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Eating less meat can save the world


Look, I’m not one to pass up a good cheeseburger or slice of pizza, but we could save the planet if everybody decided to cut down on animal product consumption just once a week.

Every time people buy animal-based products such as meat or dairy, they are contributing to the depletion of forests, pollution of freshwater, degradation of soil and climate change. There have been many efforts to reduce the pollution us messy humans have caused, but none have been as effective as scientists would hope.

Even with recycling efforts, Earth Day initiatives and other boring projects, humans have not made much of an impact in the fight against pollution. It is time society turns to reducing the impact caused by the agribusiness and factory farms because they are the leading cause of pollution.

Frankly, I used to not give a monkey’s butt about the environment and pollution because I felt as though it did not affect me. However, not only does pollution affect us, it affects our entire future. Imagine your great-grandson dying at the age of 20 because there’s no more fresh water and sucking down polluted air every day all because, in 2015, we did not do our part in preserving this land for the future.

Animal agriculture contributes more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than any other source and leads to more global warming than the output of cars, planes, trains, buses, and trucks combined. That is an enormous load of bad gas. I don’t want that. I would hope no one else wants that.

It’s hot enough as it is. Please do not make it any worse, people. Having boiling Bobcats burning to a crisp out here is not an ideal situation. Burning flesh does not smell good, but more importantly, boiling oceans and dead polar bears are not too swell either.

Bovines—cows, bulls and calves—release an enormous amount of methane every time they breathe and fart. Animal agriculture is the largest human-induced source of methane, accounting for 40 percent of global emissions. Let that sink in. Everyone is breathing cow farts. Dangerous and deadly cow farts.

All of these factors lead to hypoxic areas, better known as “dead zones.” These are areas where life can no longer be sustained.

Dead zones are springing up everywhere, even in the Gulf of Mexico—which, for those familiar with geography, is pretty close to home.

As people stand around glancing out at the beautiful, shining brown waters of Galveston, little do they know areas out there can no longer house fish or plants, all because those people refused to put down their scoops of ice cream.

The environment is not the only thing directly affected by the mass of pollutants and waste—pollution can lead to other dangerous reactions as well. Harmful pollutants released by the agribusiness and animal products can lead to brain damage, miscarriages, kidney failure and infant deaths.

So, even if there are people out there who do not care about the environment, they should at least care about their health and that of their children. Think of the children. “In the arms of the angels…”

If we choose to eat fewer animal products, the agribusiness market will have to cut down on the production of animals, which in turn will cut down on pollution.  I am not telling people to give up meat entirely, because bacon is a gift from above. However, if people want this world to be a better place—at least environmentally—maybe only go to Chipotle once a week.  You’ll survive, I promise.

Follow Mikala Everett on Twitter at @mikala_maquella.


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