According to NASA, at least 97 percent of publishing climate scientists agree that climate change is real. The debate over whether human activity is causing global temperatures to rise is finished. But acknowledging climate change while supporting animal agriculture, one of the leading contributors, is just as bad as denying it altogether.
When we talk about emissions, we usually think of carbon dioxide (CO2). But emissions from animal agriculture also include methane, which has a global warming potential up to 34 times greater than that of CO2, according to the UN.
If we don’t do something now to curb climate change, scientists warn the planet could face disastrous consequences—from intensified storms and rising sea levels to the extinction of millions of species. And while not everyone can afford an electric car or solar panels, there is something we can all do: choose plant-based food.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, raising animals for food accounts for 14.5 percent of all human-caused GHG emissions. Regarding specific commodities, beef and cattle milk are responsible for the most emissions, respectively contributing 41 percent and 20 percent of the sector’s overall GHG outputs.
Furthermore, simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints from food in half. Keep in mind that it takes about 54 calories worth of fossil fuel to produce one calorie worth of beef protein, while it takes only two calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie worth of soy protein.
In 2017 the Alliance of World Scientists, a group of 15,000 scientists from 184 countries, published an article stating that we must change our behaviour and switch to plant-based food to prevent environmental destruction.
It’s time for anyone who recognises that human activity is a real threat to our planet to take action. There is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.
But plant-based eating 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.
Just as there is no question that climate change is real, there is no question that animal agriculture is terrible for the planet. Join the millions of people who are helping protect farmed animals and the planet by choosing plant-based foods.