Happy Earth Day people! How cool is it that there is a day dedicated to celebrating and acknowledging how incredible the earth is? Without it, we, and many other beautiful creations, would not be.
One of the main reasons I went vegan was for the earth and the environment. I had no idea how much raising livestock damages the earth. Making the choice to live a vegan lifestyle, I feel like I automatically became a spokesperson to where part of my “job” is to raise awareness and educate. So in honor of this Earth day, I would like to present some research I have done, with hopes that I can make a positive difference in one way or another.
Switching from a meat-eating diet to a plant-based diet is the most effective switch anybody could make to improve the environment, even more than driving a hybrid car and recycling. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock produces more greenhouse gas emissions (measured in CO2 equivalent) than all cars and trucks in the world combined.
Because there are triple the number of livestock in the world than there are people, an obscene amount of water is needed to grow grains/hay to keep the animals fed. What kind of impact do you think we could make on world hunger if those grains went to starving people? But instead those grains are going to animals that end up slaughtered for human consumption. The Water Education Foundation states that it takes roughly 2,500 gallons of water to yield one pound of beef in the state of California. That’s about one shower every day for 6 months. Guess how much water is used to produce one pound of wheat? 25 gallons.
EarthSave concludes, “Methane is responsible for nearly as much global warming as all other non-CO2 greenhouse gases put together. Methane is 21 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than CO2”. The number one source of methane worldwide is livestock, producing more than 100 million tons of methane a year. 85% of the methane produced is from “digestive processes” of the livestock, where the rest of the 15% is coming from the giant “lagoons” (often as big as football fields) that store untreated livestock waste. These “lagoons” are also the number one source of water pollution in our country.
There is so much more research out there that I could discuss, but I know it can be overwhelming. Because of that I will leave the rest up to you all to further educate yourselves on this topic, if you wish. If I’ve impacted one person from what I’ve wrote today, that’s enough for me.