Comprehensive Chart of Vegan Protein Sources post as well

Keep in mind, going Vegan doesn’t mean everything that you eat is going to be healthy

Like any other diet, that’s up to you

A Typical Day For Me


I love having a glass of 80% mineral water, 20% Orange Juice with Ice (Have it like 5 or 6 days a week, it keeps my sugars down, OJ is so sweet alone)

My general Breakfast choices are

  1. Tofu Scramble (Oil in pan, slice and dry tofu on paper towels (Optional), Crumble the Tofu in the pan, add vegetables (Tomato, Green Onion, Bell Pepper, it’s your choice… Or no vegetables at all… I also add Pepper (Optional), and on occasion some shredded Vegan Cheese (Optional)
  2. Oatmeal (I add Flax Seeds*, Peanuts (Any nut works though), Bananana and/or Blueberries… Sometimes Strawberries if they’re in season)
  3. Rice Cake with Peanut Butter and Jelly (Rice cake just reduces simple carbs, I sometimes use a half or whole piece of bread as well)
  4. Just Egg (It’s a Vegan Egg product that is just awesome, mix it with the same things as the Tofu Scramble)

*Flaxseed’s health benefits come from the fact that it’s high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as phytochemicals called lignans. One tablespoon (7 grams) of ground flaxseed contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (includes the omega 3s), 2 grams of dietary fiber and 37 calories.

Lunch Choices

There’s so many (Here’s a few)

  1. Tofu Stir Fry (Oil in pan, fresh broccoli in pan, Tofu sliced and dried on paper towels, then put in pan, Fresh or Powder Garlic, Yellow Curry, Light Soy Sauce, Peanuts, Sometimes Onion (Other Vege’s are optional, I sometimes use Frozen Mixed Asian Vegetables, or Frozen Mixed Vegetables)
  2. Chili (This can be Lunch or Dinner) – Sautee Onions in pan (Usually on 4 out of 10 Heat, better not to cook Chili too fast), once they’re ready I add Canned Beans (Pinto, Black Etc. whichever you like), I drain the liquid in the can first, and rinse the beans off, then add them to Chili Pan… I then add some Tomato Sauce (Maybe a half a can, totally up to you), some Stewed Tomatoes (Optional), Chili Powder (As much as you like) and some Cholula sauce
  3. Vegan Turkey Sandwich (I don’t like to eat a lot of bread, but on occasion I have a Vegan Turkey sandwich or wrap)

Some Dinner Choices

  1. Vegan Spaghetti (There’s all kinds of Vegan friendly Noodles, sometimes you can use actual pre-cut zucchini or squash cut into noodles, but any noodles will due other than Egg Noodles of course, and any others out there that I don’t know about that have animal products in them) I will generally then use Beyond Beef crumbled, cook it first, then add Tomato Sauce (Cook Spaghetti Sauce on 4 out of 10 too, or you might burn the sauce), Fresh Garlic, Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, Olive Oil, Sometimes a bit of Red Wine (Optional), Sometimes Fresh Tomatoes (Or Canned Stewed), Sometimes Fresh Zucchini (Optional), Sometimes instead of Beyond Meat I might use Tofu, and/or nuts (Generally Almonds, but most any kind of nut will do)
  2. Vegan Tacos – For these I’ll generally use Beyond Meat, Break it up and cook it, then add some Tomato Sauce, some Frozen Corn, some Cholula Sauce, I’ll then use Corn Tortillas/Flour Tortillas/Hard Shells (Any Tortilla or shell you’d like really, as long as it’s vegan, which most are), cut up some lettuce (Or Kale Etc.), cut up some Fresh Tomatoes, rinse some of the Frozen Corn in a strainer and add some of that on the finished taco, Vegan Cheese (Find some you like, there’s lots of vegan cheeses, I prefer the block ones that I shred, they taste better than the pre-shredded ones I’ve found, but I found that with real cheese as well), Avocado (Avocado is the best, one of the definitely Vegan Staple foods, definitely keep them around, as a snack you can even cut one in half and fill it with Hummus (Which is another great Vegan Snack/Food to have around))
  3. Dried Beans – For this it takes a bit more focus, you basically soak Pinto/Black/Lentil Etc. Beans*, then you cook them
  4. Beyond Burgers – I tend to use the Beyond Meat (Which comes in Ground Beef like packages) as opposed to the Beyond Patties, they just taste better to me… Put whatever you like on these burgers, and use (Or don’t use) whatever buns or bread (There are all kinds of other types of Vegan Pattis, I just prefer the Beyond Meat)

*To soak beans the traditional way, cover them with water by 2 inches, add 2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt (or 1 tablespoon fine salt) per pound of beans, and let them soak for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours. Drain them and rinse before using.

