Meat Consumption detrimental to our planet
Following on from my critical review where I have identified food being a major area of concern due to the environmental and ecological impact it pertains in my household, my goal I have set out to achieve is to cut down on meat consumption. This goal will help reduce my family’s ecological footprint dramatically and here’s why. Huge reductions in eating meat is absolutely essential to void dangerous climate change effects and fix a problem which seems to be never-ending (Carrington, 2018). Food production already causes extreme detrimental damage to the earth’s environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock and farming, ocean dean zones caused from agricultural pollution and deforestation. Australia alone last year totaled an annual meat consumption of 110kg per person putting Australia as one of the top countries in the world for meat consumption. This is a shocking and unprecedented number. Climate change is a continuing result of our planets meat consumption and daily diet habits and is a major contributor to an unsustainable environment. The global livestock industry to put into perspective produces more global greenhouse gas emissions than all motorized vehicles such as planes, cars, motorbikes, trains and ships according to a study done by Ipos Mori (Dickman, 2019). A survey was conducted to which its findings showed us most people believe transport is the biggest contributor to greenhouse emissions which just shows how uneducated we are as a nation and wordily to really understand the saddening effects of the livestock industry.
One of the major effects food production and especially meat has on the earth’s environment is greenhouse gas emissions. Climate change is set to inflict severe and catastrophic changes that will become irreversible over time if emissions are not cut in the next to near future. A report from the United Nations Intergovernmental panel on climate change back in 2014 states that increased risk of natural disasters, fires and extreme heatwaves are the mere effects of what we are about to feel if things don’t change. “We have the means to limit climate change, the solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development” said Chair of the UN, Rajendra Pachuri (Carrington, 2018). Unfortunately for generations these issues have been sideswiped by politicians as to the undeniable impact global warming is prevailing. Ocean dead zones are caused by contaminating waters with toxins cause by animal wastage, manure and fertilizer pouring into waterways, rivers and gulfs (Dybas, C. L. 2005). An overgrowth of algae after decomposition, results in lack of oxygen within an area causing the marine and wildlife to die. Mass pollution of waters evidently is brought back to meat production. Deforestation in particular, is primarily used to clear land for livestock production and consumes crucial resources which in term alters natural habitats and diminishes natural resources (Raphaely, T. (Ed.). 2015). Deforestation also kills or displaces millions of animals from their natural habitats.The ongoing deforestation in Brazilians Amazon is linked to 65% being used for cattle ranching and livestock productions. (Recanati, F., Allievi, F., Scaccabarozzi, G., Espinosa, T., Dotelli, G., & Saini, M. 2015).
A study from journal scientific reports this month researched that in the US alone, if everyone were to reduce consumption of poultry, beef and pork by ¼ we would save about 82 million metric tons of greenhouse emissions per year (Eshel, G., Stainier, P., Shepon, 2019). Additionally, through this statistic, 23 million acres of land would be readily available again to produce more sustainable and eco-friendly initiatives, such as a wind mill farm or production of protein filled lentils or legumes. Alternately again, this land could be forested, creating carbon emissions which is becoming ever more important by the day with growing populations of 2.3 billion people estimated by 2050 (Carrington, 2018).
As for community involvement on these issues globally there has been progress. Continual efforts in the climate fight can be seen all around from climate, environmental and vegan activists. Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old vegan youth climate activist from Sweden, has raised climate headlines around the world recently, stressing we all need to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint now before it’s too late. She stresses you can never be too small to make a change, “Many people say Sweden is just a small country and it doesn’t matter what we do, but I’ve learnt you are never too small to make a difference” (Why Greta Thunberg Is Vegan | LIVEKINDLY, 2019). Greta is a vegan and states it is for ethical and ecological reasons.
Now, as for what I would like to achieve within my household, after insightful research into what meat agriculture means for the environment, I will be suggesting to my family to have Meat free Mondays and offer to cook plant/veg based meals throughout the week. I Will also hope for them to all read my work and get some insightful knowledge on really how eating meat effects the climate crisis today. I would hope that by reading this article, they would open their eyes to the real facts and problems surrounded from eating a meat based diet.
Below I have linked a video called ‘Do you have to be vegan to help fix climate change?’ which explains how you don’t need to stop eating meat altogether but simply cut down to make a change.