It has come to our attention that the consumption of meat in a daily basis endangers not only our health, fitness, lifestyle, and of course our wallets, but also every inch of space of existence in this planet. Some (particularly the meat-lovers out there) may refute the aforementioned statement, saying that meat is a natural and essential resource of life and of which God even gave us the permission of eating as was written on the Bible scripture Genesis 1:29 (“Every creature that lives shall be yours to eat; as with the green grasses, I give you all these. You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.”).
But wait, answer my question first. What do you think is the main cause of Global Warming? I suggest pausing for a moment and think. Is your answer transportation? Pollutions? Factories? If your answer is one of the mentioned, then I’m sorry to say that you are not correct.
You see, what the general public fails to realize is that transportation, pollutions, deforestation, factories and whatnot are most definitely NOT the largest contributor to the seemingly unavoidable havoc threatening our environment. Oh yes, all of them absolutely play a part in the destruction of mankind, just not the biggest player around. Dying to know what it is? Then let me tell you one little secret that needs to be spread around:
Livestock Farming is the culprit.
Yup, the one which tends to cattle, cows, pigs, chicken, etcetera, etcetera, and etcetera. Oh, you don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:
Livestock animals release a greenhouse gas called Methane through burping, belching, farting, and defecating. To those who didn’t listen to their Chemistry teachers, Methane is a principal component of natural gas proven to be 23 times more powerful and more harmful than Carbon Dioxide. The aforementioned gas in turn, greatly affects the thermal condition of Mother Earth which results to Global Warming.
Wait, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking about the reason why Livestock Farming beats Transportation in the Most Heinous Global Villain award. I bet you’ll be surprised to know that Livestock Farming is responsible for 18% of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions; whereas, transportation only contributes 13%. Think of all the cars, buses, jeepneys, tractors, airplanes, trains there are worldwide! And yet, cows still seem to emerge as the victors because of their pile of dung.
As said by Dr. David Davies, “Cows have a very complex digestive tract; more complex than ours, actually. Within their stomach, they’re able to digest plant and fiber that humans cannot. To do that, they need to have a very complex mix of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa within their digestive system. These microorganisms have no access to oxygen which is why the key factor to their defecations, belching, etc. is Methane.” How odd yet logical. Although it’s quite a fancy to know that the digestive tract of the meat that we so love to eat is a mixture of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, isn’t it? Cue the shudders.
Moreover, 40-50% of cereals and 75% of soybeans not eaten by humans are being fed to livestock. It takes about 7 kilograms of grain (corn and soybeans) to just make 1 kilogram of beef. Right now, at this very moment, half of the total wheat harvest is used as livestock feed to support our meat and dairy consumption. Hundreds and hundreds of hectares (not to mention rainforests) are involved here, people! It’s most definitely not an efficient way of producing protein food; not especially when it speeds up climate change through deforestation.
Still not convinced? Well then here’s the real killer, especially to the car-lovers out there: “If every American replaces chicken with a vegetarian diet at least one meal a day, it would be the equivalent of taking 500,000 vehicles off the road,” says Matt Prescott from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Need I say more?
In a day, one cow can release 5-700L of Methane, which is equivalent to a big 4×4 vehicle travelling 35 miles per day. Analyze the previous statement and you’ll realize that in a year, the amount of Methane released by a cow is equivalent to a car – a medium one at that – driving 70,000 kilometres. That means driving around the globe more than one and a half times!
It’s very interesting (and eternally infuriating) to note and to say that this knowledge is limited to the public masses. Insufficient media exposure is given to such pressing matter. There isn’t even enough (if there are at all) political willingness involved to solve this case once and for all! But then again, why would they? Consumers just love meat. And if they love meat, they’ll pay for it. It keeps the Global Economy spinning around. After all, if we continuously eat meat, who do you think would benefit more – the consumers or the producers? You be the judge.
Therefore, we can safely deduce that the power to eradicate this rapidly growing factor of Climate Change lies on the hands of every consumer in this world – including you.
You may think it’s silly but studies show that as our world population doubles every 50 years, our meat intake also increases five times as much. And if this continues then by 2030, according to the US Food and Agricultural Organization, methane output could increase by 60%. And by 2050, 450 Billion of meat will be produced every year, and of course, Greenhouse Gas Emissions will double too. In 2100, extreme hunger will be eminent and approximately 1-3 Billion of people are going to be in dire need of fresh water throughout large parts of the globe.
And by that time, we’ll only have ourselves to blame. Not so silly after all, is it?
But trust me when I say that we can still turn this around. We can still shift the paradigm. We just need to WAKE UP. Wake to the reality that our civilization is rapidly tearing into pieces as we know it, that the Climate Change entails dire consequences we would have never thought imaginable, and that the practice of livestock farming needs to be obliterated one way or another.
Bring yourself enough to care. One small step from all of us creates a giant leap to the betterment of society. Go meatless once or twice a week, and it means a lot more than you think.
Thank you for reading.
Disclaimer: The statistical information I garnered regarding this matter is by no means, a research I underwent. It belongs to the ever-amazing research data of Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation. But the written article is a property of the author alone which in this case, is mine. Also, credits to Science of Identity Training and Educational Center (SITEC) for raising environmental awareness within us. No copyright infringement is intended.
Karina is not your ordinary supermom. She juggles her time bonding with her three amazing kids while being in the loop on the latest happenings in the tech and lifestyle scene. Follow me on Instagram (@digitalfilipina) regularly visit www.digitalfilipina.com for daily dose of updates not just for moms but for everyone!