Veganism is an ideology against cruelty and exploitation of animals. It excludes the use of animals in all areas like food, clothing, product testing and entertainment. Since our planet’s resources are finite and depleting at a rapid rate, people are finding alternatives to their diets and lifestyle to contribute to these unpredictable changes.
According to the source “Climate: Meat turns up the heat | Carnegie Institution for Science (carnegiescience.edu),” livestock contributes to emission of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide which are responsible for global warming. According to the estimates for greenhouse gas emission related to livestock in 237 countries, livestock emissions have increased by 51 percent over about half century period. It is expected that the emission rate would increase in future as some scientists predict the demand for meat, dairy, and eggs to double by 2050.
As the source “Can meat consumption reduction campaigns solve the climate crisis? - The Understory - Rainforest Action Network (ran.org)” suggests, even if U.S. consumption of meat has reduced, the meat exports have increased since 1990 and hence the percentage of U.S. meat production is also increasing.
Countries like China where per day consumption of meat is about 160 grams are moving to U.S. model of factory farming to meet the increasing demands. This also brings the environmental imbalance as all those animals which are slaughtered everyday need to be fed and housed before they can be sent to the supermarket for consumption. Animal feces adds to the contamination of water as the animal feed crops are sprinkled with pesticides and animals are themselves injected with unhealthy hormones. Factory farming and crop raising also deplete natural resources as they consume fossil fuels for power supply while in contrast plant-based food chain requires fewer natural resources.
A report in Medical News Today suggested that, “we should only eat meat if it is healthful to do so.” Along with livestock, natural predators like wolves and coyotes die in the process too by the farmers. Animal consumption has also contributed to worldwide malnourishment as instead of feeding the farmed livestock, that quantity of crops can actually feed more population around the world. Instead of farm animals’ water consumption, we can bring water to that many people who don’t have it readily available. Going vegan also reduces the risk of diseases like swine flu which are caused by pathogens circulated while factory farming.