Taking a Bite Out of Climate Change

by | Dec 28, 2021 | Straight Talk

“Ignore the effects of animal agriculture on climate change at your own peril.” Dr. Sailesh Rao, Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers.

Three of the hottest years in our planet’s history have occurred since 2016. That’s happening because greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly carbon dioxide (CO2), continue to increase. They’re forming an ever heavier atmospheric blanket over us, trapping the planet’s heat. Scientists worldwide agree this is due to human activity.

Here at Grown-up Kitchen we’re committed to helping you adjust your diet for your personal well-being and enjoyment, as well as the health of the planet.

One major activity all humans do is eat. And, we love to eat our meat.

Did you know that animal agriculture is currently second only to fossil fuels as the chief contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions?

It’s true! Carbon Dioxide emissions from animal agriculture increased by 51% between 1961 and 2010 and the world now produces 3 times the meat it did 50 years ago. If we continue at this rate, overall CO2 emissions from raising animals for food will surpass fossil fuels as the chief contributor to global greenhouse gasses by 2050.

Are we eating our way to extinction?

There are many other environmental concerns related to animal agriculture we could chew on here, like global deforestation, drought and water usage, or pollution due to animal agriculture, but let’s stay focused on the meat for the moment.

One recent study showed that the average American’s meat consumption creates 1,984 pounds of CO2 annually. That is a breathtaking individual environmental footprint.

Is it too late to take a bite out of climate change?

The clock is ticking, but one place we could start would be to reduce our overall meat consumption by half over the next 30 years. That would make a meaningful difference. It would save approximately 160 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of removing 30 million gas driven cars from America’s highways.

What if we just focus on ground beef for the moment? It accounts for nearly half of the beef we eat. Meanwhile, the most successful and widely accepted plant-based products on the market today happen to be options for ground beef. Recent polls in 2021 showed that 78% of Americans would happily substitute plant-based burger products at their next barbecue. What a huge difference just that one change would make.