People have a lot of preconceived notions about plant-based diets. Most people out there will roll their eyes at the word “vegan” and brush it off as unnecessary nonsense. Despite that though, more and more people are switching to this diet every single day and not everyone is doing it just for the animals.
The fact of the matter is that climate change is destroying the Earth at a rapid pace and our planet needs all the help it can get. Something as simple as removing animal products from your diet can make more of a difference than even recycling or cycling to work. Avoiding meat and dairy is the best thing you can do for Earth in 2019.
It’s Taking Too Much And Not Giving Enough
Animal agriculture is the leading causes of species extinction. Because of it, humans and livestock now make up 96% of the entire mammal population. It’s also the main cause of a lot of deforestation and ocean dead zones. This is because livestock takes up a staggering 45% of our land and creates a massive amount of pollution.
Despite how much land this industry uses, meat and dairy only account for 18% of all food calories and just 37% of all proteins. Although growing fruits, vegetables, and other plants for food take up less space, we are growing more plants to feed livestock than we are to feed ourselves.
If land use wasn’t bad enough, animal agriculture also uses a huge amount of water. It accounts for 80 – 90% of all water usage in the US. That means that in the US alone, raising and feeding livestock uses 34-76 trillion gallons of water annually.
It’s Creates A Huge Amount of Greenhouse Gases
One of the most worrying things about the meat and dairy industry is how much pollution it causes. It’s accountable for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than all transportation combined. That includes cars, trucks, buses, and even planes. Along with that, it also creates 51% of all carbon dioxide emissions.
The amount of dangerous gases being emitted from this industry isn’t slowing down any time soon either. Experts believe that the number of greenhouse gasses emitted by animal agriculture will increase by 80% by the year 2050. If that happens, our planet doesn’t stand a chance since we’re already in grave danger where we stand right now.
What the Experts Say
Scientists and researchers have warned us that we only have 12 years to reverse the effects of climate change. Otherwise, we will go beyond the point of no return. According to them, a reduction in meat products is the best way forward. They say that we need to drop consumption of beef by at least 90%.
Along with beef, the consumption of pork, chicken, milk, eggs, and fish will also need to be reduced drastically. According to them, a plant-based diet, or at the very least, a diet with little animal products, is the best way that individuals can make a huge difference to climate change.
What You Can Do
Researchers and experts everywhere have been trying to come up with the best solution that they can to the issue of animal agriculture. They’ve thrown around ideas from putting a tax on red meat to encouraging people to eat insects instead. However, none of those things will make as big of a difference as avoiding meat and dairy entirely would.
The biggest difference that you as an individual can take is to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet. With the rise of plant-based substitutes and even lab-grown meat, switching to a vegan lifestyle is easier than ever. This is a small change that will have a lasting difference. You can start by switching to plant-based alternatives. Instead of going for your usual meaty shawarma, why not try plant-based shawarma instead? Check out Kathy’s Vegan Kitchen and find out how she prepares this amazing treat!
2019 is the year that we all need to become more aware of the choices that we make. We need to understand the consequences of everything that we do in a time where our planet is suffering. Everyone needs to make a choice about how to live their lives. Do you want to be a part of the solution?
If you agree that reducing your consumption of meat and dairy is the best way you can help the planet, then share this article with friends and family to spread the word.