By: Amanda Lydon
Summary: The rise of greenhouse gases is a major concern amongst climate scientists. One of our biggest contributors to greenhouse gases is livestock, which releases more methane into the atmosphere than all cars, trucks, and automobiles combined. Right now, the population is growing at an exponential rate, which means the rate of food and livestock produced must also go up and is causing more emissions to be released into the atmosphere now more than ever.
Along with growing emission levels caused by livestock, there is an issue of deforestation to clear land to raise livestock which also affects climate change because less carbon dioxide can be absorbed, leaving it to stay in the atmosphere contributing more to the issue. With these issues came the idea of promoting more “meat consciousness” among consumers. People don’t have to completely cut meat out of their diet, but rather choose to purchase and consume it once to twice a week, or do days such as meatless Mondays. Scientists believe if people begin to do this, the demand for meat will fall, meaning less cows will have to be produced as livestock so less methane will be sent into the atmosphere. Having to raise less livestock also means not as much land will have to be taken up for the animals as well leaving the trees and forest that once before had to be cleared more plentiful and able to intake more of our atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Why we should care? With growing concerns of climate change, it is important that everyone contributes in any way they can, even if it is a small one such as skipping out on a steak and opting out for a salad instead.
I found this article interesting because it talked about how much land would be left over if we did reduce the amount of livestock we were raising which was said to be about the size of the continent of India. The article also went on to say what we could do with this large amount of land that is available that would be environmentally beneficial. The ideas of more efficient food
production like growing high protein lentils, and plating new forests to help absorb more carbon dioxide were ideas that were proposed. Overall I think this topic was very interesting because I think the idea of going vegan or at least vegetarian is becoming increasingly more popular and promoted in mainstream media, even if it isn’t with the intention of helping the planet. It is amazing to think how big of a difference we can make while committing to an action that really seems so irrelevant to the issue of climate change.
Science in Action.