A new report from Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return, known as FAIRR, finds that the meat industry is jeopardizing the Paris climate agreement by failing to properly report its emissions, despite being the single largest contributor to climate change.
The report concluded that about three-quarters of the world’s biggest meat and fish companies provided no evidence that they were measuring or reporting their emissions. One of the top companies examined was U.S.-based Sanderson Farms, which slaughters more than 10 million chickens a week.
Shefali Sharma, director of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy Europe, said:
It is clear that the meat and dairy industries have remained out of public scrutiny in terms of their significant climate impact. For this to change, these companies must be held accountable for the emissions and they must have credible, independently verifiable emissions reductions.
Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits. In fact, even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565-gigaton CO2e limit by 2030.
Furthermore, simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints in half. Keep in mind that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy.
There is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
But a vegan diet isn’t just good for the planet—it also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horribly. From birth to death, these innocent animals are caught in a nightmare: crated and caged, cut and burned, and brutally killed.
We will never be able to achieve the Paris climate agreement’s goals if we don’t change our eating habits. Join the millions of people helping protect farmed animals and the planet by switching to a vegan diet.