According to The New York Times, former president Barack Obama discussed climate change and its impact on animal agriculture at the 2017 Seeds & Chips conference. Rather than suggest a sustainable plant-based diet to combat climate change, however, Obama said people should “have a smaller steak.”
To be fair, Obama did say that “[p]eople aren’t as familiar with the impact of cows and methane,” adding that “as people want to increase more meat consumption, that in turn is spiking the growth of greenhouse emissions coming out of the agricultural sectors.”
Climate change is a very real threat, and it’s clear as day that raising animals for food is one of the leading causes. Consider this: Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.
Rather than suggest people eat smaller steaks, Obama should advocate a plant-based diet the way former Vice President Al Gore does. Simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints in half. Also, keep in mind that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy.
What’s more, a vegan diet not only benefits the planet but also spares countless animals a lifetime of misery at factory farms.
The truth is that there is no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist. We urge Obama to consider leaving meat off the menu entirely.
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