Do you people know that in the last hundred years, the world has lost as much forest as it lost in the previous nine thousand years? And you know why? Mostly just to create grazing land for us cows.
So why does that bother me? More grass, more food for me right? Well, the more grass we cows eat, the more methane we emit thanks to what we call ‘enteric fermentation’, and so the more we unwillingly contribute to climate change.
Unwillingly because we don’t actually want to be a billion strong, that’s far too many cows. Industrial animal agriculture on such a massive scale is killing the planet we both live on.
And the planet will die unless you do something about it now. Not only is there too much methane, the forests you cut down so ruthlessly are one of the world’s biggest trappers of CO2 gas. Roughly half the weight of a tree is carbon.
In the absence of active reforestation efforts, CO2 is a long-lived greenhouse gas that lingers in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years. No forests means more climate change.
That means more human migration, poverty, conflict, hunger, and misery as areas of the world become uninhabitable, and all within the lifetime of your young people today.
Now I know you think you’re doing your best already by choosing to use renewable energy and exhaust-free transportation as much as you can, and thank you, but frankly it’s not enough. You need to stop eating animals, not just me but all animals.
Making me into a meat machine! No thanks. And as for lab-grown meat? I’m no scientist but how can that be a better solution than simply turning more land used for grazing cows into land for growing food for humans?
Take it from me, a cow who has done the maths, if you want to save the planet for all of us then stop eating meat.
The Climate Healers position paper, Animal Agriculture is the Leading Cause of Climate Change, has just been peer-reviewed and published by the Journal of Ecological Society in volume 32 in the 2021 issue. This paper establishes the scientific basis for concluding that animal agriculture is responsible for at least 87% of greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2006, the U.N.’s report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, estimated that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions. Then, in 2009, the World Watch Institute report, authored by two respected World Bank Environmental Assessment (EA) specialists revised that estimation, saying animal agriculture is responsible for at least 51% of greenhouse gas emissions. Now, this latest assessment revises it further.
What accounts for these widely divergent estimates? It comes down to how the calculation is made. Prior calculations failed to include the negative impact of forests lost to animal agriculture. Almost half of all ice-free land is used, in some way, for animal agriculture, either for grazing or to grow crops to feed the eighty billion animals raised and slaughtered for food yearly. Those destroyed forests are no longer storing and absorbing carbon dioxide, which is the primary gas heating the planet. The key point is that trees store carbon dioxide, or CO2. By eliminating trees, carbon dioxide increases in the earth’s atmosphere. This key fact is not being properly accounted for in the calculations that are widely accepted by governments, NGO’s, private industry and the media. For more, please watch this video by Gerard Bisshop or this video by Vegan Evan.