I’m sure the meat-eaters, and even the veggies, among us will know our fair share of vegan jokes. But if we look past the stereotype of vegans being all self-righteous and preachy, and just look at the facts, it seems like they might be on to something with the whole ‘no animal products’ thing.
As reported recently by The Guardian, research published over the last year has emphasized the huge impact eating meat, particularly beef and pork, has on the environment. There are a number of ways in which the meat and dairy industries affect the environment, such as methane production from massive herds of cows, and the pollution of landscapes and waterways.
It’s pretty obvious that we have to do something to change this. Earlier this year it was reported the world is in the midst of a SIXTH mass extinction, the likes of which hasn’t been seen for 66 million years, which could cause two thirds of the world’s species to become extinct.
Because of this crisis, as well as industrialized agriculture, livestock and humans now make up 96 per cent of all mammals.
Keegan Kuhn, who co-created the documentary ‘Cowspiracy’, Said in an interview:
“Right now we’re living in the largest mass extinction seen on this planet in 65 million years. The leading cause of species extinction around the world is raising animals for food.
We clear massive areas of natural habitat for endangered and threatened species to make room for livestock. We wipe out the ability of those species to recover from imminent extinction.”
According to The Guardian, in October, scientists recommended that massive reductions in meat consumption – we’re talking around a 90 per cent drop in western countries – are necessary to try and prevent dangerous levels of climate change.
It might sound like an impossible task to reduce meat consumption by that much, but I guess we have to start somewhere. To help prevent the global temperature from breaching a 2C increase limit agreed by governments, researchers have said there needs to be a global shift to a ‘flexitarian’ diet.
I know, it’s a goofy term, but the logic behind it does make sense – a so-called flexitarian diet is one which encourages mostly plant-based foods while allowing meat and other animal products in moderation.
I’m not here to preach, folks. I’m just saying – if the scientists are to be believed, we’re in a pretty scary situation, and we need to do something about it sooner rather than later.