This blog will examine the impact of our food consumption on our environment, the ocean, the land, and the air. This blog will draw direct link between animal agriculture being the largest manufacturers of any kind globally and being the single major threat to our planet and our health.
The diet of mankind throughout history has changed significantly so much so that it has become more than just food; mankind’s diet has become a part of culture, entertainment and even addiction. The meat industry is a global business with an estimate of worth over 2 trillion US dollars, the world’s largest meat company has a turnover of 50 billion US Dollars a year. It is estimate that the average person consumes 110kg of meat per year. But the actual cost of this large meat production is the sustainability issues, animal livestock uses a disproportionally large amount of land; it is calculated that in 51 million km2 of agricultural land 77% is used for livestock and feeding maintaining livestock but yet the global caloric consumption is 83% plant based foods and only 17% is animal derived products, overall only 33% of global protein consumption comes from meat and dairy.
It is expected that planet earth will house 10 billion people by 2050, feeding that amount of people would be a 70% increase of production. As it stands over the last 50 years selective breeding has pushed animals to their biological limits for example in the US chickens have such large breasts they struggle to stand on their own. This is alongside the issue of land availability as urbanisation and climate changed reduced the amount of land available for agriculture without further deforestation.
It is evident from the above that damage isn’t only done to the sentient beings bred into these horrific practices, the UN describes the animal agriculture as ‘’one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale on local to global’’. Agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse emissions with carbon dioxide from soil cultivation, methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from fertilisers and manure.
The Amazonian forests are considered the lungs of the planet, contributing to oxygen levels in our air, but the rise of meat consumption has caused major companies to deforest, in Latin America 70% of forest land is now pasture of livestock.
Animal agriculture is also responsible for pollution in the ocean and yet also water stress with 8% usage of human water use at global level. Anti-biotics, fertilisers from soil degradation, pesticides run into rivers and the oceans causing mass dead zones and destruction of coral reefs. Pollution associated with animals agriculture is biggest threat to biodiversity with the loss of species calculated at 50 to 500 times higher than one would expect from fossil record.
It is difficult to change one’s perspective when it comes changing one’s diet. But the reality is that these industries will not change so long they have money coming in and the demand is there. When one changes their view point and starts consuming healthy plant-based products, the demand is then changed and the industry will respond to that demand. Money is power, wherever one decides to spend their money they are sending a message that ‘more needs to be produced’. Choosing to boycott to meat industry one is actually boycotting unnatural breeding of animals, masses of chemicals injected in said animals, and horrific living conditions alongside of mass murder of these sentient beings and major environmental damage. Of course, a person’s health will significantly improve on a whole plant based diet as well as cleaner air, cleaner ocean, cleaner land which also has an effect on the human body. It is parallel that mankind makes these changes for the health of the animals, the health of mankind and the health of our beautiful loving and extremely forgiving Planet Earth.
If you are interested in trying healthy plant based foods please do not hesitate to get in contact for a Nutrition Consultation.
By Dr. Sepi Sefy PhD whom specialises in Herbal Medicine of Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese & Western Herbal Medicine, alongside of Yoga, Nutrition and Phytotherapy.