That should get you started, also check out my Vegan Blog Link at the top of this post for all sorts of other Vega Recipes

Trust me, of all the ways we can help our environment (Which is more important than ever with all the weather changes it’s causing), going Vegan is the easiest way to start doing your part

Plus, in my experience, going Vegan has made me an extremely creative cook

Nuff said,

Thanks for listening, good luck, and if you have any questions just reply below

Climate Change, The Latest IPCC Report, And Ways We Can Help

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Environment, Life on August 9, 2021 by darkjade68

The Latest IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report – HERE

The Top 10 Things We Can Do To Help – HERE

Please Be Part Of Saving Our Planet & Ourselves

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Environment, Life with tags , on February 15, 2021 by darkjade68



How You Can Stop Global Warming

Healing the planet starts in your garage, in your kitchen, and at your dining room table.

Nations around the world are upping their game in the fight against climate change, even as President Trump recently announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. And despite this reckless move, American mayors, state leaders, county officials, governors, major companies, and millions of citizens across our country have pledged that they’re “still in” when it comes to the agreement, and supporting the goal of limiting future warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Even better, a new initiative by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg gives the urban layer of this movement a boost. He’s asked mayors from the 100 most populous cities in the country to share their plans for making their buildings and transportation systems run cleaner and more efficiently. The 20 that show the greatest potential for cutting the dangerous carbon pollution that’s driving climate change will share a total of $70 million in technical assistance funding provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners.

It’s important to remember the equally vital contributions that can be made by private citizens—which is to say, by you. “Change only happens when individuals take action,” Aliya Haq, deputy director of NRDC’s Clean Power Plan initiative, says. “There’s no other way, if it doesn’t start with people.”

The goal is simple. Carbon dioxide is the climate’s worst enemy. It’s released when oil, coal, and other fossil fuels are burned for energy—the energy we use to power our homes, cars, and smartphones. By using less of it, we can curb our own contribution to climate change while also saving money. Here are a dozen easy, effective ways each one of us can make a difference:

1. Speak up!

What’s the single biggest way you can make an impact on global climate change? “Talk to your friends and family, and make sure your representatives are making good decisions,” Haq says. By voicing your concerns—via social media or, better yet, directly to your elected officials—you send a message that you care about the warming world. Encourage Congress to enact new laws that limit carbon emissions and require polluters to pay for the emissions they produce. “The main reason elected officials do anything difficult is because their constituents make them,” Haq says. You can help protect public lands, stop offshore drilling, and more here.

Call on the Biden administration to take bold action in its first 100 days


2. Power your home with renewable energy.

Choose a utility company that generates at least half its power from wind or solar and has been certified by Green-e Energy, an organization that vets renewable energy options. If that isn’t possible for you, take a look at your electric bill; many utilities now list other ways to support renewable sources on their monthly statements and websites.

3. Weatherize, weatherize, weatherize.

“Building heating and cooling are among the biggest uses of energy,” Haq says. Indeed, heating and air-conditioning account for almost half of home energy use. You can make your space more energy efficient by sealing drafts and ensuring it’s adequately insulated. You can also claim federal tax credits for many energy-efficiency home improvements.

4. Invest in energy-efficient appliances.

Since they were first implemented nationally in 1987, efficiency standards for dozens of appliances and products have kept 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide out of the air. That’s about the same amount as the annual carbon pollution coughed up by nearly 440 million cars. “Energy efficiency is the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions,” Haq says. When shopping for refrigerators, washing machines, and other appliances, look for the Energy Star label. It will tell you which are the most efficient.

