Newsflash, minimizing your carbon footprint and driving electric cars is not the solution to climate change. There are many factors that impact climate change, the messaging of many companies express concern about carbon footprints and fossil fuels. Truthfully, there are more influential factors at play.
Let’s start with some facts.
- 1 pound of meat takes 1,800 gallons of water (50 bathtubs)
- Industrial farming takes up half of the usable water in America
- Male fish have been found to grow ovaries due to factory-farm runoff from drug-laden chicken feces
- It takes 55 square feet of rainforest per meal with beef. Cattle farming removes an acre of rainforest per 6 seconds (14,400 acres/ daily)
- 7 football fields are bulldozed worldwide/minute for industrial farming
- 80% of the Amazon has been lost since 1970 is used for meat production
- 260 million acres of American forests are cleared to raise animals for food
- Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gasses than all the world’s transportation systems combined
These are just a few numbers reporting the effects of industrial farming. It also makes no difference if it is from a dairy farm, chicken hatchery, or aquaculture facility the impacts are equally devastating. According to an article from AnimalOutlook, their research states that an IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land found that 21-37% of total greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the food system. Their recent research also shows that 80% of water usage in America is accounted for in agriculture. Findings also show that 41% of land in America (781 million acres) feeds farm animals, as a result 24,000 of the 28,000 “red list” species lost habitat at the hands of animal agriculture.
Clearly, the impact on animal agriculture has many environmental effects from water sustainability to greenhouse gasses. Part of the problem is that climate change is a concept that the agriculture industries market as the consumers responsibility. Unfortunately, this is also not true. Change requires genuine efforts from the agriculture industry and consumer. It is necessary for production to change and make efforts in reducing their product. Due to the lack of effort in change from the agriculture industry, a group of scientists that call themselves the Scientist Rebellion have gone on strike. According to this article scientists state that “current actions and plans are grossly inadequate, and even these obligations are not being met” and hope their protests will “highlight the urgency and injustice of the climate and ecological crisis”. Scientists are putting their work on hold to get the agriculture industry to change. In another article, the scientists speak on the little time that we have left to try and make a change. These efforts are alarming and hardly spoken about in the media and leaves the responsibility of education on the public.
How Can You Help?
A great way to get involved is to educate yourself on the agriculture issues that are local to you. Look for information that conflicts you and be honest with your findings. Every country has agriculture issues that are unique to them, understanding what directly affects you is a great start in understanding how it relates internationally. It is unfortunate that these industries put change into the hands of the consumer, however, since there is still time to work towards a better world. It is worth a try. The IPCC Climate Change 2022 has alarming statistics that show a clear decline of our planet. For these scientists to refuse work because it depresses them to document the fall of our world is heartbreaking. There are resources and information that are truthful to this topic, it just requires effort in finding it. As a consumer it is no longer acceptable to be passive. It is the consumer that controls demand, and it is important to be educated and firm on the change that needs to come.
Why Is This Acceptable?
The next logical question is how it came to this point and why is it accepted. To put it simply, the agriculture industry is worth $15.3 billion. For an industry to be worth this much also implies it has political power or influence. More importantly, achieving a status of that greatness makes it more difficult for people to let go of their greed. For example, according to this article and documentary Cowspiracy. The FBI is responsible for terrorist activity, the term eco-terrorist is an act of domestic terrorism. This makes radical planet activists a threat, simply because they are a population that directly interferes with market profits. Systemic politics and social politics are influential in the agriculture industries with mandates and regulations. Further emphasizing the importance of education on the industry to contribute to any positive changes.
Climate change has everything to do with the agriculture industry and the lack of their regulations. The most powerful thing that a consumer can choose to do is to actively support and live the change that they would like to see. The simplest way to create an impact is to change your diet, even changing to a vegetarian diet can create substantial changes. A vegan diet has 1.5 fewer tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere compared to a meat-eater. According to the University of Chicago they conducted a study that proves going vegan is more impactful than using a hybrid car instead of standard car. That said, the world population is constantly growing, so adapting a sustainable diet is a realistic future if climate change is valued in society.