Earth is in peril, and conservation habits aren’t enough to save our world and the prosperity. The sea levels are rising, the Amazon is experiencing deforestation, ice caps are melting, there are frequent wildfires and intense tropical storms. Most logical people would ask “What’s even causing climate change?” The answer might surprise you.
There is more to climate change than just fossil fuels. Agricultural businesses increase greenhouse gases, water consumption, Amazon deforestation and waste.
A majority of people say that transportation is the leading cause for greenhouse gas emissions but raising livestock creates more greenhouses gas than every transportation sector combined. Methane gas comes from cows and other land based livestock and it’s 86 times more destructive than the CO2 from transportation.
Livestock accounts for 51 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions while only 13 percent comes from transportation exhaust. Another gas that livestock is responsible for is nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is a gas that carries 296 times the global warming potential of CO2. The most alarming part is that agriculture emission is estimated to grow 80 percent by 2050 because the rise of meat and dairy consumption. The heat is getting trapped and the temperature is rising.
Meat and dairy are water intensive. Livestock in the U.S. use 34 trillion gallons of water per year. Agriculture is responsible for 55 percent of water consumption and humans use close to 5 percent. It seems like government officials are ignoring the fact that livestock accounts for the majority of Earth’s water consumption.
The Amazon Rainforest is the lungs of the planet. The Amazon breathes in the CO2 and exhales oxygen. Regrettably, the Amazon is estimated to be gone in the next ten years. You may find that hard to believe, but cattle grazing is the leading cause of deforestation. Every second, one acre of the Amazon Rainforest is lost to make room for grazing animals and to grow crops for livestock. Actually, 136 miles of the rainforest has been irrevocable due to cattle leading rainforest destruction.
This may sound silly but land-based livestock is responsible for 116 thousand pounds of excrement per second. That’s enough poop to cover San Francisco, New York City, Tokyo, Paris, New Dehli, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Rio de Janeiro, Delaware, Bali, Costa Rica, and Denmark combined! The waste ends up going into the ocean. Livestock produces 130 times more waste than humans. Farm runoff is the number one source of water pollution.
All these facts and figures come from the film “Cowspiracy.”
The solution to climate change is a little hard to swallow, literally. But if you really consider it, you can change the world. In the U.S., Americans eat nine ounces of meat per person per day. A plant-based diet is the most sustainable and a vegetarian diet is a close second. Each day a vegan, saves approximately 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of the Amazon, and 20 pounds CO2 equivalent. It is difficult to be an environmentalist while continuing to eat meat products.