5. Reduce water waste.

Saving water reduces carbon pollution, too. That’s because it takes a lot of energy to pump, heat, and treat your water. So take shorter showers, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, and switch to WaterSense-labeled fixtures and appliances. The EPA estimates that if just one out of every 100 American homes were retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, about 100 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year would be saved—avoiding 80,000 tons of global warming pollution.

6. Actually eat the food you buy—and make less of it meat.

Approximately 10 percent of U.S. energy use goes into growing, processing, packaging, and shipping food—about 40 percent of which just winds up in the landfill. “If you’re wasting less food, you’re likely cutting down on energy consumption,” Haq says. And since livestock products are among the most resource-intensive to produce, eating meat-free meals can make a big difference, too.

7. Buy better bulbs.

LED lightbulbs use up to 80 percent less energy than conventional incandescents. They’re also cheaper in the long run: A 10-watt LED that replaces your traditional 60-watt bulb will save you $125 over the lightbulb’s life.

8. Pull the plug(s).

Taken together, the outlets in your home are likely powering about 65 different devices—an average load for a home in the U.S. Audio and video devices, cordless vacuums and power tools, and other electronics use energy even when they’re not charging. This “idle load” across all U.S. households adds up to the output of 50 large power plants in the U.S. So don’t leave fully charged devices plugged into your home’s outlets, unplug rarely used devices or plug them into power strips and timers, and adjust your computers and monitors to automatically power down to the lowest power mode when not in use.

9. Drive a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Gas-smart cars, such as hybrids and fully electric vehicles, save fuel and money. And once all cars and light trucks meet 2025’s clean car standards, which means averaging 54.5 miles per gallon, they’ll be a mainstay. For good reason: Relative to a national fleet of vehicles that averaged only 28.3 miles per gallon in 2011, Americans will spend $80 billion less at the pump each year and cut their automotive emissions by half. Before you buy a new set of wheels, compare fuel-economy performance here.

10. Maintain your ride.

If all Americans kept their tires properly inflated, we could save 1.2 billion gallons of gas each year. A simple tune-up can boost miles per gallon anywhere from 4 percent to 40 percent, and a new air filter can get you a 10 percent boost.

11. Rethink planes, trains, and automobiles.

Choosing to live in walkable smart-growth cities and towns with quality public transportation leads to less driving, less money spent on fuel, and less pollution in the air. Less frequent flying can make a big difference, too. “Air transport is a major source of climate pollution,” Haq says. “If you can take a train instead, do that.”

12. Shrink your carbon profile.

You can offset the carbon you produce by purchasing carbon offsets, which represent clean power that you can add to the nation’s energy grid in place of power from fossil fuels. But not all carbon offset companies are alike. Do your homework to find the best supplier.

Dear Mr. President (Climate Crisis)

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Climate Crisis, Environment, Life on January 26, 2021 by darkjade68

Hope & Strength

Posted in Environment, Life with tags , , , on January 12, 2021 by darkjade68

Climate… We Have 7 Years To Turn This Thing Around, And We Can Not Rely On Government Alone To Do It

Posted in Environment, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , on September 30, 2020 by darkjade68

For America, the reality is this… In regards to Government, we’re likely to have a fight on our hands should Biden win

This will take time we do not have, but it is what it is

If Trump wins, that’s a whole other huge issue… Which will take even longer to deal with, and will likely push our Country and Planet further down the Rabbit Hole

The reality is, no matter what happens in Government, it’s not going to be enough to achieve what we need to achieve as a planet in regards to our Earth’s Climate

We, as a species, have to attack this issue ourselves above and beyond Government

We have to make changes, and we have to make them now

So many of the things a lot of us have heard about for at least the last 20 to 30 years or more are now on the table before us, with a 7 year ticking sound coming from the core of our existence

Don’t look away

Don’t shrug this off

Don’t wait for the Activists, or the Government to figure it out and fix it

It needs to be us

It needs to be now

We the ones who do, and have nothing but contribute to our Crisis hold the Majority in regards to numbers of us

Which means we have the greatest responsibility, and we have the greatest opportunity to have the greatest effect/impact

I’m not trying to shame those that have left these things unattended to as they focused 24/7 on their individual lives

I get it

But now, if we are to survive as a species, in addition to taking care of our individual lives and needs, we also need to put an effective amount of time, thought and effort into reversing what we’ve done to our home, and what we are still doing to our home

