Prevent Climate Change by Going Vegan By: Christian Jimenez

In today’s society, it may seem that everyone wants to live a healthier lifestyle. One of the many reasons someone would want to live a healthy lifestyle is so that he or she can be comfortable in his or her own skin. A major way to live a healthy lifestyle is by going vegan. Being vegan has become a large trend over the past few years and the majority of the people strive for this healthier regime. Many see going vegan as just losing weight and living healthier, but there is much more to that. Going vegan has many advantages to not only our bodies, but also to the environment. Study says that going vegan can help prevent climate change. Little do we know as humans how big of an impact we have on the globe that we live on. By going vegan we are helping out the earth by saving energy and preventing climate change.

Is it really possible that going vegan can help climate change? Well let me inform you on what I know and by the end of this article, you decide whether a vegan diet can prevent climate change or not. For starters, feeding massive amounts of water and grain to the farmed animals and then killing, processing, storing their flesh and transporting them to different locations all together is extremely energy intensive. Plus the animals themselves and all of the manure that they produce releases greenhouse gases into the environment. For those who do not know, a greenhouse gas is a gaseous compound in the atmosphere that traps heat and causes climate change. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are some of the powerful greenhouse gases that cause a vast majority of the climate change. Methane, one of the powerful greenhouse gases is produced in mass amounts when a large quantity of chicken, pigs and cows are crammed into any U.S. factory. The methane is then released to the atmosphere when the animals are killed and processed. Statistics say that 32% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cattle and their waste (“Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions”). The solution here would be to reduce the number of animals processed in order to reduce the number of gases released.

Animals are not the only ones who have an effect on climate change. Plants also play a role in the release of these greenhouse gases. For example, in order for the meat industry to expand their business, they chose a location that is large and remote to have their precious factories at. These locations usually take place near forests; therefore in order to begin construction for these factories, trees need to be cut down. Forests absorb greenhouse gases; thus when the trees are cut down in order to supply pastureland and grow crops for farmed animals, there is no more greenhouse absorption taking place since the forest are now replaced with greenhouse gas releasing factories. Nevertheless, by going vegan, the numbers of factories made can be reduced, meaning the number of animals processed will decline and that goes for the amount of gases released into the atmosphere.

I am myself a vegan and have been for more than a year. At first, my decision behind going vegan was to loose weight and to see if I could manage to live a healthy life; then I began to do research and discovered about the overall advantages that would come with being vegan. I came across an article that talked about how going vegan could control climate change and that article played a role in my decision to fully convert my eating habits. This article was on the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) website. The Peta is an American animal rights organization that works towards ending animal cruelty and promoting a plant-based diet. In the article, the Peta mentioned that a vegan diet is the best way to benefit ones health and to help climate control. This is because in order for meat production to occur, one has to cut down woodland to create industries, including farms and meat production companies (Mathai and Stensland 215). Furthermore, by educating myself in more facts about going vegan I am happy that I made this decision knowing that I am not only benefiting myself, but also the world that we live in.

Accordingly, if we all, or a large number of us became vegan, our health and this earth’s health would improve immensely. But I get it if you may see completely going vegan as being a bit extreme. My best advice would be to at least try by starting off slow. You can start by cutting red meats from your diet once a month. Also you can have vegan days once a week in order to gradually get used to the eating habits that a vegan has. In conclusion, by going vegan you can reduce the impact of climate change, rainforest destruction, and pollution, while saving energy and other precious resources. Together we can all make a difference in this world and can live longer and healthier lives in a climate-change free earth.

References

Mathai, C.V., and Gary Stensland, eds. Global Climate Change: Science, Policy, and MitigationStrategies. Phoenix: Air & Waste Management Association, 1994. Print.

"Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Environmental Protection Agency. N.p., 14 Mar. 2016. Web. 19 Apr. 2017.

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