Vegan Tug-of-War

The Earth is being pulled and swayed every day, and not just by celestial bodies.  Two forces are at play in a planet sized tug-of-war.

The first force has been slowly but steadily engulfing the globe and its profile is high.  It is established and undeniable to all but the most ignorant or wilfully misinformed.  That force is climate change.

The second force, in direct competition to that, is the rise of veganism.  Its profile isn’t yet as high as climate change.  But the stakes of that tug-of-war showdown facing the Earth certainly are.

The resources of our only planet, our environment, are finite.  Continental sized areas of land on Earth are dedicated to raising livestock.  Billions of water-drinking, methane emitting, land occupying animals.

Methane is as much as twenty times a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.  Around 18% of all greenhouse gases emanate from livestock, including methane.  A recent United Nations study found that livestock cattle emissions contribute more greenhouse gasses than all of the planet’s cars and all other forms of combustion driven transport together.

The human race has gone from roughly a billion people to over seven billion people in the last two hundred years.  And it’s not slowing down.  It adds another 80 million a year without fail.  Those numbers keep on climbing.  Yet only 5% of water on Earth is fresh, not saline.  That fresh water figure is static.  To put it another way, fresh water demand is outstripping supply, year in, year out.

A pound of beef needs nearly two thousand gallons of water to become, well, a pound of beef.  And let’s not forget the water used to grow the crops to feed livestock.  A pound of corn?  Less than two hundred gallons.  (And corn doesn’t bellow and stare at you with terrified eyes when it’s harvested.)

Since the 1990s, international security concerns have increasingly factored in fresh water supply problems as the one of the more dangerous issues of twenty-first century geo-political threats, offering potential for wars, mass migrations and criminality.  Parts of the Middle East and Africa are already under troubling fresh water availability pressures.  Livestock production, with its heavy fresh water dependency, is dangerously exacerbating that.

And pulling against all this?  Team Vegan.

Set aside the ethical necessity to lead a cruelty free life, veganism is the only real, long-term effective solution to the global environmental tragedy that is already playing out before our eyes.

More space for an ever-growing human population because of no need for South American sized livestock grazing space?  The answer is spelled:  vegan.

Less catastrophic fresh-water crises barrelling their way toward the planet because billions of gallons of water aren’t being consumed by livestock?  Hmm?  That’ll be vegan again.

Massively reducing the risk of parts of London or New York becoming consumed by rising oceans, courtesy of climate change?  The “v” word strikes again.

The back-drop of the tug-of-war battle?  We’re running out of space to live and water to drink, all underneath clogged up, heat enveloping skies.  That’s no longer a looming crisis.  It’s here.

Go Team Vegan.

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