When We Use Animals for Food, We May as Well Be Lighting Bushfires

Posted on by Dan H

Following severe heatwaves this summer across Australia, PETA has sent a cheeky gift to agriculture and emergency management minister Murray Watt: a box of matches intended to remind him that amid escalating temperatures due to the climate catastrophe, when we strike out meat, we can douse the heat.

Minister Watt is being reminded that animal agriculture is fuelling the climate catastrophe and the most comprehensive analysis to date concludes that eating vegan produces 75% less climate-heating emissions and water pollution and requires 75% less land than meat-rich diets.

By continuing to subsidise and promote the products of animal agriculture, such as meat, eggs, and dairy – which also involve extreme animal suffering – the government is striking a match against our fragile planet and condemning the nation to suffer the consequences of reaching a climate tipping point, including the destruction of homes, loss of life, and a bleak future for the next generation.

When it comes to identifying key drivers of climate change, the science is clear – animal agriculture is a death knell for the planet. According to a 2020 study, cows and other ruminant animals produce nearly as much methane as the entire fossil fuel industry. In the same year, researchers from the University of Oxford warned that “even if fossil fuel emissions were eliminated immediately, emissions from the global food system alone would make it impossible to limit warming to 1.5°C and difficult even to realise the 2°C target”.

Happily, we can help douse the heat, simply by striking meat from our menus. Studies show that we could stay within a 1.5°C temperature rise by adopting a plant-based food system. A vegan world would not only be better for the planet but also spare billions of sensitive animals a miserable life and a terrifying death.