Did you know that our food choices help determine if we have clean air, plenty of pure water and even thriving rainforests? The food we eat has a direct impact on the environment – and every time we grab a snag sanga, heat up a pie or make a meal out of anything that’s derived from animals, Mother Earth winces.
Here’s why: a report by the Worldwatch Institute concluded that animal agriculture is responsible for 51 per cent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions – 51 per cent. Raising and killing animals for food also accounts for up to 33 per cent of fresh water consumption worldwide. It trashes the water, too. Factory farms produce billions of pounds of manure every day that end up in lakes and rivers. Livestock already covers 45 per cent of Earth’s total land, and even more land, including rainforests, is being bulldozed every day to make room for animals and the crops that feed them – the equivalent of seven US football fields every minute, according to the Smithsonian Institution.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and habitat destruction. It’s little wonder that the United Nations has said that going vegan is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. (And of course, going vegan is also great for your health and even better for animals.)
If you need more food for thought, make it a point to catch Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret on Netflix Australia. The lauded documentary follows an aspiring environmentalist as he tries to uncover the solution to the most pressing issues facing the planet. After you’ve digested that, hustle over to the film’s website. You can load up on all kinds of facts and figures that you can use to persuade your mates to make the switch, too.