• Hannah Ritola

Why Going Vegan is One of the Best Things You Can Do to Combat Climate Change

Robert Swan once said: "The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."

This means that peoples inaction is the threat to our planet. The fact that some people aren’t doing anything is almost worse than no throwing away your trash. Many people don’t believe they have the capacity to make a change and that somebody else will. The only problem is that everybody thinks that.

If you’re looking for ways to make a change, one of the best ways to start fixing some of the damage we’ve caused our planet is to go vegan! According to the book Drawdown, a plant based diet is the 4th most effective way to end the climate crisis. But that’s not all! Going vegan is not only better for the planet, it’s healthier and better for you. Why is going vegan so good for the planet? First of all, cows and other animals produce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. According to this paper, 18% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture production. In fact, cows produce methane, which is even worse than carbon dioxide. The Racing Extinction website says that if everybody went vegan, it would reduce agricultural carbon emissions by 17%, methane emissions by 24%, and nitrous oxide emissions by 21% by 2050. In addition, when feeding a meat eater you need lots of land for the animals, and more land to grow the food to feed them. On the other hand, a vegan only needs the land for their fruits and veggies! This way, we don't have to destroy forests for land. Then, the carbon inside the trees won't get sent into the atmosphere when we destroy forests for animal agriculture. Is going vegan healthier? Yes! Many American adults consume way more protein than they need. Eggs are supposed to support baby chicks about 28 days, meaning they contain lots of protein and nutrients. Yet, many Americans eat one or two for breakfast, giving them a lot more protein than they need. Contrary too many beliefs, a plant based diet can provide enough protein. In fact, broccoli has more protein per calorie than beef! Meat, especially red meat, also has negative health impacts, including being carcinogenic. You can learn a lot more about the positive health impacts of a plant based, the negative impacts of a meat-filled diet, and the meat/dairy/etc industry as a whole by watching the film What the Health which is available on Netflix. More Information I highly recommend watching the film What the Health if you are having doubts about going vegan. You can find more information on their website. What the Health is also available on Netflix. I also recommend watching Racing Extinction to learn more about climate change, the 6th mass extinction. Their website also has some great ideas of how diet can make a difference! Last, I recommend the book Drawdown for people who want to learn more about what they can do to combat the climate crisis.

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