The Environmental Vegan

The world’s leading cause of climate change is animal agriculture, an industry contributing more than 51% of greenhouse gas emissions (a conservative estimate).

Beef is a huge product among consumers, and the love affair Americans have with the industry valued it at $60 billion (in the U.S. alone) in 2015. There is a financial incentive to perpetuate this environmental and health hazardous industry and discredit facts presented by its opposers to maintain the industry’s foothold at the nuclear family’s dinner table. Our consumption of these animals is continuing to enrich this $60 billion industry while we, the consumers, harm our health and our environment.

As you may know, many vegans and vegetarians choose their diets for different reasons, the environment being one of those reasons.  The environmental vegan refuses to accept and contribute to an industry that exists in the environmentally irresponsible way that the animal agriculture industry does. The facts below are some of the environmental reasons vegans and vegetarians choose to refrain from contributing to the animal agriculture industry, thereby “voting with their dollars” against it.

Quick facts about animal agriculture and climate change (Sources: Cowspiracy Documentary, this article):

  • The methane produced by cows in the animal agriculture industry is 86 times more destructive than CO2 in its contribution to climate change
  • Cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day
  • Livestock contributes 65% of all nitrous oxide greenhouse gas emissions
  • Nitrous oxide is almost 300 times more destructive than CO2

What if we all changed our diets for the better? (Sources: this research paper, this article)

  • If everyone ate a vegetarian diet, emissions would fall by 44 percent ($973 billion savings in health costs)
  • If everyone ate a vegan diet, emissions would fall by 55 percent ($1 trillion savings in health costs)

So what could it mean for humans if we chose a diet that would be better for our health and our environment? We could live longer, healthier lives and we could have an environment capable of sustaining our extended lifetimes.

Climate change is no longer a problem of the future. The future is here and it’s us– it’s how you and me and everyone else decides to shape it. As soon as 2050, much of our land above sea-level is predicted to be below it. That means that there will be no Miami Beach for me to spend my retirement in (I don’t know about you but I don’t want to lose that view).

Two important documentaries on the subject of climate change and the animal agriculture industry’s contribution to it are Before the Flood and Cowspiracy. I recommend these to anyone who has an interest in knowing the scope of humanity’s impact on the health of the planet.

Informative, easy-to-read articles on this subject from Vegan and Conservation websites:

Can Veganism Save The Planet?

The World’s Leading Driver of Climate Change: Animal Agriculture

What If The Whole World Went Vegan?

 

6 thoughts on “The Environmental Vegan

  1. Pingback: Looking at the Menu | boats of oats

  2. Thought provoking. Golly, it is hard to type with my bullie mix grabbing my arm and pushing me with her paws and throwing her head on my laptop! By the way, she has joined the cow herd in producing much of the methane in the (my) environment. (Darn my son for feeding her treats I told him not to!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been vegetarian since I was 6-7 years old , when I came from India to Germany for studies I was pleasantly surprised that 70% of my classmates were vegetarian and a few were vegan and with them I got to know so many amazing vegetarian salads and dishes. I can’t agree with you more on the meat industry and climate change link, you are so right. I would say people can at least start taking small steps towards environmental sustainability by avoiding supermarket meat and consuming meat only from their local area.
    Loved reading your post, very well written and very informative.
    xx
    Saabri
    http://www.phashionbug.com

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This article is fact ridden. The truth is there in black and white. I don’t eat meat and although I present it on my blog I am only too happy to open the minds of the reader. Often, we obstracize by our beliefs and habits and thusly we are unable to educate. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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