I have Recycled for 30 or so years (Only to recently find out the company that picks our stuff up, only actually recycles the things that they make money for doing)

I have been a Vegan for 7 years (Yes this has saved thousands of animals, but beyond the humane element, Animal Agriculture has a huge destructive impact on are planet)

But these things are not enough

There is much more that we can, and need to do

My girlfriend who is an Activist, and has been on the frontline of helping to reduce Animal Agriculture for the last 3 years, is now working for a B Corp Company

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. … B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

We should all look to use B Corp companies for whatever products we can, as to support a ‘Sustainable’ existence on our/this planet

The greatest thing I took from last nights Presidential Debate, is we can’t wait around for our Government to improve, and reverse the reality that is upon us

Please don’t disregard this Post

We can do this

If not for those around you, then for your kids, or grandkids, or the kids and grandkids of others in the world who we have brought to this planet, and deserve a shot not to live in the shadows and devastation of what we have done here

Have hope, get involved


DarkJade- (James)

5 Facts About Animal Agriculture And Air Pollution That You Just Can’t Argue With

Vegan Recipes And Alternatives

B Corp

Posted in Environment, Life, Vegan, Writing with tags , , , , on September 11, 2020 by darkjade68

Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. … B Corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.

Five days ago, I did a Post about the Record Heat L.A. County (Where I live) was experiencing, and how I’m a Writer/Filmmaker, and don’t usually post a lot about such things…

At least not on this Blog

But the reality is, there are so many things going on with we/humans, and more specifically our planet right now, that I’ve decided to once every week (Or something like that), in the name of much needed change and ‘proactive-ness’ in regards to saving our A$$’s here on our home, post something of extreme relevance

Five years ago my now girlfriend got on a train and met a woman who works for a company called Arbonne

Nutrition, Skincare, really high quality stuff

Anyway, two years back they became a B Corp, and last night they announced their new line of skin care, for which they had gone from plastic bottles, to reusable glass containers…

…beyond the obvious visual appeal of the products above, changing to glass containers was/is a big deal to me

It may seem like a small thing, but it’s not

It’s part of their continued movement towards a sustainable future

Nuff said, I was inspired by it, so I thought I’d share it

Here’s some more info. about ‘Age Well’, this particular product:

1. New Plant Based Retinol – Bakuchiol

2. Stabilized Vitamin C

3. Sustainable Stem Cell Extract

4. New Glass Packaging (Apart from cleanser which tends to used in the shower) that will save 125,000 pounds of Plastic which helps Arbonne’s goal of 50 % reduction of plastic by 2025

Here’s where you can pick it up AGE WELL

I’m not just promoting a product, I’m promoting a Sustainable Future



Worldwide Plea

Posted in Environment, Life, Vegan, Vegan Cooking, Vegan Recipes, Writing with tags , , on September 6, 2020 by darkjade68

It’s supposed to be 113 Degrees nearby today… It was 111 there yesterday, and 107 where I’m at

I’m a Creative Writer… I don’t write these kind of pieces very often

But I’m pleading now

The time for meat and dairy as a major food source has come, and gone (Aside from impoverished areas of the planet Etc.) 

I know you don’t want to hear or believe this… And/or are tired of hearing it, because you don’t want to give up the taste of meat and dairy… I understand, this is not a judgment, this is just where we’re at as a planet

Between the deforestation to create areas to grow crops to feed the massive amount of animals, and/or to create space for them to be, coupled with the methane gasses the animals put into the atmosphere, we are killing/heating our planet

I know you’ve heard this all before… But it’s not a trend to be Vegan (Though it is trending), it’s a game changer in regards to what’s happening to our planet

I live in Southern California, we’ve been dealing with ‘fire season’ for decades… But the fires in 2018, because of the change in climate, moved faster than ever before… I know, they came a mile from burning our family home of 46 years

As the fire came over the nearby peak, our house phones started to ring, with recorded messages signalling a Red Alert

We were pretty sure we were going to lose everything, and many did

The only reason we didn’t, was because the wind direction never sent it directly to our little valley of homes, only the mountains all around it

Like I say, I don’t really write these kind of posts… But the truth is, most of us are reactionary by nature, as apposed to proactive

