Destination: Climate Change. Is This Your Stop?
Ahead of the COP26 climate summit, we plastered the sides of Glasgow buses with a pointed reminder to delegates and residents: you can’t be a meat-eating environmentalist. It’s a fact. Given the copious scientific studies detailing the detrimental impact animal agriculture has on the planet, consuming animal-derived foods whose production contributes heavily to not only climate change but also deforestation, water pollution, and species extinction is illogical and hypocritical.
What Does Eating Animals Have to Do With Emissions?
Consider the vast amount of land required by animal agriculture – for grazing and to grow the crops that are fed to the billions upon billions of animals farmed for their flesh. There’s also the energy required to operate farms and slaughterhouses, the petrol to fuel the lorries that transport animals between them, and the electricity to freeze their carcasses. Add to that the enormous amount of water that animals on farms drink and that is needed to clean the filthy facilities and grow crops for animals to eat, and it’s easy to understand why the United Nations has stated that raising animals for food is “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global”. By some estimates, animal agriculture is responsible for nearly a fifth of human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions, and as a result, the UN is calling for a global shift to vegan eating to combat the worst effects of climate change.
Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting out meat and dairy could reduce an individual’s food-related carbon footprint by up to 73%. The study concluded that going vegan is the “single biggest way” to cut greenhouse-gas emissions and conserve water and land, pointing out that the impact is “far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car”. Of course, doing so would also spare animals a life of suffering on filthy farms and a violent death in abattoirs.
It’s Not a Smooth Ride for Animals
The meat industry is by far the biggest killer of animals around the world. It’s also responsible for relentless, routine cruelty to pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, ducks, geese, and other animals on farms, who suffer for every minute of their short lives.
The story is similar for all animals reared for their flesh. Females are repeatedly forcibly impregnated. Babies are torn away from their mothers, mutilated, and kept in filthy and severely crowded conditions. Then, often when they’re only a few months old, they endure a stressful and terrifying journey to the abattoir, where many are ineffectively stunned and therefore killed while still conscious.
Jo-Anne McArthur / Eyes On Animals
Eat Vegan for Your Health, Animals, and the Planet
Consuming flesh takes a toll on human health, taxing your digestive system and increasing your risk of suffering from life-threatening conditions. Authorities including the British Medical Association have confirmed that people who consume meat and dairy have a greater likelihood of suffering from obesity, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer than those who don’t.
By contrast, eating vegan has been proved to help you live longer. It also drastically improves your quality of life by helping you feel great and stay fitter and healthier – especially because what you’re eating isn’t causing any suffering. It’s a game changer.
Hop On the Vegan Bus
Make the change and go vegan today! We can help – sign up for our World Vegan Month Challenge for November. We’ll send you tips, recipes, and inspiration to keep you moving in the right direction.