Climate Change Is A Joke

You don’t really care about the environment, you’re only doing it for the gram


People like to pretend that they care about the world and humanity but they just aren’t willing to make the right lifestyle changes to actually make a difference. There are people pushing to cut back on plastic use and to stop using straws to protect our environment and the animals, but they aren’t focused on actually helping animals by not eating them. That’s not to say that plastic isn’t harmful to the environment and animals, but climate change and hunger are two very real issues in the world today as well. If people would stop eating animals it could fix the hunger issue and help in the fight against climate change. It would even help if people just drastically reduced their consumption of meat products.

Animals are raised on farms and they consume a lot of food and water to get to a profitable slaughter size. A major issue with the number of animals being farmed is waste products. Cows and sheep produce a lot of methane gas and methane gas is one of the worst contributors to climate change. Time For Change reported “According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) agriculture is responsible for 18% of the total release of greenhouse gases world-wide (this is more than the whole transportation sector).” I’ve seen advertising urging people to carpool and try to use alternative means of transportation to help with climate change, but not nearly the same amount of advertising to reduce the amount of meat consumed.

Carbon dioxide contributes to climate change as well, although less than methane, but is also “breathed” in by plants as they then “exhale” oxygen for humans to breathe. The New York Times reported that, “Farming is responsible for the equivalent of 574 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States each year.” They also reported that, “Methane is increasingly drawing attention from researchers because its worldwide levels have doubled in less than 10 years after remaining flat since the 1990s.” Methane gas and other negative environmental impacts of factory farms are not new issues, but they are continuing to get worse.

Methane is only one of the many issues that factory farms produce for the environment. Footprint reported “In 2012, livestock and poultry on the largest concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) produced 369 million tons of manure: this was almost 13 times more waste than that of the entire US population of 312 million.” Since animal waste is not treated in the same way as human waste it stands to impact the surrounding community in ways like soaking into the ground and into the groundwater. This is an issue because as Footprint reported, the waste “consists not only of animal excrement but of bedding waste, antibiotic residues, cleaning solutions and other chemicals, and sometimes dead animals.” All things that should not be in local groundwater. Water is not the only issue, however, as these factory farms also increase risk of airborne diseases such as avian and swine flu.

Many factory farms are located in low-income communities which makes it difficult for families to move away from the smells and other issues they produce. The United Stated Government Accountability Office reported in 2005 that when it comes to factory farm employment, “ turnover rates of 100 percent a year or more are not uncommon.” It shows a complete disregard for the workers in this industry as it is easier for a new employee to get hurt or sick than a more experienced employee. This furthers the evidence that money means more than human or animal life to factory farm owners.

Climate change aside, there are other reasons to stop eating meat. It seems time that an association between the amount of food used to animals for human consumption gets looked into further. It would be helpful to see if the amount of food used for the animals could be better used to feed those who are unable to feed themselves or their families. According to the USDA, there have been 6,468,926,800 livestock and poultry animals slaughtered from January through August of this year. That is a lot of food and water used to get a smaller portion of only food in return. The USDA stated that 5,581,000 people in the United States had very low food security in 2018, which means that they are “food insecure to the extent that normal eating patterns of some household members were disrupted at times during the year, with self-reported food intake below levels considered adequate.” Which further proves that the food used to feed these animals being slaughtered would be better used to end hunger in the United States and even the world.

There were 327.2 million people reported in the United States in 2018 according to the United States Census. If you think about the amount of food and water it takes to raise the 6,468,926,800 livestock and poultry killed so far in 2019, it’s easy to wonder if it all wouldn’t have been more useful going to some of the 5,581,000 people in the United States who could barely even eat. Albeit, a persons personal decisions on what they prefer to eat comes down to them and is a major factor in this, but focusing on a plant based diet would be more beneficial to their health and financial situations.

It’s a big decision to make and an extremely personal one, not counting the animals that suffer and die or the exploited workers in slaughterhouses trying to make ends meet, but it’s a decision in the right direction of change. If people would stop eating animals they could not only prevent animals from being slaughtered but they could also save money, eat healthier, improve their cholesterol, and also do that thing that so many people want to do nowadays — help the environment and save the animals.

As Leo Tolstoy once said, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”