It is without question that global warming is real and a problem that must be reconciled. We are reminded almost daily to “bike to-and-from work”, “stop using fossil fuels”, and “convert to clean energy”—but will that really solve this global warming problem? Dr. Richard Oppenlander, whom since 1970 has been studying our food choices and how they not only affect us but our environment, believes otherwise. In a documentary called Cowspiracy he said the following:
“With my calculations, if we stopped using gas, oil, and fossil fuels from this very day forward we would still exceed our maximum carbon equivalent of Green House Gas Emissions (565 gigatons) by 2030—with electric or energy sectors not even being factored in the equation…”
How can this be? One premise used for an argument is that because of the CO2 already emitted the earth would still warm. That argument point is not false. Research studies done by Princeton and the University of Washington both confirm that earth would most likely get warmer (not by much) even if we stopped using fossil fuels, gas, oil, and other sources today. Reason being that the remaining C02 emissions already present in the atmosphere would need time to get absorbed by the oceans and landmasses—but this whole process of warming would take centuries.
Then what must we do? If the solutions presented by Al Gore and most environmentalists are not working what is our saving grace? With as much as it pains me to say this, in order to have a fighting chance against global warming we must stop eating meat and dairy products.
This is not some “pro animal life” article and I am not going to waste time on an asinine topic like animal lives being equal to human lives. This is solely based on fact and that if we do not change our eating habits our planet is doomed.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s official Henning Steinfield, “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems”. This includes but is not limited to: water and land degradation, oceanic dead zones, habitat destruction, species extinction, 1/3 of fresh water consumption, and more importantly 91% (pg. 9) of Amazon destruction. Agro-Business in itself emits 51% of all worldwide GHGs with just its carbon emissions alone. An even scarier factoid is that it emits even more Nitrous Oxide—which is much worse for the environment. The UN News Centre article later states that Agriculture generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. As if that was not scary enough, with prosperity increasing globally, global meat production is expected to more than double by 2050! I have been throwing a lot of numbers at you so let me show you the severity of this situation visually. The following image is the representation of agriculture emissions in accordance with the global meat production prediction by 2050.
What makes the effects of animal agriculture so devastating is the alarming rate in which it cuts down trees especially in the amazon—about 1 acre per second. With us cutting down trees that are needed to purify the air, and the rate in which new land is dedicated to animal agriculture we are operating at a dangerous deficit.
The part that one may find even more surprising is that contrary to popular belief we as humans are not even anatomically designed to eat meat. The Swedish scientist Carl Von Linne said the following, “Man’s structure, external and internal, compared with that of other animals, shows that fruit and succulent vegetables constitute his natural food.” This would make sense given the fact we have to boil our meat before ingesting it whereas a real carnivore, like a lion for example, is able to just bite right into its prey raw flesh and all. Some anatomical traits that we possess that classify us as herbivores are as followed:
Meat Eaters: have claws
Herbivores: have no claws
Humans: have no claws
Meat Eaters: have sharp front teeth for tearing, with no flat teeth for grinding
Herbivores: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Humans: no sharp front teeth, but flat rear molars for grinding
Meat Eaters: have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat
Herbivores: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat eater
Humans: have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat eater
Hate to break it to you but we were simply conditioned into thinking meat is an essential part of our diet. Not only are we not even physiologically designed to eat meat, but according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine meat consumption has a staggering correlation to numerous forms of canceralong with other copious forms of health issues. Then to top it all off it is the front-runner for the plethora of environmental problems the world faces today. With all these problems surrounding meat it would only make logical sense to stop eating it as well as supporting animal agriculture, right? If all that still is not enough to spark a dietary change take this into consideration. In the bookPlants, Genes, and Agriculture the author makes the compelling statement 70 percent of grain grown in the US is fed to animals. 70 percent! It is no question that homelessness and world hunger is an issue, yet we can grow grain and give just under three-quarters of it to animals that are going to be killed within a few months. That very logic boggles my mind.
But wait, there’s more.
Not only do livestock get priority to the grains grown in the US, but also according to the book "the Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat" the world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people. That’s over a billion more people than what exists in our world today! So if that is the case, we will be able to provide every human on this planet an adequate diet and all we have to do is stop eating meat.
Trust me, I know that is easier said than done, and if you are like me with meat being a favorite in your diet that makes it even harder to convert. But do not fret, because there are already companies paving the way for our meatless future. Companies like Go Beyond Food , which is funded by Bill Gates, have started ventures like Beyond Meat and Beyond Eggs to provide their consumers with everything you would find in said products and then some. They took the main products from animal agriculture—meats, eggs, dairy, etc.—and broke them down to a science. They found what constitutes those products, found them in the plant kingdom, and then turned it into a product that has the same taste but two times the health benefits! Sounds like the potential for a pretty easy transition if you ask me.
Ladies and Gentlemen, our world is in danger. It is up to us to make the small, but necessary, changes so we along with our children (and our children’s children) can have a flourishing future. It may be something that will be hard at first but once we come to the complete realization that our world is at stake—and with companies like Go Beyond Food—the transition should be smooth. We have been conditioned to think that we are meant to eat meat. Let’s stop feeding into the lies (pun intended) and save our planet. For the power is in our hands and if we stop purchasing, they [Agro-Business] stop selling. I will be making the transition as well and I would love for you all to join me and make this the start of something great. Let’s make the change together and save the future.