If people all over the world, make the choice to stop eating meat or any animal by-products we have the opportunity to stop climate change for good.

Imagine waking up to a world plagued by drought and engulfed in the flames of a never-ending wildfire. Where the warming of our world’s oceans has caused every coastal home and building to be enveloped by the sea. Species all over the world have been met with extinction, as Earth falls into chaos. All because of the hamburger you ate for lunch and the eggs you had for breakfast.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, greenhouse gas production, water usage, and species extinction on earth; it is largely responsible for Earth’s ecosystem degradation and biodiversity loss. If people stop consuming meat and any animal by-products, they will counteract the harmful effects of the livestock industry and ultimately save Earth from the devastating reality it is facing.

There are many ways that people are trying to lessen their environmental footprint, through seeking out alternative forms of transportation, taking shorter showers, and using reusable bags and water bottles. However, all of these efforts pale in comparison to the environmental impact of cutting out animal products.

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) it takes roughly 1,840 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. To put this amount of water in perspective, on average a person in the U.S. uses 17 gallons of water per shower. So that means producing one hamburger requires the same amount of water as two months’ worth of showers. This is an alarming statistic that reinforces how important our diet is on the health of our planet. Switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet would drastically change the race against climate change.

Factory farming plays a significant role in the increase of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as water pollution. The livestock production industry is a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions; and within the livestock industry, beef production is the most detrimental in its use of fossil fuels. In addition, a cow’s digestive and respiratory processes produce methane gas, which is infinitely more destructive than any other fossil fuel in its contribution to climate change. As greenhouse gas emissions increase, so does the temperature of our world’s oceans. The warming of our world’s oceans affects every living thing on earth. Sea levels rise causing coastal and arctic erosion, an increase in extreme temperatures, as well as drought, tornadoes, wildfires and many more natural disasters.

In our fight against global warming we have the power to make a difference in every choice we make. Making a switch in your diet isn’t easy but it can help save our planet. I became a vegetarian five years ago, and I understand how daunting this change can be.

There are many misconceptions about switching to a vegan or vegetarian diet. The first being that there is no protein in a meatless diet. However, vegans and vegetarians consume a range of vegetables that offer a high level of protein, such as beans or soy products. Another myth is that eating a meatless diet is unbelievably expensive. In Los Angeles this might seem even more plausible with all the expensive juice bars and meatless food trucks. However, meat and dairy products are among the most expensive items at supermarkets. Eating a vegan or vegetarian diet is more accessible than ever before. At Santa Monica College there are vegan and vegetarian options at every vendor in the Cafeteria.

I know that changing what you eat, might seem like an insignificant action in the grand scheme of things, but it just takes one stone to create a ripple effect. Imagine waking up to a world where global warming is only something of the past. Earth’s ecosystems are thriving as animals come back from the brink of extinction, coral reefs are regenerating, and forests are restored, all because you said “no” to the hamburger for lunch and the eggs for breakfast. If people all over the world, make the choice to stop eating meat or any animal by-products we have the opportunity to stop climate change for good.

Original post: www.thecorsaironline.com