Experts Say We Can Eat Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis
For the past five years scientific inquiry has shown that the quickest way of the climate crisis is to change what we eat.
An inconvenient truth
This deeply inconvenient truth appears to be ignored by most of the population, with even the world’s biggest convention on climate change, COP, still serving meat and dairy at its venues.
Humanity’s future on the planet literally depends on changing how we farm and what we eat.
Meat and dairy, especially from factory farming, is too polluting and resource heavy. There are plant-based versions of almost every animal product, people can still eat the foods they love without giving up any of the taste, just cholesterol and emissions. Improve their health and that of the planet at the same time.
A paper published earlier this month has shown that the quickest way out of the climate crisis is a global shift towards plant-based eating. Published in the scientific journal Heliyon, the paper “Proposed Solutions to Anthropogenic Climate Change: A systematic literature review and a new way forward”, is the latest in a series of research and studies, into solving the climate crisis.
Five years ago, the first study to look at food and its relation to climate change, showed that by far, animal agriculture is a massive driver of climate change.
Dr Poore’s study “Reducing Food’s Environmental Impacts Through Producers and Consumers” found shocking levels of resource use in animal agriculture for very little calorific gain.
85% of the global farmland is used to feed and house livestock, which provide only 18% of the global calories.
In addition to using almost 70% of the global freshwater resources, the report clearly showed that humanity cannot continue to feed 8 billion people on a meat and dairy diet. There are not enough resources; it is consuming our entire planet.
“We are literally eating ourselves out of house and home,” Vegan Society Spokesperson Claire Insley said, “no one wants to be told what to do – however, economic forces are making animal products much more expensive, whereas many people can easily grow vegetables at home. We encourage Kiwis to explore using more plant-based meals to help mitigate climate change and create a decent future for our tamariki.”
The new paper reviewed the last 20 years of solutions to climate change and included a transition toward use of renewable energy resources, reduced energy consumption, rethinking the global transport sector, and nature-based solutions.
It highlights one of the most important but overlooked pieces in the puzzle of solving the climate change problem – the gradual shift to a plant-based diet and global phaseout of factory (industrialised animal) farming, the most damaging and prolific form of animal agriculture.
The paper goes on to cover how gradual global phaseout of industrialised animal farming can be achieved by increasingly replacing animal meat and other animal products with plant-based products, ending government subsidies for animal-based meat, dairy, and eggs, and initiating taxes on such products. Failure to act will ultimately result in a scenario of irreversible climate change with widespread famine and disease, global devastation, climate refugees, and warfare.
The paper authors therefore suggest an “All Life” approach, invoking the interconnectedness of all life forms on our planet.
The time that is left in which to enact meaningful change is only 6 or 7 years. The paper’s lead author Svetlana V. Feigin said “We must recognize that by solely focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming, we are treating the symptom of the cause, and the cause is major global unsustainability.
To achieve long-lasting transformative change, which will benefit current and future generations (and save our planet), we need to change our mindset and behaviour as individuals, communities, businesses, governments, and global citizens.”
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