A new report released today by the United Nations states that the world’s land and water resources are being exploited at unprecedented and unsustainable rates. The report, which took climate experts two years to complete, states that human actions are posing a catastrophic threat to our food supply.
The report was prepared by 107 scientific experts from 52 countries using over 7,000 studies. The panel stated that we’re running out of time to address the most pressing crisis of our time. Most notably, the experts stated that people need to stop eating meat if we’re going to avert a global crisis.
How does eating animals contribute to climate change?
- Animal agriculture is responsible for a staggering 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Farmed animals emit methane and nitrous oxide when they excrete waste and belch, which increases the earth’s temperature. Increased temperatures lead to stronger storms and fires.
- Food grown to feed animals is a woefully inefficient waste of food (it takes about 10 lbs. of grain to generate 1 lb. of meat). Wasting food requires more deforestation to grow it, which causes increased land degradation and destruction of wildlife habitats. Growing animals for people to eat them occupies an unbelievable 30% of the world’s land surface.
- Animal agriculture causes coral reef degradation, acid rain, loss of biodiversity, toxic waste, and water degradation.
- Eating animals causes antibiotics resistance. An antibiotic-resistant superbug is one of the existential threats of our time.
You can read the summary of the report here. This fact sheet outlines its framework. Most of all, you can mitigate the threat of climate change by not eating animals and elect leaders who will take action. We’re running out of time.