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Farm Animals and Climate Change

Story ID:10789
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various usa
Year:2015
Person:various
View Comments (8)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
I read with great joy Nathan Runkle’s introductory piece in Mercy for Animal’s
magazine: Compassionate Living. If you care about animals, you too will appreciate
his kind and thoughtful remarks. His first paragraph deserves quoting:

“We’re winning. There’s no question that our movement has reached a critical point—
time during which we achieve victories for animals every single day. Large and small,
these daily triumphs coalesce to form a force to be reckoned with on all fronts of our
battle.”

What wonderful news because MFA and other animal rights groups have been fighting
this battle for compassionate treatment of America’s farm animals for a long time. Though
the fight isn’t over by a long shot, there are encouraging signs. Runkle mentions some of
them where he largely praises the millennials - 12 percent of whom consider themselves
vegetarians.

Largely because of them -meat consumption has dropped in America by 10 percent. And
as he so well puts it – their collective, compassionate might has meat, dairy, and egg
companies scrambling to recover from falling demand.

Though a Depression baby, I am glad to also allign myself with this compassionate generation-
though they probably were not even born when I adopted my vegan lifestyle. So all of us-
no matter what generation we come from but who are adopting a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle-
are creating a brighter future for the animals by buying products which reflect our morals.

Runkle also notes that the market for vegan food is bigger than ever and growing rapidly.
Analysts predict that by 2054 meat alternatives may claim a third of the protein market.
Though great news, I hope this growth will happen way before then. I, and probably some
of you will not be around in 2054, but my concern is that it should take so long for us to
adopt a more compassionate vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

ClIMATE CHANGE

While Arnold Schwarzenegger does not profess to being a vegetarian - at least in Paris he
acknowledges that there is a need to reduce meat production because of its impact on the
climate. In one of his talks on Global Warming, he advocates giving up meat once or twice
a week. He feels most people will feel comfortable this way rather than doing without meat
entirely.

Not earth shaking news for those of us who have given up all meat and dairy, he does note
however that most of the debate on climate change focuses on industry while failing to take in
account emissions associated with meat eating.

When asked about the impact of body building without a meat diet - he replied that many successful
body-builders avoided meat. He also remarked that we can get protein in our diet in many different
ways and that he has known many body-builders and weight lifters who are vegetarians. It has got to
be a boon for the case of vegetarianism to have remarks such as these coming from the “Terminator.”

While his friend recommended he tell his Parisian audience to stop eating meat entirely- Arnold told
him that while it’s a good idea -most people will not accept it. So he opts for the doable challenge
of not eating meat at least one or two times a week. Hopefully he feels that this practice will be
enough to decrease the copious amounts of harmful CO2 emissions caused by meat farming. In the
long run, eating less meat will also help decrease the number of animals suffering in factory farms
and slaughterhouses. And not mentioned, but it will also help us to be healthier people as well.

MORE ON GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS

From Christie Middleton- “The Chicken in the Room at the Paris Climate Talks.” She hopes that like
Schwarzenegger -the Ambassadors of the world convening in Paris will not ignore the mounting
evidence that we need a massive global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. I also agreed with
her when she wrote that we may not all be diplomats who can create international policy, but that
as consumers- we all have a tool at our disposal that can make a huge difference. And that tool is
our forks and knives.

She sites an inrefutable fact on why we should be concerned about trying to give up meat: “The
livestock sector is already responsible for 7.1 gigatons of CO2- equivalent to a year of greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions – just under 13 percent of the global total, and equivalent to tailpipe emissions
from all the world’s vehicles.” Quite a frightening statistic if you care about our atmosphere.

She further notes that If we are going to avoid climate change, it is clear that we need a global
solution for ending factory farming. By raising and slaughtering billions of animals for food each year,
we are using the single largest human use of land which ultimately contributes to soil degradation,
dwindling water supplies, and air pollution. Simply put, we can not curb climate change without making
some serious changes to our diets by eating less meat and by replacing animal products with food from
plant sources. She also believes that we should also try to purchase from farmers who are more humane
and who use sustainable methods.

For me-her post is illuminating and factual. I hope that anyone who is serious about this matter will
research it further on the internet. And for those of us who also care about farm animal suffering as well,
I hope you support groups like Mercy for Animals. You might want to go to the internet and view MFA’s
latest edition of Compassionate Living.