Meat Contributes to Global Warming
In an article by Dan Brook, he emphasized that meat production is a major contributor to the current global warming problems. Farms that raise livestock for chicken, pork or cattle meat all contribute to increasing the levels of Carbon dioxide and methane in the environment, thus increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, resulting to global warming (Brook).
Global warming is a widely known issue today, not only in the United States of America, but in all parts of the world. Who wouldn’t want to know about a potential life-threatening phenomenon? As more and more researches are conducted, the more our eyes are opened to this environmental catastrophe. We attribute it largely to the consumption of oils and fossil fuels which would result to the creation of green house gases that would warm the Earth unnaturally or excessively. But little did we know that there are other things that worsen global warming aside from the consumption of these fossil fuels.
According to a 2006 report of the United Nations, there is one industry that produces greenhouse gases at a level greater the production from automotives, planes, and ships that consume fossil fuels. This industry is a lot closer to our hearts, or should I say, our stomach. This is the meat industry: farm animals rose for their flesh, eggs, and milk (GoVeg.com). This would mean that all of us, who consume meat in a daily basis as a source of protein and fiber for our daily energy needs, are all guilty of making the global warming problem worse. So aside from cutting the consumption of oil and fossil fuels by driving fuel-efficient cars and using eco-friendly materials, we should also consider changing our diet and cutting down the consumption of meat and other related products.
Before we delve deeper into the relationship of meat and global warming, let us first consider the possible effects of global warming to our environment, and eventually to us human beings. Global warming is an abnormality in the temperatures of the earth as caused by greenhouse gases that traps heat from the sun, here in our precious planet. Studies show that this would eventually lead to the increase of catastrophic events like drought in some parts of the planet. This would also cause the polar ice caps to melt, thus submerging some parts of the planet underwater. Frequent flooding and hurricanes would happen because of the abnormality in the atmospheric temperature. A concrete example of this is Hurricane Katrina, which devastated parts of America, which up until now, has not recovered from the damages. This would also cater to the outbreaks of diseases, causing plague-like epidemics all over the world, especially in countries which doesn’t have good sources of medicine and medical help(VeganSociety.com).
So how come meat is involved in this matter? The first reason is that the animals raised in farms, like chickens, pigs, and cattle, are the leading emitters of carbon dioxide in the world. This is because just like humans, when animals breathe, they inhale oxygen while emitting carbon dioxide. Farms with thousands of animals around would surely create a lot more carbon dioxide than those growing naturally in the wild. But it is not only carbon dioxide that could be accounted to these meat farms. They also produce Methane, which is much more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. This is from both the digestion process and the feces that these animals release to the environment. These meat farms also produce one of the most powerful greenhouse gases that trap heat, which is the nitrous oxide. These farms account for more that half of the total worldwide emissions of nitrous oxide (ABCnews.com).
We can see that the meat industry really play a big part in global warming, so there is really the need for the people to cut down their consumption of meat and other related products. We know that meat gives us some essential nutrients that we need to grow and live, but there are other sources that could provide us with such necessary components. There are other alternatives for meat, so it is really possible to cut down our consumption, if not, do away with such products if we really want to save ourselves and our environment from the growing problem of global warming.
Given these facts, and comparing them to the negative effects that we have experienced (or will be experiencing in the near future), surely the negative effects of meat outweighs its benefits. It is true that it has really been a part of our diet, with the emergence of fast food and other markets for meat. But would we rather delight on consuming meat, rather than fearing for our safety when the negative effects hit us? It is not too late to take action, and that is what we really have to do. It is either do or die, but in this case, not eating meat would be the one that would save us. There are other alternatives that have been proposed by researchers, and one of these is eating more vegetables rather than meat. These vegetables can provide the same nutrition that we get from meat provided we eat the right amounts of eat, so we clearly have an option.
With the problems that we are facing today, should we indulge more on our appetite and continue to consume meat, rather than help save ourselves and the environment, and cut our consumption of meat products. There are no other people to decide for us except of our selves, but the hope for our survival is literally hangs by a question: should we consume more meat and perish, or consume less or none of it at all and survive?
ABCnews.com. “Meat-Eaters Aiding Global Warming?” 2006. September 7 2008. <http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Story?id=1856817&page=1>.
Brook, Dan. “Commentary, “Another Inconvenient Truth: Meat Is a Global Warming Issue.” “. 2006. EMagazine.com. September 7 2008. <http://www.emagazine.com/view?3312 >.
GoVeg.com. “Meat and the Environment”. 2008. September 7 2008. <http://www.goveg.com/environment-globalWarming.asp>.
VeganSociety.com. “Global Warming: What’s the Problem?” 2008. September 7 2008. <http://www.vegansociety.com/html/environment/energy/global_warming.php>.