Do you know that what’s on our plate can impact the world’s climate? Do you know how much water does it take to produce a hamburger patty? For truth be told, the reality of today’s meat industry is damaging our planet to a great degree. That being so, switching to vegetarian options can make big differences. Here’s why.
Global greenhouse gas emissions
Livestock and their byproducts responsible for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. That’s more than all emissions from the world’s transportation systems combined. Besides, dairy cows produce large quantities of methane gas, a greenhouse gas which is roughly 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Over the years, a huge amount of greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, disrupting natural greenhouse effect and making our planet warmer.
Meanwhile, growing vegetables contributes to fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
Since animal agriculture uses the land for the rearing of livestock, a vast forest area need to be cleared. Currently, livestock covers about 45 per cent of the Earth’s total land. It is also responsible for up to 91% of Amazon destruction. This includes land cleared to plant crops in order to fed farming animals. Therefore, a lot of species lost their home and became endangered. On the other hand, it takes less land to feed someone on a plant-based diet.
70 per cent of the planet is covered by water, but only a small percentage of it is drinkable. About one-third of the world’s water consumption is for producing meat and dairy. One hamburger patty needs 660 gallons of water to produce, which is equal to two months of showering. While runoff from factory farms and livestock contaminates rivers and groundwater, causing pollution and harming the marine ecosystem.
Meanwhile, fewer water resources are required to grow crops.
Undeniably, poor health outcomes are common in high meat consumption
communities. It may be hard to fight the temptation of all the luxuries meaty meals around us, especially if we are living in the industrialized area. Hence, making a positive switch to a plant-based diet is good for your body too.
To sum up, including more greens into your diet can help reduce the high demand for meat and dairy production. Be a flexitarian *a person who eats mainly vegetarian food but eats meat occasionally with an occasional serving of chicken or meat. We can also start our own vegetable garden to grow fresh green produce. But if you are already a flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan, then keep up the momentum!