Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve probably noticed that global warming and rapid climate change are threatening the very world we live in and the existence of the human race. There are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the greatest contributors to climate change is greenhouse gas emissions. One way that you can reduce your carbon footprint is by adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not only are you doing yourself and the planet a favour by doing so, but there are a myriad of health benefits for you and your animal companions.
Here are three great reasons to adopt a vegan or vegetarian diet or limit your consumption of animal products:
1. Factory farming is cruel. Over the decades, industrialized farming has become increasingly competitive and inhumane conditions can result if manufacturers opt to be economically competitive. To cut costs, many factory farmers wind up cramming their livestock into tiny crates, pumping them full of hormones to speed up the growth process, and forgoing the use of anaesthesia during slaughter. These are just a few of the injustices that occur in factory farms and livestock warehouses on a daily basis.
2. The livestock sector accounts for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. It also contributes to the loss of biodiversity, water and air pollution, and land degradation. Consider the transport of livestock. That, alone, adds to our air pollutants in unimaginable quantities. In addition to transportation, the production of feed, which includes deforestation for pasture and feed crops, contributes to our CO2 count. Of course, you can’t forget manure. When you’re breeding livestock in such massive quantities, anthropogenic nitrous oxide, a direct link to global warming, is produced from animal waste in large amounts.
3. Factory farm-produced animal and animal by-products can be hazardous to your health. In order to promote speedy growth and maximize revenue, many factory farmers will inject hormones into their livestock. This can result in deformities in animals that would not, under normal circumstances, grow that large. These hormones are passed to you when you consume animal products produced from hormone-fed livestock. In addition to hormones, some popular menu items have contents that seem far from edible. Milk, for example, has been known to contain pus from the infected udders of over-milked dairy cows. More information on questionable food contents that you probably weren’t aware of can be found on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals website.
These are just three reasons a vegetarian or vegan diet can help you, your planet, and your animal counterparts. Is the taste of meat really worth the true cost of livestock production? The choice is yours.