This is true in most ways

Even me writing this post is reactionary to when I heard last night that it was going to reach 113 degrees today

Most of the improvements we’ve made along the way have been reactionary, but the problem with taking that stance with environmental issues, is the issues have accumulated, and we barely have time to do anything about it

But we can now, you can

I am not judging Humans/us when I say we are generally self indulgent creatures

Most of us work very hard to survive, and we desire things that make us feel good to offset the stress and or exhaustion of the day to day

We have been self indulgent with meat and dairy, and its really messing everything up

Yes, there are other ways that we need to change as a world to save this place not just for the future, but for the now

But animal agriculture has a huge impact, and most of us look the other way, because we don’t want to change… To many of us, it’s like downgrading our life to do so… But I promise as a vegan of 7 years, it’s not

It made me a more imaginative cook, yes… But that has only made food taste better than before I stopped eating milk and dairy

In fact, well there are and have been many righteous vegans out there screaming at people to change, it is my belief that it’s better if we help show the way, and offer any suggestions/recipes we can

Which is why I started a Vegan Blog several years back (Here’s the Link James Cooks Vegan

Not all of these Recipes are ‘healthy’, but that wasn’t the point

Whether we eat healthy or not, is and has always been our personal choice

But it does include both healthy, and less healthy dishes

The reason I created that Blog was to offer my help/a bridge for people who want to start to move towards Veganism, and or outright change to Veganism

Like I say, yelling at people to change rarely works, and it isn’t who I am

Who I am, is a compassionate human being trying to help with the transition of something that could otherwise potentially cause global devastation

And lets face it, most of us will never have the resources to fly to Mars

Most of us are here, and aren’t going anywhere

Anyway, nuff said

I appreciate you listening/reading

DarkJade- (James)

Plant-Based Nutrition, Where To Start

Posted in Climate, Climate Change, Environment, Life, Vegan, Writing with tags , on February 1, 2020 by darkjade68


An Email I got from ‘Sprouts’ Market Original Article HERE


Plant-Based Nutrition: Where To Start

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Qunioa BowlAre you thinking of going plant-based in 2020 but not sure where to start? Keep reading for the low-down on things plant-based and quick tips to get started.

The Benefits of Plant-based Nutrition

Plant-based nutrition is the movement encouraging folks to incorporate more fresh produce, whole grains, legumes and nuts into their diet. From meatless Mondays to vegan breakfasts, people are beginning to recognize the benefits of plant-based nutrition.

Good for You

A diet that incorporates more plant-based foods is shown to be higher in dietary fiber and lower in saturated fats and calories when compared to diets higher in meat and dairy intake.1 Eating more plant-based foods may also help maintain healthy heart function, 2 blood sugar levels3 and cholesterol.4

Good for the Planet

The production of plant-based products has proven to be an environmentally sustainable enterprise. By reducing the production of animal-based products and increasing the consumption of plant-based products, communities can lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce waste and energy usage.

Incorporate Plant-based Proteins

You heard that right—plant-based proteins! By incorporating legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains into your diet you can achieve the recommended daily value of protein. Plus, today there are so many complete, multisource, plant-based protein powders to help you boost your protein intake. On your next trip to Sprouts, be sure to ask our friendly and knowledgeable Vitamin Department team members about the plant-based protein powders that will fit your lifestyle and nutritional needs.

Dairy Alternatives: No-moo Milk

Gone are the days when soy milk was the only alternative.Now you can find all kinds of smooth, calcium-rich substitutions with delicious mild flavor! Soy has been joined by rice, flax, hemp and oat milk. Nut milks made from almonds, cashews, coconuts and even macadamias are tasty,healthy alternatives as well.

Meatless Meats

Filling, flavorful and nourishing, you’ll find lots of great meatless alternatives throughout our store. Craving burgers tonight? From bean and soy burgers in the freezer to pea-based proteins like Beyond Meat in the meat department, we’ve got a burger for you. Family-friendly faves like tuna salad, taco meat and chicken tenders have all been reimagined with plant-based ingredients.

Simplify! Make Easy Plant-based Meals

So now you’re asking … How easy is it to cook plant-based meals, and are they tasty? The good news is the web is chock-full of delicious plant-based recipes! Below are just a few plant-based recipes from some of our favorite brands for plant-based nutrition. Enjoy!

