A front page article in the New York Times on Sep. 8 titled “Terrifying Path of Climate Crisis Weighs on Obama” details the President’s concerns about the alarming threat that climate change poses to the world and highlights how we are already feeling the disastrous consequences. However, glaringly left out of the article is any mention of the industry that is a top contributor to climate change—animal agriculture.
The focus of the article, and of Obama’s efforts, has been reducing greenhouse gases caused by the energy sector. However, it’s animal agriculture that is the #1 cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution and deforestation. We have 7.3 billion people on the planet and more than 70 billion cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, goats and more used for “food.” Nearly half of earth’s entire land mass is used for farming—with a staggering 30 percent of Earth’s land surface used for doomed livestock. And of all the agricultural land in the U.S., 80 percent is used to raise animals for food and grow grain to feed them—that’s almost half the total land mass of the lower 48 states. And all lands used for “free-range” cattle and sheep farming decimates habitat that belongs to wild horses, bison, wolves, coyotes, foxes and other animals who are often killed to benefit these farmers.
How we feed the planet’s population, estimated to be at 9 billion people by 2050 is one of the most important questions to answer in terms of the future of our planet.
If we are serious about combatting the serious threats of climate change, we need to challenge the animal agriculture industry and expose it as a leading driver of environmental devastation, and that means leaving animal products off our plates. A vegan diet is the sustainable, ethical way to feed the planet. At Friends of Animals we show how satisfying and delicious a vegan lifestyle can be through our vegan cookbooks, our vegan restaurant guides and advocacy which you can check out right here.