The joke we heard when we got locked down last month was that the climate crisis should hire COVID-19’s publicist. The reality is that the climate crisis is just as scary as the coronavirus scare and has the potential to be more deadly, but too many people don’t want to believe the science and refuse to be change.
Today is the 50th anniversary Earth Day and it’s the first year that food has been addressed as a potential solution to the global climate crisis. Doing a massive amount of damage to our planet is animal agriculture, which uses 80% of all land devoted to agriculture in the US alone. Factory farming emits more greenhouse gasses (58% of it) than all transportation in the world combined, according to an Oxford University study.
Over half the water used in our country goes to raising animals for food. The US has the highest per capita meat consumption of any large country in the world. Animals used for food emit toxic levels of C02, methane gas and excrement that pollutes our air and waterways.
That methane gas traps the heat in our atmosphere causing temperatures to rise (aka global warming). The amount of waste produced by livestock and poultry in factory farms in the US is around 13 times more than that produced by the entire population.
Did you know that it takes 900 pounds of water to produce one pound of cheese? To produce one calorie from animal protein, you will burn 11 times more fossil fuel and create 11 times more CO2 than needed to produce one calorie from plant protein. Switching to a plant-based diet is perhaps the best thing you can do for planet Earth to help avoid a crisis of greater magnitude than the one we are currently facing. A plant-based diet reduces carbon emissions by 45% and land use by 55%.
Come November, vote for candidates who believe in climate science and are ready to take urgent action now unlike the current administration that has taken away significant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency yet puts money into coal and building a Space Force.