Them refers to the kinds of mammals in the photo above. Us refers to us humans. In keeping with yesterday’s post, Oliver Milman’s op-ed provides an excellent reminder that virtually all mammals living on planet earth today are we humans and the animals we farm for eating. There are still other species of mammals holding on, if barely, but they are being pushed to extinction largely due to the amount of meat we eat. Another good reason to go vegetarian, or vegan, or more simply just eating much less meat:
Eating meat has a hefty impact on the environment from fueling climate change to polluting landscapes and waterways
Recycling or taking the bus rather than driving to work has its place, but scientists are increasingly pointing to a deeper lifestyle change that would be the single biggest way to help the planet: eating far less meat.
A swathe of research released over the past year has laid bare the hefty impact that eating meat, especially beef and pork, has upon the environment by fueling climate change and polluting landscapes and waterways.
Industrialized agriculture and the onset of the worst species extinction crisis since the demise of the dinosaurs means that livestock and humans now make up 96% of all mammals. But despite consuming the vast majority of farmland, meat and dairy accounts for just 18% of all food calories and around a third of protein.
The mighty hoofprint of farmed meat isn’t just inefficient. Deforestation to make way for livestock, along with methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and airplanes. Meat rearing practices risk mass extinctions of other animals, as well as spawn significant pollution of streams, rivers and, ultimately, the ocean…