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Two Degrees of Separation

Eating Habits Are Impactful On Global Warming

Dr Padma Garvey/Plant-Based Doctor Mom

Two Degrees of Separation

(The Adirondacks)

There are two degrees in temperature separating us from current conditions to conditions that will drastically alter our ability to grow food on our planet.  We have about 40 years at present rates of greenhouse gas emission rates before we hit the two degree ceiling.  I am an eternal optimist.  I have faith in science and am hopeful that solutions are down the road to help deal with greenhouse gases.  I am also hopeful that people will accept making changes to their lives that will have meaningful impacts on greenhouse gases without affecting our expectations for living standards.  Sign up for green energy options with your electric company.  I was surprised and delighted to learn that my electric bill actually went down when I made the switch to green energy.  Our appliances are more energy-efficient now than in the past.  More and more cars are greener than before.

The other main activity that we do as individuals that impact on greenhouse gases relates to our eating habits.  Meat and dairy consumption contribute more to greenhouse gases than plant consumption.  There are certainly more people on earth than ever before but there are also more animals on earth than ever before. 

(This bald eagle was rescued after having been shot. Majestic and terrifying)

The number of wild animals has diminished drastically but the number of domesticated animals, primarily for consumption is staggering.  There are 93 million heads of cattle in the United States alone.  9 billion chickens are slaughtered every year in just the United States alone.  They all require food and water.  They all defecate and emit bowel gases.  Dealing with their meat and dairy requires refrigeration and fossil fuels. 

(South Carolina)

Even the fish oil supplements that are pushed so aggressively for ‘heart health’ come from the ocean and are leading to irreversible damage to marine life.  Eating a few flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, or olives would be less impactful. 

(The Grand Canyon)

If global consumption of meat and dairy decreased then there could be real impact on greenhouse gas emissions.  Now more than ever before, people in developed countries have the means, the resources, and the capacity to eat a healthy, varied, plant-based diet.  Doing so would decrease our contribution to greenhouse gases.  Our children are going to inherit the earth we leave behind for them.

Other articles by Padma Garvey