Do Vegans Help Solve Climate Change?
As defined by NASA, Climate change is the shift in average conditions such as temperature and rainfall. According to the Cambridge English dictionary, a vegan is a person who does not eat or use any animal products (like meat, fish, eggs, cheese, or leather). But how are those two related?
According to researchers at Oxford Martin School, sticking to a meat-free diet could cut down greenhouse gases by 63% to 70% for a purely vegan diet. Still, each day, a vegan diet saves; 1 animal’s life, 100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 20 pounds CO2, and 30 square feet of forested land. Moreover, animal agriculture contributes to 14.5% of global greenhouse emissions. Not to mention, their use of land and water is also harmful to the ecosystem.
There are many ways the meat industry impacts the environment including pollution, animal waste, land consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Firstly, Meat production is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions as it releases ammonia, dust, and CO2 into the atmosphere daily. These emissions could cause health conditions like asthma, COPD, and breathing difficulties.
Secondly, Animal waste can contribute to water pollution. According to PETA, a standard pig factory produces the same amount of raw waste as a town of 12,000 people.
Thirdly, intensive livestock production can have severe impacts on the environment. In addition, PETA declared that 80% of the corn we grow and 95% of oats are fed to livestock. However, if the demand for meat decreased, this would not be necessary. Furthermore, The loss of wildland across the world also means that some animals could go extinct.
Lastly, According to the FAO, it is estimated that the industry would grow by 88% between 2010 and 2050. Additionally, good land and production practices can help decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
According to scientists, turning vegan could be the single biggest way to reduce your carbon footprint. If meat and dairy were cut out of the human diet entirely, 75% of the world’s land could be saved. This is a simple way to make a serious positive change. Furthermore, emissions for agriculture are set to increase by the year 2050. The Chair of the UN panel on climate change (IPCC) says that the best thing people can do to fight against climate change is to eat less meat.
In conclusion, the meat industry produces lots of greenhouse gases and pollution that impacts the environment in many different ways. Turning towards a vegan diet may not be suitable for everyone but it is our duty to help our planet in every way possible. So if you can, try out a vegan diet and see if it works for you; for the Earth.
By: Liew Yik Xuan