The recent devastating bushfires in Australia drew attention to the seriousness of global warming and the very real impacts that climate change is having on our society.
Before we delve into the impacts of the meat production industry on global warming, it’s important that we understand what exactly global warming is. In its simplest form, global warming refers to the unusually fast increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature. Global warming is a feature of climate change, so the two topics are often mentioned closely in discussion.
Global warming is mainly caused by carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. These destructive air pollutants are introduced into the Earth’s atmosphere in a number of different ways, but predominantly through farming activities, agricultural industries, deforestation, and burning of fossil fuels.
The heating of our planet has been identified and observed by scientists since around the 1900s. Because our greenhouse gas emissions are steadily increasing around the world, the speed of global warming is increasing.
Global warming and climate change are having detrimental impacts on our society. As has been noted by many weather experts and scientists, global warming is drastically changing our climate and weather patterns. It is more apparent in some countries than others – but almost all parts of the globe are experiencing the negative impacts.
In particular, climate change is resulting in:
- Changes to rainfall patterns: Many regions in Australia are experiencing dryness all year around. This is increasing our risk of bushfires and reducing water supply in remote areas. As we saw in late 2019 and early 2020, the risk of deadly bushfires in Australia is very serious.
- Extreme weather: Abnormally high and low temperatures are regularly being recorded across the globe. At this stage, most towns and cities are capable of adapting to their new dramatic climates, but in years to come, the temperatures may be unbearable.
- Untimely arrival of seasons: In many locations across the country and world, seasons are blending together and typical weather of certain seasons are becoming scattered throughout the year.
- Rising ocean levels: The melting of icebergs and change in global rainfall is causing ocean levels to rise. Some seaside towns on the Australian coast are experiencing regular and destructive flooding events.
It can be easy to dismiss some of the impacts of climate change because the changes are gradual. However, when weather patterns are compared in graphs and diagrams over long periods of time, there is no denying that global warming is real and our planet is suffering because of it.
How meat production contributes to global warming.
For many years, scientists have agreed that beef/meat production contributes enormously to climate change. Being a trusted vegan charity Australia, we’ve read the facts – and we know it’s true! It has been suggested that Australia’s agricultural and farming industries contribute to nearly a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country (a really concerning figure).
Just by merely existing, animals (mainly sheep and cattle), produce methane which is a damaging greenhouse gas. Because animals are bred and farmed at an enormous scale in Australia, there is much methane being poured into the atmosphere by livestock farms and abattoirs.
Obviously, there will always be wild animals living on our planet and producing a degree of methane. The real problem is when we are unnecessarily grazing livestock for the purpose of food and eating. When we purchase meat (particularly beef and lamb) from our supermarkets and grocery stores, we are encouraging the meat industry to thrive. As a result, greenhouse gas emissions are rising, and global warming is taking effect.
By reducing or eliminating our consumption of meat (in other words, choosing a vegan lifestyle and following tips from reliable vegan charities), we can lower the impacts of the meat industry and save our planet!
Other factors that contribute towards global warming
Although the meat industry contributes largely to global warming, there are other factors that are also causing our planet to heat up. Some of the other major causes contributing to climate change are:
- Any burning of fossil fuels: When we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas to make electricity and fuel, CO2pollution is released into the air. This pollution is heating the globe at an alarming rate. Instead of burning fossil fuels, we should be generating renewable energy from sources like solar panels and wind farms.
- Deforestation: Plants play an important role in keeping our planet healthy and regulating the climate. When we remove trees, we lessen the rate of oxygen production. Without oxygen, we have too much carbon dioxide, which is bad for the Earth and bad for us!
- Unsustainable farming practices. In addition to breeding ridiculously large numbers of animals for the purpose of making them into food products, some farmers use specific fertilisers for their fields and crops which release a certain greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide.
According to a variety of reliable environmental sources, Australians are some of the biggest producers of CO2pollution. In fact, power production is the main cause of overwhelming carbon pollution in Australia. Some statistics suggest that Australians are the biggest producers of CO2 pollution in the world, and our pollution per person is nearly twice the amount of other developed nations. (Eeeek!)
Admittedly, much of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions are produced by large corporations, rather than individuals in domestic homes. As a vegan charity in Australia, we closely follow all current affairs relating to environmental issues and it is fair to say that our Government is not doing enough to instigate a positive future. Because large companies and the Government are much of the problem, we can sometimes feel helpless in the fight against climate change. Though, it is important to recognise that, even as individuals, our actions can make a change and ensure a healthy future for our planet.
What can you do to help stop global warming?