For Your Sweet Tooth

With non-dairy ingredients like almond and coconut milk, there’s no reason to skip dessert! Our selection of irresistibly creamy and satisfying frozen indulgences makes going plant-based a real treat. Try something new! Our Sprouts Mochi Bites are dairy-free and vegan. Based on a traditional dessert for Japanese nobles, mochi combines the chewy goodness of a sweet-rice exterior with a smooth coconut inner.

Good News, Chittah’s Being Returned To Nature

Posted in Environment, Life with tags , , on January 30, 2020 by darkjade68


Original Article Found HERE


After Decades-Long Battle, Cheetahs Can Be Reintroduced In India

Cheetahs once darted across the Indian subcontinent, their numbers so plentiful that the revered Mughal emperor Akbar was said to have kept a stable filled with 1,000 of the spotted creatures. But by the mid-20th century, the cheetah had been declared extinct in India, pushed to the brink by threats like habitat destruction and overhunting. Now, as Joe Wallen of the Telegraph reports, the country’s supreme court has ruled that the fleet-footed cats can be reintroduced to the country on an experimental basis, approving a plan that has divided conservationists.

The court’s ruling was prompted by an application filed by India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority, which sought permission to transfer cheetahs from Namibia, according to the Hindustan Times. In light of the ruling, authorities will move forward with identifying a suitable habitat for the program, assessing such factors as prey availability and the potential for human-cheetah conflict. Among the sites that have been suggested for the relocation are the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh, the Velavadar National Park in Gujarat and the Tal Chapar sanctuary in Rajasthan.

As Namrata Kolachalam reported for the Atlantic in September, the Indian government has spent decades trying to bring cheetahs back to the country. As far back as the 1970s, officials tried to secure the big cats from Iran, which today is home to the world’s last stand of Asiatic cheetahs—a struggling population of fewer than 50 individuals. Conservationists worked to increase populations of cheetah prey like the Indian antelope and Indian gazelle. But negotiations crumbled after the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Decades later, plans to clone Asiatic cheetahs also came to naught. So proponents of the reintroduction program shifted focus to importing African cheetahs, a distinct subspecies from the Asiatic cheetah.

The new approach has drawn criticism from both conservationists and scientists. For one, experts are divided over the degree of genetic differences in cheetah subspecies, and whether those differences matter. “It would be like having an African lion in a wild park in Europe,” conservation geneticist Pamela Burger of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna tells Kolachalam of the reintroduction plan. “Of course, you can have that, but then it’s an African lion living in Europe. Not a European lion.”

There are more acute concerns, as well. According to the Hindustan Times, some activists say that none of the proposed habitats in India are large enough to accomodate cheetahs, and that these areas do not have enough prey to sustain the big cats. “Serengeti National Park in Tanzania has an area of 14,750 square kilometres brimming with prey base,” the publication notes. “[T]he proposed Indian wildlife habitats do not have an area of more than 1,000 square kilometers, and with much less prey base than the African homes of cheetahs.”

Also fuelling concerns is India’s inconsistent record when it comes to managing big cats. Thanks to intensive conservation efforts, the country’s tiger populations are said to be growing at a rapid rate. But lions that were introduced to the Chandraprabha sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh in the 1950s were “poached out of existence,” according to the BBC. In the summer of 2019, it was revealed that more than 200 lions had died in the Gir forest region of Gujarat, mostly due to infections and illness. Environmental lawyer Ritwick Dutta of the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment in India tells Kolachalam that the plan to introduce cheetah’s to India’s natural landscape is “a clear case of misplaced priorities,” one that will detract from efforts to protect endangered species already living in the country.

But some conservationists are enthusiastic about the possibility of bringing cheetahs back to India. The animals are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and transporting African cheetahs to new habitat could improve their long-term viability, Kolachalam writes. Proponents also say that the reintroduction project will only move forward once potential habitats have been fully assessed for their habitat, prey stock and risk of human-cheetah conflict.

Former environment minister Jairam Ramesh, who initiated the reintroduction program ten years ago, said he was “delighted” by the Supreme Court’s ruling. “It is,” he claims, “a momentous occasion.”