So normally my blog is a platform to inform and educate others based on lists (I am a Virgo after all, haha). However, from time to time, something impacts me on a very deep level and I feel compelled to write from my soul. Recently, an issue that is near and dear to my heart has arisen and I feel it’s important to share….
Global Warming and Climate Change has been a long going issue, and recently, the UN reported that we have less than 12 years to prevent major catastrophic damage. I get that we are a society that seems to be so focused on ourselves, and perhaps that is why people have not taken steps and the initiative to reduce their carbon footprint. “It’s not MY problem”, “Let the next generation figure it out.” NEWS FLASH, this major damage to our climate and environment…. that’s in OUR lifetime. Even in my twenty-something year time on earth, I have witnessed the effects of climate change. Seasons are more intense. Summers are unbearably hot and winters are either not existent or extreme. Weather patterns and natural disasters are more frequent, and this is a sad trend that continues to progress.
It amazes me that humans have this inability to sometimes see or understand how our actions are not just solitary. Throwing away trash doesn’t make it magically disappear. Overfishing in our oceans doesn’t mean that there will always be a constant supply of fish and marine life. EVERYTHING is connected. Our planet is changing for the worse and we are responsible for this cause.
One of the biggest changes we can make to help reduce climate change is reducing our consumption of animal products. Now for those of you who have been kind enough to read this whole narrative soap-box rally and are now at the point where you are probably thinking, “Oh great, here we go, another preachy vegan..” and your egos might be engaging, I encourage you to set those aside and just LISTEN.
Three years ago, I made the conscious choice to switch to a vegan diet. And two years before that, I gave up red meat. My main driving force was the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture. The UN has reported that cattle alone contributes more to greenhouse gases than all modes of transportation combine. Livestock and their byproducts account for at 32,000 million tons of CO2 per year, or 51% of all the world’s greenhouse gases.
Now I NEVER thought I could give up meat and dairy. Growing up, my favorite food was a cheeseburger, and for every road trip meal, birthday dinner, or celebratory event, you better believe that I would get a barbeque bacon cheeseburger.
And while my love of cheeseburgers was deep, my love of the environment was deeper. When I found out how the methane from cattle is 86 times more detrimental to greenhouse gases than CO2, and that cows produce 150 billion gallons of methane per day, I could not continue to consume meat knowing these truths.
I am not asking you all to go vegan, but I am asking that you all find ways to reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your consumption of meat. The fact that animal agriculture is the biggest cause of environmental damage is something I cannot ignore. No, you will not die without meat. And shocker, there is actually a lot of tasty meals that are plant-based. We don’t just eat grass. Yes, you can still be manly and not eat meat, and no, living without meat isn’t the end of the world (but perhaps consuming it is….)
Change is hard, especially when it is a conscious shift in a lifestyle or habit. We become resistant and defensive to change, so focused on what we’re “giving up”. Instead of having this negative mindset, choose to think about what you are gaining due to this change: cleaner air, cleaner water, a healthier mind/body/environment, visible sunsets and starry skies, forests still alive with a variety of wildlife, reduced plastic in our oceans, and the knowledge that the actions YOU make are positively impacting our planet.
Because I’d like to live in a future world where I don’t have to pay for basic human necessities, like clean water and air. I’d like to be able to enjoy a sunset without my lungs being polluted, or to go to a tropical beach without seeing plastic washed ashore. These simple rights are being jeopardized by our actions. We are the ones causing climate change and we are the ones that can prevent this major onset of damage.
This isn’t a rant of shaming, but one of encouragement. If you would like to educate yourselves more on the negative environmental impacts of animal agriculture, check out Cowspiracy Facts. If you’re interested in making more meat-less meals but don’t know where to start, I’ve got a variety of tasty recipes located on my Pinterest. And, if you are curious, have questions, or need guidance, feel free to DM me. Change is like a drop of water. It starts as a single point but slowly radiates from that center, rippling and affecting its immediate surroundings. My hope is that this single drop reaches out and affects some of you. After all, there is no planet B, so let’s save the one we have.
Thanks for listening.