At the end of 2018, we were given a stark warning by climate change experts – that we have only 12 years to reduce the damage done. Otherwise, there will be irreversible consequences to our planet. That means that we have only a little over a decade to completely change our ways or else we will all pay the price.
Of course, there is work that needs to be done on a global and private front, not just by individuals. However, having everyone follow the same advice would help greatly in our battle against global warming. The biggest way you can fight climate change is by avoiding meat and dairy, according to experts.
Animal Agriculture Uses Too Many Resources
Farming is a huge industry today. 83% of farmland is dedicated to livestock, which is also over a third of all land. Despite that, animal products only make up about 18% of all calories and 37% of all protein that we eat. That’s because it takes vastly more land, water, and resources to breed livestock that it does to grow crops.
In relation to water, animal agriculture is responsible for almost 90% of all water consumption in the US. As well as all that, it’s also the biggest cause of species extinction, habitat destruction, ocean dead zones, and water pollution.
According to leading expert Joseph Poore, “A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use, and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car.”
It’s Destroying Our Earth
It’s not only the use of land and water that’s a huge issue to our planet. Along with all those things, animal agriculture is also responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than the emissions from all transportation combined. It’s also responsible for 51% of all CO2 emissions.
The demand for meat and dairy products is expected to grow rapidly, especially since our population is also growing. Experts believe that the dangerous emissions from this industry will increase by 80% by the year 2050. If we don’t do something about this soon, it will end up being far too late.
Can’t We Just Switch to More Sustainable Meat and Dairy?
People love their meat and dairy products and can be hesitant to give them up. Many people hope that switching to products that claim to be better for the environment than others will be enough to make a difference. However, making animal agriculture sustainable is simply not possible.
According to Poore “Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems. Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy.”
In the case of beef and dairy, 2-5 acres of land is needed per cow and there’s simply no proper way to lower that. The harsh truth is that a ridiculous amount of land and water goes into raising animals for food, whereas it takes only a fraction of those resources to grow plants. No matter how sustainable farmers try to make it, it never will be truly sustainable.
Consider a Plant-Based Diet
Many people think that they couldn’t survive on a plant-based diet. No matter how much they want to help fight climate change, they truly believe that they need animal products to stay healthy. Despite this belief, avoiding these products is actually healthier. In fact, the World Health Organization has even recommended a plant-based diet.
We can get all the nutrition, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats that we need from plants alone. By sticking to this diet, you will not only be living a healthier lifestyle but also making a huge impact on the wellbeing of our Earth.
Avoiding meat and dairy products is truly the single biggest way that individuals can help to fight climate change. If more and more people can try to switch to a diet consisting of plants, we will see a considerable improvement in relation to climate change. It will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, preserve land, and conserve water. Really, there is no downside to avoiding these products.
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