In my last essay I wrote about how raising animals for slaughter is not only brutally cruel but also threatens our environment. Today I will tell you about the effects of factory farming and animal slaughter on climate change.
One of the main ways in which farming animals to be eaten threatens our planet and its climate is through deforestation, the destruction of the Earth’s green forests. Forests are being cleared to create more open land for animal grazing and to grow feed crops for the animals to eat. The Amazon rainforest is disappearing at an alarming rate, and more than 90 percent of what has been cleared since 1970 is being used for raising animals to be eaten. Twenty percent of the Earth’s oxygen supply is created by the Amazon rainforest; as the rainforest disappears, so too does the oxygen we need to breathe. By reducing the Earth’s green cover, animal agriculture is also responsible for about 9% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions globally. Greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide keep heat in the atmosphere. Global warming has led to catastrophic weather events, flooding, water shortages, and disturbed ecosystems.
Eating vegetables produces significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions. For example, potatoes, rice, and broccoli produce approximately 3–5 times lower emissions than its equivalent in animal flesh. The reason is simple – it’s more efficient to grow a crop and eat it than to grow a crop, feed it to an animal as it builds up muscle mass, then kill and eat the animal.
Did you know that one-third of fossil fuel use in the U.S., through transportation, heating, lighting, and machinery, is associated with factory farming and meat production? The contribution of fossil fuel use to climate change is well established; wouldn’t it be great for the planet if we could cut fossil fuel use by one-third?
Raising animals for food causes immense suffering, consumes dwindling natural resources, and is making our planet less habitable in the process. Fortunately, there is a solution. Today it’s easier than ever to switch to an Earth-friendly vegan diet. You will likely see an improvement in your health, and your conscience will be lighter knowing that you are not participating in the suffering and slaughter of innocent animals, or in the despoiling of our Earth and its resources.
Click here for how to get a free vegan starter kit from PETA.
Peace for ALL the animals with whom we share the planet!