Appetite for Destruction: Meat and the Environment

Although using public transportation, shopping with reusable bags, and taking shorter showers are all commendable, none of these actions has as big an impact on the environment as what you eat does. When it comes to climate change, animal agriculture is the leading culprit. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water and causes immense animal suffering.

A United Nations report concluded that a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate change. And the UN is not alone in its analysis. According to a report published by the Worldwatch Institute, a staggering 51 per cent or more of global greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture. Producing a little less than 1 kilo of beef causes more greenhouse-gas emissions than driving a car for three hours and uses up more energy than leaving your house lights on for the same period of time.

As the world’s appetite for meat increases, countries all over the world are bulldozing huge swaths of land to make more room for animals as well as crops to feed them. From tropical rain forests in Brazil to ancient pine forests in China, entire ecosystems are being destroyed to fuel humans’ addiction to meat.

According to scientists, an area the size of seven football fields is bulldozed every single minute to make more room for animals raised for food and the crops that feed them. A third of the entire Earth’s surface is used for animal agriculture, and nearly 50 percent of the world’s grain is used to feed livestock. It takes 6 kilos of grain to make 1 kilo of meat, and it takes 43,000 liters of water to make just 1 kilo of beef.

Whether it’s the overuse of resources, climate change, massive water and air pollution, or soil erosion, raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on the Earth.

Save the Planet: Go Vegan

The most important step that you can take to save the planet is to go vegan. For great tips, easy ingredient swaps, and free recipes to help make the transition to an Earth-friendly diet, take the vegan pledge. If you’re in the Philippines, order PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kit today!