PLANET earth has a surface of more than 500 million square kilometers. This is the same planet containing over 7 billion inhabitants, with all these inhabitants needing food every day. At least thirty percent of the earth’s surface is used for livestock production. This includes the production of meat from various animals, and their products such as milk and eggs. This livestock production should be sufficient to feed the entire world’s population with 36 kg of meat a year per person. Unfortunately, things are not as simple as that.
In fact, the livestock production might not even be seen as a positive contribution at all, for as it brings many downsides with it. It is one of the biggest causes for the global warming, and the destruction of our planet. The global livestock represents 14.5% of all the greenhouse-gas emissions caused by humans. This is approximately 7.
1 trillion kg of carbon dioxide annually. But this is only 27% of the total livestock emissions. Another 44% of the livestock emissions are in the form of methane. Methane is about 35 times stronger and more harmful for the environment than the same amount of carbon dioxide would be. So not only is the livestock production enormously polluting for the environment, it takes in an incredibly large amount of space on our planet as well. The animals themselves also need food in order to grow and stay alive which comes at the expense of the people.
Besides the fact that the livestock limits our space, food, and health, it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse-gas emissions. The contribution to the global warming is more than we might think. But if we look at it from the bright side, this might be one major cause of the greenhouse effect we can diminish. The solutions are endless. The first solutions we could start with depend on the animal’s food. By using better food and feeding techniques, the amount of produced greenhouse-gasses such as methane and nitrous oxide could decrease. Also by improving breeding techniques and the animal’s health the herds would shrink and create smaller groups of animals which will work more productively.
Energy saving devices could additionally help in the process of making them more energetic. Lastly a better management of grazing land would also help with the animal’s health condition and the productivity level. These examples of how to improve on the livestock production and in that way reduce the emission of gasses are the farmers’ responsibilities. We might consider them, but we can’t directly improve on that part. Instead if we really want to make the biggest difference we can, we should look a little closer to ourselves, and see what we as individuals can do.Today vegetarians are expanding.
It has almost gotten a trend to become a vegetarian. Experimenting with different foods and trying out new recipes is exciting. But besides that, becoming a vegetarian might just be the solution we need to battle global warming.
By cutting down the amount of meat we consume worldwide, the meat industry will have to decline. This will lead to a massive decrease in greenhouse-gas emissions and we would be able to make a difference. Don’t worry about being forced into becoming a vegetarian, it’s a personal choice only you can make. Since for many people it is too much of a challenge to completely become a vegetarian, skipping meat for just one day a week would already help enough to reduce the greenhouse-gasses. However not all people are willing to participate in the idea of not eating any meat. In that case there might be another solution. Besides the veggie-burgers and tofu steaks, there are plenty of other meat replacements. One extremely important and crucial meat substitute for our future, are insects.
Insects are the perfect meat replacement. They don’t account to any of the greenhouse-gas emissions, contradictory most of them only positively contribute to the environment. In conjunction with that there are countless different types of insects on our planet that it seems nearly impossible to run out of them. Another advantage is the fact that they are so small.
They take in very little space which makes them easily accessible for mass productions or insect-farms without needing a gigantic area. Apart from the insects being more beneficial for our planet and environment, they are even better for our health than the average meat we consume. So with all these many advantages of eating insects, with which we might even save our own planet, what are we still waiting for? We can start today with fighting the global warming. And if we all would eat a little bit less meat, the future will look much cleaner.