Look, I like a good cheeseburger as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to make the planet uninhabitable to get them.
We’ve discussed the disastrous effect of the cattle industry here before, but it bears repeating: American’s meat-heavy diets are proving to be catastrophic to the environment. When a lot of cows are clumped together, the methane from their, uh, emissions has a tremendously destructive effect on the ozone layer. In addition, the runoff from the stockades often causes real harm to the local water sources. Plus, obviously, a diet heavy in meat consumption has proven to be dangerous to the human body.
According to science people, we’re going to need to cut down on our meat consumption by 90% and get our proteins from less harmful sources like beans and whatnot. The way we live now just isn’t sustainable.
Over at the Guardian, columnist Oliver Milman goes deeper into the problem.
Consumption of pork, milk and eggs will also need to decline sharply, all as the world’s population balloons by an extra 2 billion people by 2050. Researchers said there will need to be a global shift to a “flexitarian” diet to help keep the global temperature increase from breaching a 2C limit agreed by governments.
A host of measures have been suggested in order to achieve this, ranging from a tax on red meat to feeding seaweed to cows to reduce methane escaping in their burps. Some advocates have promoted eating insects instead of steaks and pork chops.
A more likely avenue may be the advance of vegetarianism via lab grown meats and the popularity of vegan substitutes such as the Impossible burger, which even ‘bleeds’. Whichever way change is achieved, there’s hope that 2019 will be a key year in the overhaul of a broken global food system.
For more interesting facts, check out the video below.