The Kritic

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  Photo Credit: Stock Rocket/Shutterstock

We millennials are often described as lazy, entitled and unwilling to leave our parents’ homes. But this isn’t the truth, nor is it what I’m here to discuss. We need to talk about what we’re eating and how it affects the world, our health and the countless animals at factory farms.

We’re not only the world’s largest generation; we’re the largest generation of self-identified vegetarians and vegans. Concerned about health, the environment and animal welfare, nearly 12 percent of us avoid animal products.

While it’s great that so many of us care, it’s important that we all understand the negative impact that eating meat, dairy and eggs has on the world.

Let’s start with the environment. It’s clear that killing animals for food is killing our planet. Consider this: Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined. Simply by avoiding animal products, we can cut our carbon footprints in half.

Animal agriculture isn’t only a leading cause of climate change; it’s also a leading source of water pollution. And it’s a huge drain on natural resources—for example, a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy. If you say you care about the environment, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and eat a plant-based diet.

Millennials are the age group most likely to be uninsured, so it’s important we discuss the negative health effects of consuming animal products. Study after study has shown that one of the best ways to improve your health is to adopt a vegan diet. In fact, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that compared to shorter-term vegetarians, people on a vegetarian diet for more than 17 years enjoyed a 3.6-year increase in life expectancy. Just think about all you could do with that extra time.

But surely the most important reason we millennials need to start caring about what we eat is because it directly affects the lives of billions of farmed animals. Cows, pigs and chickens raised and killed for food are just as smart and sensitive as the dogs and cats we adore at home. But at factory farms, they’re subjected to extreme confinement, brutal mutilations and bloody, violent deaths.

See for yourself:

Fortunately, we have the power to stop this. We can help the planet, animals and ourselves simply by adopting a vegan diet. And I know what you’re thinking—yes, you can still enjoy brunch.

So what do you say, fellow millennials? Let’s be the generation that puts an end to this cruel and unnecessary industry and makes the world a kinder place for all.

This article was originally published at AlterNet.
By Joe Loria, communications and content manager at Mercy For Animals
Read the original article.

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  Photo Credit: Tatiana Grozetskaya/Shutterstock

According to The Guardian, JBS, Cargill and Tyson—three of the world’s largest meat producers—emitted more greenhouse gas last year than all of France and nearly as much as the biggest oil companies, such as Exxon, BP, and Shell.

Hardly any meat or dairy companies publish their climate emissions, so it’s almost impossible to know the exact amount of greenhouse gas generated. But using the most comprehensive data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, The Guardian estimated emissions from animal agriculture, and the results are staggering.

The top 20 meat and dairy companies emitted more greenhouse gas in 2016 than all of Germany, Europe’s biggest climate polluter. This means if these companies were a country, they would be the world’s seventh-largest greenhouse gas emitter.

It’s impossible to take world leaders seriously when they fail to mention animal agriculture in addressing climate action. Raising animals for food emits more greenhouse gas than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.

What’s more, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.

But simply by avoiding animal products, you cut your carbon footprint in half. Keep in mind that a pound of beef requires 13 percent more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy. Additionally, a recent study found that switching to a plant-based diet reduces your personal carbon emissions more than replacing your gasoline-powered car with a hybrid.

There is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.

A vegan diet is not just good for the planet. It also spares countless animals lives of misery at factory farms. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horribly. These innocent animals face unthinkable horrors: cruel caged confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, merciless deaths.

This article was originally published at AlterNet.
By Joe Loria, communications and content manager at Mercy For Animals
Read the original article.