The world is a whole lot different from when I was going up. I remember in kindergarten; we talked about the three r’s. Recycling, reducing, and reuse. That saying was profound back then, and suddenly it was no longer relevant. Until I was a teenager in high school, it was my senior year when we talked about different ways to repurpose other materials. Such as plastic or old socks. (Just an example). Since then, the world sure has changed a lot; many are becoming vegan to reduce their carbon footprints and save the planet.
With all the hype on the news and in newspapers, one believes that we are heading towards doomsday. On the other hand, many disagree with the end of times, and we all find it is unclear who you should believe.
Be it as it may, there are some who say that global warming is fake as in an article written by Gregory Gardner, “Measurements made by means of satellites show no global warming but a cooling of 0.13°C between 1979 and 1994.5 Furthermore, since the theory of global warming assumes maximum warming at the poles, why have average temperatures in the Arctic dropped by 0.88°C over the past 50 years?”
Those who believe in global warming are in such a panic that it spreads, and we all begin to freak out. Scientists who say that global warming exists to believe, of course, this has to do with humans.
As you can see from the article from NASA states, “Since the pre-industrial period, human activities are estimated to have increased Earth’s global average temperature by about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit), a number that is currently increasing by 0.2 degrees Celsius (0.36 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade. It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land.”
So what should we do?
In fairness, we should read and listen to both sides and make our own choices. If we believe that there is a chance we can save the planet by recycling a coke can, then we should practice what we preach. I find that we tend only to believe and seek out reports that support our ideas and thoughts—sort of like validation for us, an acceptance, of course.
If you scan the interwebs or social media, you will see that many in the vegan community express how important it is to stop eating meat. The EU is behind this movement; Germany increased taxes on meat products to encourage people to eat less (about a 19% increase).
I am behind any way that may help us to a better, cleaner future but let’s be realistic and check out all the facts about how becoming vegan could help the world.
Should I become vegan?
With all that begin said, it is incredible how many people, celebrities included, are becoming vegan because they feel it is helping the planet. But does this diet change help the earth? According to the BBC good food site, “should everyone in the world become vegan food-related emissions would drastically drop by 70% by the year 2050. (National Academy of Sciences 2016 report).”
Then again, if you read medium.com you will discover that this may not be the best choice to help the planet. Plant-based food production still has a carbon footprint. Eating veggies and producing more veggies may clean up whatever carbon was made by animals or deforestation; the question is, does it help the planet?
Believe it or not, veggies and fruits can have a high carbon footprint. The farmers that harvest the food use tractors and other machines, the trucks that pick up and deliver the foods to factories or grocery stores. The factories that process the foods either for canned products or frozen. Oh, let’s not forget that some foods are transported by plane because of their short shelf life.
My Vegan Journey
I had tried going vegan before. It was hip and accessible. I had to make many things from scratch, and it wasn’t easy since I couldn’t have bread or flour and white sugar products. Alternative flours were incredibly expensive, and I could only find them at specialty stores. Then there was the hurdle that was my husband, the meat-loving corn-fed all-American man. He refused to entertain becoming vegan.
At the time, I just bought what looked good, what looked the “freshest” or “prettiest.” I unconsciously bought fruits and veggies without considering where they came from. If I became vegan for the planet, I was not making a difference.
We should be conscious of where our food comes from, meat and veggies
In the USA today, vegan and omnivorous diets are compared. The article then discusses why eating locally produced meats and veggies is good. Another paint the USA today article discusses is how humans begin to evolve well over other primates due to a meat-eating diet. This means we should not be made to feel like horrible people for wanting and consuming meat.
With that being said, meat-producing farms can lower their carbon footprint by regenerating the native grasses, which absorb carbon, and by raising animals around trees which again absorb carbon.
We should also be more conscious of how animals are treated before we purchase and consume products from specific retailers.
As a person who leans more towards the vegetarian diet than a meat diet, I believe that going meat-free even for one day a week can have a considerable impact. Changing the way you incorporate meat into your diet could have tremendous positive results for your family’s health and the planet.
Again, if you purchase locally raised foods.
Becoming a vegan is a lifestyle change that takes a lot of commitment. Even now, it is hard to be a vegan with all the meat alternatives. Should you choose to become vegan, it needs to be on your terms. Otherwise, you may find it challenging to continue.
Sure becoming vegan can help the world, but it can also hurt it, as in an article from the BBC Why the vegan diet is not always green., which discusses that despite being vegan, purchasing and consuming non locally produced fruits and vegetables have more emissions than producing meat locally.