Raising animals for consumption takes enormous amounts of resources. It’s also the leading cause of environmental destruction. Making vegan choices is the most powerful thing you can do as an individual to save the planet. Since vegan choices only uses a fraction of the resources, it’s the only sustainable way of living that benefits the whole planet.
A recent article shows that we are entering the planet’s 6th mass extinction. The previous extinction was over 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs died out. The extinction we are entering now is for the first time caused by one of the species living on this planet and not by a natural disaster, and it’s also the largest one yet. As you might have already guessed, that specie is us humans. How do humans cause species to go extinct? Put simply, we’re overpopulating the planet and along with it comes habitat alteration/destruction, overexploitation, pollution and introduction of alien species. About 137 plants, animals or insects go extinct every day…
The main reason why we alter a natural habitat it usually due to agriculture. Basically in order to make room for cows and their food, we cut down the forests. The Amazon has been reduced drastically the past years and animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of it’s destruction.
What most people don’t know is if they recycle about 1 ton of paper, they save about 18 trees. If you would not use any paper at all for a year, you would save almost 9 trees. If however, you would stop eating beef for a year, you would save about 3 432 trees a year. If we eat beef, but recycle and dont use any paper, we are still destroying over 3 400 trees a year. It’s important that people know that the main reason for deforestation is animal agriculture. That way if they want to help the environment they can make informative decisions.
There is also a very interesting video about if the world is overpopulated or not. “a privileged vegan” on YouTube has a very good video about this.
Global warming happens when certain greenhouse gases in the atmosphere traps heat which causes the planet to get warmer. This will eventually cause the Arctic to melt, sea level to rise, increase of extreme weather, more desertification and ocean acidification.
Raising animals for human consumption contributes more to global warming than fossil fuel. The irony though is fossil fuel seems to get all of the focus in the media. Again, when someone asks what they can do to prevent global warming it’s important that they learn the number one cause of it. Of course not driving a car helps, but not eating beef helps more!!
You can read more about how the Food And Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) urges people to move towards a vegan diet here.
Not only do cows need to eat, but they also need to drink. Animal agriculture accounts for 70% of the global freshwater consumption. Animal agriculture also produce much more manure than humans and this has to end up somewhere. Where does it all go? Well, most of it end up in our drinking waters, in the rivers and the ocean.
Meanwhile 850 000 people die every year from a water related diseases and 750 million people around the world lack clean drinking water. Fish also gets wiped out in these polluted rivers, and the amount of dead-zones in the oceans keeps increasing.
Fun fact: If you stopped eating beef for one year, you would save enough water to be able to take a 10 minute shower everyday for 79 years!!