It feels fantastic to make smart buying decisions doesn’t it? When we say smart we mean bypassing the milk, eggs, and meat at the grocery store. There is a slight, empowering feeling of satisfaction each time you walk by these parts of the market. Every decision like this, no matter how small is a deliberate action of doing more good, and less harm.
The problem is that are individual actions do not move the needle enough to make a global impact. One person’s decision to go Veg is not going to save millions of animals and decelerate the man-made components of climate change. Even a huge group of us can’t do this on our own. We need leadership from our governments on the issue. Believe it or not, we need the government’s buy-in and action to actually make a difference.
Trust us when we say we are reluctant to ask the government to get involved in anything, as they are not exactly known for being swift or efficient. However, a recent report released by Chatham House, which is an independent policy institute in London makes a resonating point on how we all need our governments to take action on the issue. The Chatham House report echoes what we, and others have been stating regarding the connection between those eating a diet heaving in meat/dairy and climate change. Countless experts and the UN have said: reducing our reliance on animal agriculture will be a critical element from keeping the Earth from wandering outside the Goldilocks zone into the too hot danger zone.
Who is on board?
A surprising element to the same survey of people in the 12 countries sample around the world, was that respondents not only were open to government intervention for a more sustainable planet, they were expecting it eventually. The survey participants are asking for our governments to intervene. This will baffle and upset many because many people have lost trust and hope with our governments. However, forward thinking citizens around the world are looking for our elected and appointed officials to take action as we all share the same blue and green marble.
Focus groups found that a wide cross-section of people believe that the government needs to lead on the subject of the inability to sustain the current demand for meat, animal agriculture, and the negative consequences on the environment. Perhaps the most revealing element of the study was: “government inaction signals to (the public) that the issue is unimportant or undeserving of concern,” researchers found.
It is this lack of awareness and apathy that is plaguing us all right now. The survey showed, the average person has no idea of the impact our animal-based diets play on climate change, or that livestock agriculture is responsible for 15 percent of annual carbon emissions. This is more pollution than all the world’s vehicles combined.
This tells us that world governments need to do a better job of talking about the connection between livestock and climate change. They need to increase awareness, educate the public, and put their money where our mouths are.
This would mean that the world governments would have to cease their current relationship with meat and dairy industries. In a perfect world those same subsidies would go toward plant-based alternatives instead. Imagine if carbon taxes were imposed on the livestock industry? This sames fat-fetched for now, but consider many countries already tax vehicles for their emissions.
This article is intended to be controversial and thought provoking. Some of these alternatives may not seem ideal, but consider the bleak future in store for us all if we simply do not take action at all. I think we all know how that will play out. Share this article, tell us your thoughts, and let your voice be heard to your local representatives.