A Big Misconception About Climate Change

Mena Matta, Reporter

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If someone asks you, “What is the leading cause of climate change?” What would your answer be?

You would probably say, “Burning fossil fuel.”

DING DING DING. You lost your planet. In fact, you probably don’t know it, and would call me a liar and an anti-environmentalist for what I am about to shock you with. The answer to the question is: Livestock.

Since the boom of our human population, the demand for dairy and meat products have increased rapidly. This led to constant innovation on how to produce and transport meat and dairy products, but in the end, the demand didn’t stop. Considering the fact that the population of the human species in 1912 was 2 billion and in 2012 was 7 billion, the meat industry had to cultivate more land for their business to continue supporting its demand. But it failed, even today. While the demand is still ahead of supply, the whole world was blind to what was happening to our climate.

To cultivate land, you need land. To get land, too many are clearing the rainforest. That’s exactly what is happening and is the main reason behind deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. In fact, livestock is the reason why, so far , 91% of the Amazon Rainforest has disappeared- that translates to roughly about 136 MILLION acres. An acre is roughly the size of a football field, just so you know. That is a huge problem that was not mentioned in any climate change awareness website. Don’t believe me? Go and check livestock contribution in any website. I will wait.

But what are the dangers of livestock?

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, water pollution, and habitat destruction!

Livestock cultivates nearly 45% of the earth’s total land (to try to meet demand). That is a lot of land just to make you a burger. In addition, 2-5 acres of land are used per a single cow. Just a cow. Water scarcity is a problem too, where a stunning 34-76 trillion gallons of water is used annually for animal agriculture. And here we are, blaming the oil industry and our energy use habits for global warming effects, while livestock is the boss behind the whole problem.

There is more to the problem, like the comparison of CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide (the three greenhouse gases) emissions between livestock and the oil industry. Livestock is the #1 CO2 emitter, as it contributes to nearly 51% of CO2 emissions globally. In addition, methane emissions, 2nd strongest gas, is nearly equal for both. However, livestock emits nearly 65% of nitrous oxide, a gas that stays longer than CO2, and has the damage potential that is 296 times the potential of carbon dioxide.

People tried to speak up in Brazil against deforestation and livestock dangers, but they were shot before their voice reached the public. Dorothy Stang, an Amazonian activism, was murdered by a hired assassin from the deforestation masterminds. Nowadays, not a lot of environmentalists know about this, and non-profit organizations don’t want to talk about it, for a very cowardly, but understandable reason. The human population is not ready to stop eating meat and dairy products.  The government loves that meat money!

It’s unfortunate that vegans are ridiculed, because they actually contribute less regarding global warming, compared to someone who saves energy and pollute less by riding a bike, etc. The problem cannot be taken down by protesting, we need to change our habits in eating. But who am I? I love bacon, eggs,chicken, and milk.  You probably do too. So is hope lost?

If you care about your children’s future, be a vegan. Or, at least eat less meat and dairy products. African nations use nearly all their imported food to feed livestock.  Western countries get their burgers, while children there are starving. Now the truth is clear to you. What will you do?  For more info, check out cowspiracy.com.  It will greatly challenge what you think you know.

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