The extreme weather we’re facing around the world is a topic that can’t be ignored – whether you love the heat or would prefer to see the cold, snowy spell we had only a few months ago, the weather conditions that we have are becoming drastic. For some of us, it feels as though we skipped spring and went straight into the depths of summer.
We’re all aware of the usual culprits that encourage climate change, but animal agriculture is one of the main problems. A lot of non-vegans haven’t made the connection between the amount of energy needed to produce meat and other animal products, but the demand for animal products is still high. It seems that media outlets are quick to blame the levels of CO2 from transport and other areas before looking at areas in their personal lives that could make a significant difference.
Chief adviser on climate change for WWF, Dr Stephen Cornelius, wrote a piece about the climate change experiences we are seeing, and discusses the benefits of a plant-based diet for the environment: “We can all do our bit. By eating a healthy, more plant-based and less meat-based diet we can reduce pressure on the land and forests that drive climate change”
Over this past month, the destruction caused by this freak episode of weather is one that some may have seen coming, having made this link between animal agriculture and the state of our environment. As you may have guessed, it’s not just humans that have to deal with the consequences of climate change, but the world’s wildlife is taking the brunt of this.
As we see the news that temperatures in Europe and other parts of the world are reaching up to 40°C, it’s easy to forget that the problem is affecting us closer to home. Dr Cornelius writes: “The problem is that some species cannot move fast enough and risk being lost forever. As a result, one in six species face extinction. Here at home in the UK, some of our most iconic mammals, such as badgers, moles and hedgehogs, eat invertebrates that favour wetter weather and could be threatened by climate change.”
News outlets are reporting today on the ‘hothouse Earth’ that we could be faced with, if global temperatures rice by 2°C as a result of climate change. According to the BBC, if countries do succeed in meeting their CO2 targets, we could still be on the ‘irreversible pathway’ which will see boiling temperatures and ‘towering seas’ in the centuries to come.