If you pay any attention to the news at all, then you will have seen that following a week of deliberation at a summit in Geneva, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have released their final report. This report reveals how the extent of modern farming techniques are destroying the health of the Earth, the ever-increasing global demand for meat and dairy products are leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation and threatening the world’s chances of limiting global warming to safe levels.
The thing is, we are currently in the midst of a vicious cycle, where degradation of land through intensive farming and deforestation to free up more land for agriculture, is fuelling the release of more greenhouse gas emissions which in turn is driving further land degradation.
Nightmare, right!? So what is the IPCC’s solution?
A person’s carbon footprint would decrease significantly if they were to opt for plant-based options, as the IPCC estimated that those kinds of dietary changes could reduce global annual emissions by between 0.7 and 8 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent by 2050. As well as reduce pollution and water usage, prevent deforestation and save wild animals from extinction.
But the news outlets are saying a reduction in meat and dairy consumption would be crucial if the UK is to meet its net-zero emissions target. Which is amazing, there is no denying that! No one could have predicted the media talking openly about the damaging effects of animal agriculture, so this is a huge step in the right direction.
But is it enough? Giving people the option to reduce their consumption will depend entirely on that person and how much change they are willing to make. If people were to stop eating meat only once a week, would it make that much of a difference?
Let’s look at the facts. Farmed animals contribute 14.5% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than every car, plane, truck and train on the planet (according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
The Brazilian Amazon, which is believed to be crucial in the fight against climate change, is being cut down at a rate not seen in decades. Scientists fear it is approaching a tipping point where the biome may not be able to recover from the extent of the damage inflicted.
Meanwhile, rising temperatures are causing the melting of the Arctic permafrost and the degradation of peat bogs, which act as valuable sources of carbon sequestration.
Lately, we have witnessed some devastating things, such as record-breaking storms, raging forest fires, water shortages, coral bleaching, ocean dead zones, heat waves, rising waters, melting ice caps, and devastating floods. What more will it take before we make a change?
Going vegan is the ‘single biggest way’ we can reduce our environmental impact.Oxford University researchers
This is not just an animal rights issue, it’s a human rights issue!
1/3 of the worlds cereal harvest and 90% of the worlds soy harvest is fed to farmed animals instead of people. The amount of meat we get from said farmed animals is minimal in comparison to the amount of food they are fed. But we wonder why 815 million people still go to bed hungry!
We have the power and the responsibility to prevent climate breakdown and ecosystem collapse. Let’s stand together and create a better, healthier world!
Check out AnimalRebellion if you’d like to learn how to get involved!