What impact does veganism have on a consumerism level? Here we will discuss the impact of veganism on climate change.
The influence of animal agriculture on climate change is a hotly contested issue. While some argue that being vegan is the greatest domestic response to combating climate change, others argue that there are other viable options for lowering carbon emissions. In this article I will present arguments from both sides.
Animal agriculture produces huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. Agricultural machines like combine harvesters produces a lot of CO2 emissions. Additionally cows release a lot of methane gas. Methane itself has contributed to 30% of global warming since the pre-industrial era in 1980s. According to a report by the United Nations, animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is shockingly more than the entire transportation sector combined. Animal agriculture is clearly a stressing issue which needs to be tackled. Moreover the United Nations has described the livestock sector as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental issues at every scale, local to global.
Individuals can lessen their carbon footprint and contribute to climate change prevention by switching to a vegan diet. According to a study published in the Journal Science, the world's population could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food production by 70% if they all adopted vegan diets. An individual's vegan diet is the single biggest strategy to lessen their carbon footprint, according to a different study conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford.
Furthermore veganism has other environmental benefits as it is also responsible for deforestation. Forests and woods are commonly cleared to make way for cattle production. These natural habitats house many species and are used to escape danger. Species of birds, squirrels, rabbits call these home. If land is not properly handled, livestock production can lead to land degradation and water pollution. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that 85% of the land used for agriculture is just for animals which is almost 50% of landmass in the UK. Animal farming is the leading cause of rainforest deforestation and the single largest driver of habitat loss in general. Especially in the Amazon forest where cattle ranching is responsible for 80% of rainforest loss.
However some argue that advocating veganism as the most effective method of combating climate change may not be practical or feasible for everyone. Many people might not have access to a wide variety of plant-based diets, and other cultures and communities may place a significant emphasis on meat as a source of protein. For example, South Eat Asia heavily relies on seafood, as for centuries they have been fishing for food therefore its hard to change the culture of a seafood based country to a variety of plant based diets. Some plants also aren't able to be grown in those regions as well and imported goods from the western world may be too expensive for some. Furthermore, some people can find it challenging to switch to a vegan diet due to dietary limitations or medical issues.
Several experts recommend a more holistic approach to combat climate change that includes energy consumption reduction, the promotion of renewal energy, and encouragement of sustainable agricultural precises rather than concentrating simply on veganism. Some argue that veganism also produces similar greenhouse gases as the harvesting and transportation are still in the supply chain. Moreover, eating vegan does not necessarily mean animal cruelty free as moles, rabbits and other small animals that live in field will be killed as a combine harvester runs over the crops.
In conclusion, there is still a disagreement over whether being vegan is the most effective domestic response to climate change. Although while it is obvious that animal husbandry contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, others argue that it may not be the most efficient strategy to slow down global warming when compared to other causes like the burning of fossil fuels. Nonetheless, it has been demonstrated that a vegan diet has considerable environmental advantages, such as lowering greenhouse has emissions, land use and water consumption. Also, supporting veganism can raise knowledge of environmentally friendly dietary options and their effects. It is crucial to remember that any attempts to reduce climate change should adopt a comprehensive strategy that takes into account all aspects, including energy usage, renewable energy, and sustainable agricultural methods. Ultimately, reducing our carbon footprints requires collective action from individuals, governments and corporations alike.