Global warming is real and it’s happening now. As the world’s climate is changing rapidly and getting warmer, more and more countries are feeling the heat due to the drastic increase in the number of natural calamities.
Global warming does not only impact humans but essentially all the basic building blocks of the planet, namely forests, oceans, soil and freshwater reserves.
As a result, our food production, which is already under immense pressure, would be challenged further to keep up pace in the coming decades when the world’s population hit 9 billion.
Diet and Greenhouse Gases
It’s not a secret that what we eat and produce has a direct impact on the environment. For example, producing animal-based products like meat and dairy release lot more greenhouse gases than producing plant-based products.
Agriculture is responsible for 24% of total greenhouse gases along with the emissions caused due to deforestation and animal erosion.
The 3 biggest greenhouse gases responsible for global warming, carbon dioxide, methane and Nitrous oxide are released due to livestock farming and is one of the biggest reasons for deforestation.
Livestock Animals Emission
Livestock animals are the biggest source of methane emissions. Enteric fermentation, a process in which methane is released as a by-product during the digestion process.
Livestock manure, when either left on the soil or used as a manure is another big source of methane emission.
Methane is a much more powerful gas when it comes to climate change when compared to carbon dioxide. However, methane is released much quickly in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
Similarly, nitrous oxide is released due to the uncontrolled use of fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture. Like Methane, Nitrous oxide has a global warming potential 200 times more than carbon dioxide.
It is believed that all the carbon dioxide emitted either due to natural or man-made sources, stays in the atmosphere, for at least 100 years.
So, even if we reduce fossil fuels, energy consumption, we won’t see any big impacts immediately.
On the other hand, Methane is released from the atmosphere in a span of 15-20 years. That means that if the current rate of meat consumption is reduced, we might be able to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions substantially and see a difference during our lifetime.
In a nutshell, as per the veganism movement, moving to a plant-based diet can possibly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and the global warming impacts can be reduced much more quickly as compared to other emissions sources.