“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
– Albert Einstein
According to a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), cows, pigs, sheep and poultry are among the world’s greatest environmental threats in the cards and contribute a staggering 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions—considerably more than transport, which emits 13%. The report, entitled “Livestock’s long shadow,” says the meat industry is degrading land, contributing to the greenhouse effect, polluting water resources, and destroying biodiversity.
Livestock use 30% of the earth’s land surface and pastures for cattle use 70% of deforested areas in the Amazon. Massive deforestation is expected as meat consumption is expected to double by 2050 as the populations from emerging countries embrace an unhealthy “western diet” based on meat products and fast food.
Curiously, the environmental threat caused by the meat industry has been mostly absent from the ongoing dialogue about climate change. Even the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth failed to address the livestock industry’s impact on global climate change.
In the video Methane is combined footage of factory farms found on the web using the search tool in Flickr, YouTube, and various blogs, with an animation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre Scientific Visualisation Studio. The animation depicts the breakup of the Ayles Ice Shelf in Canada’s Ellesmere Island on August 13, 2005. More than 90% of the ice cap has been lost. The piece shown in the animation is equivalent in size to approximately 11,000 football playing fields. The Canadian Arctic is experiencing the highest degree of climate change on the planet.
Have we overlooked one of the largest factors in global climate change? Methane is an eye-opening and devastating portrait of the livestock industry as a main producer of greenhouse gas emissions. Our contribution to a destabilizing climate does not stop at the toxins being dispensed into the water and air, but includes the animal products we farm and consume.
the video emphasizes a circuit between the unnatural living environments of stockyards, ensuing environmental damage, and the Arctic ecosystems that are impacted. Though the footage is shocking, the real cause for alarm—and motivation for immediate action—lies in the causal relationship that is exposed. Why has this link been so often ignored or concealed?
What other aspects of the debate have been deliberately left in the dark? It is not a game.