The documentary ‘Cowspiracy: The sustainability secret’ has opened my eyes and my heart to this well kept issue. I recommend everyone to go watch this short documentary.

As we all know, as a result of the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the worlds climate is drastically changing in a negative way. Carbon dioxide belongs to one of the six main greenhouse gases, alongside methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases all partake in the greenhouse effect. For those of you who don’t know what the greenhouse effect is, it is the trapping of the sun’s warmth in the planet’s lower atmosphere. The gases that trap this outgoing energy are the greenhouse gases. So, the higher the amount of greenhouse gases are, the warmer the earth becomes. We hear a lot about the negative effects that burning fossil fuels brings to our environment, but would it shock you if you heard that this is not the primary source of our planet’s climate change?

In fact, as exposed in this documentary, animal agriculture is actually the number one emitter of greenhouse gases. All due to the fact that a cows digestive system produces methane gas which is 25-100 times more destructive to the planet than carbon dioxide from vehicles. 10,000 years ago free living animals made up 99% of the biomass while human beings made up 1% of the biomass.Today human beings and the animals that we own as property make up 98% of the biomass whilst free living animals make up 2% of the biomass. This tragic phenomenon has lead to cattle being responsible for 51% of all greenhouse emissions; covering 45% of the earths total land and 136 million rainforest acres. So why aren’t the risks of the increasing emissions of methane gas being discussed just as much as the risks of the increasing emissions of carbon dioxide to our environment?

Cattle are no different then our house pets. They are not ‘stock’ and should not have a bar code or ear tag. The fact that we still relentlessly continue the gruesome practice of butchery in the way we do for food is barbaric and primitive. Whether you’re a dairy cow or a cow raised in a beef facility, you will eventually be slaughtered. These cows also eat the grain produced in third world countries while it’s population is starving. The bottom line is, our planet can’t handle the high demand for meat consumption. The demand for dairy is also very high. As a result our ecosystems are perishing, habitat destruction is taking place, wild predators are being hunted down and are at the brink of extinction, ocean dead zones are present worldwide and so is water pollution. Yet, environmental organizations are silent on this matter.

The reason behind environmental organizations’ tense silence is due to past killings of civilians who have spoken out about the animal agriculture being the primary cause of global warming. Conveying the truth and standing up for our planet is getting people either killed, sued or put into jail. Take for example sister Dorothy Stang, a U.S nun who lived in the Brazilian rain-forest. Her life’s work was to protect the rain-forest and she also spoke out against cattle ranching. One night, sister Dorothy Stang was walking home when she was killed point blank by a hired gunman by the cattle industry. Over 1,100 activists have been killed in the past 20 years in Brazil.

The excessive consumption of meat is destroying today’s society. The real problem isn’t the fact that we are eating too much meat, the problem is overpopulation. More people means more demand. In a Utopian society the majority of our population would become a vegetarian or a vegan but this, of course, is very idealistic. It is no secret that we human beings are dependent on meat, we like to think that it is a crucial part of our diet and cutting it out would mean a death sentence for some. The only way we can save our planet is to think realistically; by eating meat in moderation.

The stigma that human beings cannot survive off of a plant based diet has been proven wrong many times. In fact, people who avoid meat have claimed to have better health due to low blood pressure, have increased energy and younger looking skin. Having a plant-based diet which consists of alternatives to meat and dairy is the only way we can save our planet from the state that it’s in today. Is our need for meat so immense that we can’t even consider switching to a plant based diet that is not only beneficial for yourself but also for the planet? By doing this we can address problems such as climate change, health, animal welfare and much more.

Climate change effects all life on this planet. Unless we take drastic measures to changing the way we live our daily lives, the world as we know it will quickly cease to exist and famine, drought and world hunger will be present in our day to day lives. The effects that animal agriculture has on our environment is something that all people should be aware of. Raising and killing animals for food is what is actually killing the planet. Until we change the way we eat, we will never be able to stop climate change. Are you going to eat that burger?

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