Thankfully, there are several ways that you can help stop/slow the rate of global warming. Even though you are just one individual, your actions can make an enormous impact on the world. At The Kind Path, we believe in foraging a sustainable lifestyle that is good for the environment. Your behaviours can instigate much positive change!
Making a difference is easier than you may think. If you want to end climate change and contribute towards sustainable and progressive practices, these are some of the things you can do:
- Commit to ongoing research and stay informed. If you want to have a real impact on global warming, it’s important that you understand the facts of the issue. There are many excellent free resources online where you can become enlightened on the topic. It is critical that you only adhere to advice and information from reliable sources, such as vegan charities Australia and the best animal charities. Our blog on The Kind Path website Is a great place to start!
- Adopt a vegan diet. Veganism refers to the act of not consuming meat, which means you will be no longer be contributing to beef production. This will save the lives of animals, help put an end to cruelty in abattoirs, and reduce your global warming footprint.
- Choose to shop from sustainable brands and companies. Learn about what businesses are committed to sustainable, modern practices and support them by purchasing their products.
- Encourage good behaviours from your friends and family. It’s important that you don’t bombard your social networks with information about global warming and veganism – this might overwhelm them. Instead, you can help them understand fact from fiction, explain why you are introducing certain new behaviours into your life, and answer any questions they may have pertaining to environmental issues.
- Join a vegan charity in Australia. By joining one of the best vegan charities or top charities in Australia, like The Kind Path, you will be able to attend events and contribute to good-natured campaigns. It is also a great way to surround yourself with likeminded people who want to achieve the same goodness for Earth. You can browse The Kind Path website to learn more about the initiatives of our animal charities Australia.
- Attend rallies and protests relating to global warming and veganism. Unfortunately, current and previous Australian Governments have not done enough to combat climate change and the destructive meat industry. In order to stimulate change, there are often events taking place around the country, sometimes organised by Christmas charities Australia, where people call upon our leaders to introduce stronger and more comprehensive laws to stop excessive farming and meat production. Stay tuned to The Kind Path website and social media to learn about our own vegan events.
- Donate to good causes, such as vegan charities and environmental campaigns. If you happen to have spare cash floating around your wallet or pockets, you can donate it to local vegan charities and institutions that will use it as fuel for change.
- Plant trees. As noted previously, deforestation contributes massively to global warming. If you have a garden space, be sure to grow as many plants as possible. If every person in the world planted just one tree, we would be in a much better place.
- Reduce the amount of gas and coal used in your day-to-day life. Where possible, aim to use renewable energy sources like wind and solar. There are many Australian homes who are now choosing to run their appliances off energy from solar panels.
- Never stop believing! The realities of global warming and animal cruelty can often be overwhelming to learn about. The important thing is that we remain positive and hold faith that change can be made. According to experts and popular vegan charities across the globe, climate change can be turned around if we put in the hard yards.
Global warming and climate change are ever-evolving topics in Australia. The most important thing you can do to help slow the rate of global warming is keep updated with news and affairs, and follow advice from trusted vegan groupsand sources.
What are the other benefits of a vegan lifestyle?
As we have already discussed, a vegan diet means that you are not consuming meat, and therefore not contributing to the global warming impacts of the meat production industry. Notably, this isn’t the only benefit of being vegan. There are many reasons why you may want to introduce veganism to your life, including:
- You can help stop animal cruelty in abattoirs and farms
- You can reap the health benefits of a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables
- You will have a decreased risk of heart disease and other health problems
- You can feel more active and healthier thanks to an increase in vitamins and minerals, and a decrease in fats
- You can stop the unnecessary deaths of animals
- You can enjoy new, fulfilling vegan meals and have an excitingly fresh diet
Choosing a vegan diet is one thing; being able to stick to it long-term is another! If you have been eating meat your entire life, we understand that it can be quite challenging to rid yourself of meats all together. There are many people who try to start a vegan diet, but ultimately struggle to uphold it. As we have noted in a previous blog post, there are some simple steps you can follow to support your journey of turning vegan. If you are wanting to adopt a vegan diet, some of the advice given by our vegan charity includes: easing your way into the diet (starting as a flexitarian, then a pescatarian, then vegetarian, then vegan); researching and eating wholesome vegan meals, instead of poor tasting meals; surrounding yourself with the positivity of the vegan community through vegan charities; reminding yourself of the great positive impacts your actions are having on the world.
If you would like to join and support a group of likeminded people and get involved with a popular vegan charity, browse The Kind Path website today and learn about our current initiatives. Not only do we provide information for vegans and environmentalists, but we foster ongoing events for the greater good of the world.
The future is in our hands!