Lots of people call themselves environmentalists, and we don’t doubt for a second that most really do care about the well-being of our planet. But the truth is, if you eat meat, you’re contributing to one of the worst causes of environmental destruction. Let’s dive into the facts.
Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 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.
Additionally, simply by avoiding animal products, you cut your carbon footprint 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.
Also, take into account these facts:
- Animals raised for food produce 7 million pounds of excrement every minute.
- Animal agriculture is culpable for nearly 91 percent of Amazon destruction, according to the World Bank.
- Raising animals for food (including land for grazing and growing feed crops) now uses over one-third of the earth’s landmass.
- Factory farms have created more than 500 nitrogen-flooded dead zones in the world’s oceans.
- Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030—all from raising animals for food.
Clearly, 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.
A vegan diet is not only good for the planet, but also spares countless animals from a lifetime of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horribly. These innocent animals face unimaginable cruelties: extreme confinement, brutal mutilations, and bloody, violent deaths.
As James Cameron famously said, “There’s no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist.” If you really want to save the world, don't just drive a Prius, cut meat out of your diet.
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