What is the biggest contributor to Global Warming?
You might be thinking about the emission of greenhouse gases from transportation or burning fossil fuels or deforestation. However, it might be surprising to you but cows and pigs are going to be the biggest contributor to global warming very soon.
But why is that?
We all are worried about CO2 emission and it’s devastating effects on climate change. But methane is even more dangerous. Heat-trapping ability of methane is much higher than CO2.
Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence. On average a cow produces 100 to 200 liters of methane in a day, which is a lot of methane.
So what can we do?
We cannot just vanish cows from the world. Of course not but we can certainly reduce the production of cows especially in the farms, where they are in millions just to satisfy your meat crave.
Have you noticed the number of new diseases are increasing every year in the disease dictionary? Every year there are additions of a new type of diseases. Certainly, there is something is severely wrong. Our lifestyle is getting worse day by day. Mainly our food habits. So let’s learn from the people who lived healthier for most of their life
You probably know that the Japanese lived longer and healthier than the rest of the world. Especially an island is known as Okinawa island where living more than 100 years is pretty common. People are healthy all their life. What’s their secret?
The magic is in their food. Their food mainly consists of plant-based. Meat, dairy products, and seafood are eaten in very less amount.
But how does eating meat prevents us from becoming healtheir?
Although meat is high in protein, it contains a high amount of saturated fat and bad cholesterol which causes blockages in heart auricles. Meat is uneasy to digest which decreases the pancreas juice, which is required for food digestion. Moreover, it drives our bad emotions like anger, frustrations, anxiety etc.
However that doesn’t mean I am saying you should remove meat (beef, pig, chicken) from your diet. It’s your choice. However, research suggests it’s better atlest to recuce meat consumption and if you have to eat then eat quality meat not just from anywhere.
So what if people all over the world started reducing meat consumption and eat more plant based foods. Let’s address few facts one by one-
- Environment: As already discussed above, consuming more meat is directly related to climate change. More animals mean more methane which will result in rising in global warming. Due to more animal production in farms, the rainforest in Amazon is destroying at a scary rate which results in extinction of almost 100 species every single day. Surely consumption of meat is not environment-friendly.
2. Shortage of Water: A decade back shortage of water was mainly a topic of debate and discussions. But today it’s a hardcore reality. We are aware of situations in parts of the world including recently what happened in South Africa due to the shortage of water. How does meat production contributes to fresh water shortage?
To produce just 1 pound of beef it requires 2000 gallons of water. For one pound of chicken, it’s 460 gallons of water. Which means it requires 660 gallons of water to make a beef burger. You can have 2 months of shower with 660 gallons of water. At a time when water shortage is knocking our door, it’s not wise to waste too much of water for satisfying your meat craving.
3. Health: It’s been a long belief that without meat there would be a protien deficiency in a person. However, the research suggests the opposite thing. Eating more animal protein increases the chances of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases. There are differences between animal and plant protein. What’s worse animal farms are mostly responsible fot giving birth to superbugs. Read my previous blog on superbugs.
There are even examples where many people have cured cancer via only fruit based diet. Just to mention few Johana Brandt cure cancer by a grape diet. So it’s not entirely true that reducing meat from your diet will affect your health, in another way it will actually make you healthier. Even our heroes like Leonardo Da Vinci, Franz Kafka, Pythagoras, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, Benjamin Franklin were Vegetarian.
You might be surprised to know but even dairy products you love are not great for your health. There is an entire industry based on only dairy products and you will probably never know that dairy products are sometimes detrimental to your health. Have a watch to this video by Dr. Neal Barnard in the University of Michigan-
4. Empathy: How would you feel if you cannot eat you have grown in the field, but they are being used as food for animals to make them healthy so that more meat can be generated from that animal. Same is the story with many of the African Countries. Countless people are starving there not because they don’t have enough food but because their food has been taken away to feed animals in the farm for wealthy people to eat meat. In what kind of the world we are living in, people somewhere are dying due to starvation and we are using their food to celebrate meat festival.
My purpose by raising the above points is not to destroy your meat love but to let you know the broader picture of the world. Every time you are eating meat it’s not only about you but a small part of the world is also getting affected.
So, what can we do?
Like any other thing in life you always have the option in this case also. Every acre of land gives us choice, either we can use it to grow meat or plant-based food. Either we can have meat every alternative day or occasion or we can reduce that meat consumption.
My aim is not to have any debate about whether and how meat you should consume. It’s always your choice. It’s not a question of morality. Eating meat doesn’t make you a bad person or not eating meat doesn’t make you a good person. It’s just how you want your health to be, how you want to lead your life. Of course until and unless you realize the facts from within you should not just become a vegan overnight. It’s a process, the more you know about it, the more aware you would be.
Even in Hinduism plant-based foods are considered as the sattvic foods, which leads to clarity of mind and health. Whereas, the meat of other animals are considered as Tamasic foods which lead to mental dullness and physical numbness.
If you compare a person who eats meat very frequently with a person who don’t eat meat or at least eats less meat. The latter person would produce 50% less CO2, uses less amount of oil, water, and land than the former. As I have said your choice affects the world.
In the end, I know it’s probably not easy initially to lessen the meat if you are a meat lover. But only by becoming more educated and aware about the world we can make better decisions. Just adding a documentary which might help to become more educated and aware of meat production.
A final quote by my hero-
Have a mindful week. Until next time – Joy