In light of the widespread coverage on the unprecedented surge in methane levels occurring in the last few years, I took it upon myself to ponder a big question: are we ready to accept the fact our meat intake directly contributes towards global warming?
The overwhelming response was a sheepish ‘no’. It is bizarre that each of us can read a shocking new climate change development on news websites almost every day and yet remain defensive when asked to confront our personal contribution to the problem. I would like to address some common counter arguments.
The meat industry is a powerhouse with a lot of economic and cultural support – while it may seem logical to therefore conclude that it’s too much of a powerful enemy to confront, it’s also defeatist. If you make the individual choice to buy less meat you will impact the meat industry, however small. Change has to start somewhere, and when methane has a higher global warming threat than CO2, we can’t just ignore it in favour of maintaining our masculinity or loyalty to the food chain. People point out that methane doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere but as the threat level is twice as much as CO2 we still need to tackle it. The common excuse for escaping our duty to save the Earth is that we can’t see the effects happening now but we can. We can’t simply find an excuse to avoid accountability.
Changing the diets of animals is a great idea but it shouldn’t stop there. Suggestions such as these should be an after-thought to the more sizable contribution we can make by being mindful of our eating habits. It’s controllable, it’s simple and by all accounts healthier. We can’t simply weight our problems in terms of financial power because consumption is the key to capital power. Let’s keep our meat intake at the front of our minds in 2017 and eventually our habits will adapt to our planet’s needs. Let’s not find ways to argue we don’t need to eat less meat when we know the overwhelming evidence is that the meat industry contributes most heavily to our planet’s rapid decline.