The impact of climate catastrophe is beginning to show itself. Our only solution is to do away with the meat and dairy industry.
Earlier this month, as floods ravaged my hometown of Mullumbimby, my small apartment was transformed into a makeshift animal shelter as I brought home stray cat after stray cat in need of rescue from the rising water.
Along the way, I met countless others equally invested in the rescue of stricken companion animals. No doubt, stories of families refusing to leave their dog behind as they’re winched to safety or wading to higher ground with a kitten in their coat are heart-warming.
But in the wake of a natural disaster, caused by climate change, such stories also serve as reminders that, in our speciesist society, some animals are more equal than others – an attitude that’s killing not just them but us, too.
As the heavens delivered their downpour over the Australian east coast last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered a dark warning of its own: its 2022 report, which noted the connection between weather extremes – like flooding – and human-caused climate change.
The report warns that, owing to inadequate global action, Earth is staring down the barrel of catastrophic warming of over two degrees. Especially damning for us, if all countries copied Australia’s dangerously impotent response, this would mean a rise of over three degrees.
Australia is especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change. We’re already experiencing the consequences of our misuse of land, penchant for mining, and archaic global food system, which is both a leading cause of what’s to come and likely to be among the sectors worst affected.
Even if we manage to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.6 degrees by 2100 (we now sit at 1.1 degrees), some eight per cent of today’s farmland will become climatically unsuitable. Let the heat continue unchecked, and it’s projected that 183 million more people will starve by 2050.
We’ve known about climate change for decades. These are decades in which leaders have thrown billions of dollars at animal agriculture, diverted thousands of gigalitres of water to animal farmers, and frittered away taxpayer money on stopping plant-based products being labelled with words like ‘meat’ and ‘milk’. Simply put, the warnings have been ignored each time they’ve been issued.
In 2018, researchers at the University of Oxford reported that eating a vegan diet could be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your environmental impact. Meanwhile, the United Nations has stated that a global shift towards plant-based eating is essential to combatting the worst effects of climate change.
Climate change isn’t some far off future threat. It’s already on our doorstep with floods and fires. It will soon be joined by rising sea levels, that engulf our coastal homes and temperatures that many animals – including humans – can’t survive.
Original source: https://www.echo.net