I’m vegan for the environment

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I’m vegan and I have been for almost two years now: and to be honest I’ve pushed off writing about veganism for a long time. I wasn’t sure what the reaction was going to be and I didn’t want to hear snide comments about my choices.
Although I believe that’s still likely, I feel the need to talk about the environmental impacts animal agriculture causes.
Before I continue I want to make one thing incredibly clear, I don’t think you are a bad person if you’re not vegan, nor do I believe that I am superior due to my choice.
I am deciding to talk about this, despite my discomfort, because the majority of us don’t know the truth about the environmental impact of animal agriculture and I believe we might make different choices if we did.
I am not trying to make you vegan, I am just sharing information so you can make an informed choice. But if you don’t agree with me that’s fine, and if you believe the facts I share aren’t true then I encourage you to do your own research.
My only hope is that you can make an informed decision rather than doing something out of habit and because it’s a societal norm.
Due to the recent United Nations statement about the state of the environment, it’s pressing now more than ever to make sure we are taking care of our planet and trying to decrease or eliminate the things that are destroying it.
When people talk about global warming the conversation is often about oil and electricity. So besides using public transportation or switching to LED light bulbs, it can feel like there isn’t anything an individual can do.
On the contrary, according to the UN, animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. So by removing animal agriculture from our diet, it would remove more greenhouse gases from the environment than all cars, planes, and buses combined.
Additionally according to an article in the “Princeton Review,” the greenhouse gases produced from animal agriculture have a higher quantity of methane compared to transportation emissions. Methane’s ability to trap heat in our atmosphere is at least 25 times higher than the ability of carbon dioxide.
Recently there has been a big shift in western culture regarding our view of single-use plastic straws. Many people are trying not to use plastic straws after learning about how they pollute our oceans or maybe seeing a video of a straw being pulled out of a turtle’s nose.
While I do believe that it is important to significantly decrease our use of single-use plastic, it is interesting that many people were compelled to decrease their straw usage to stop polluting the oceans to save sea life.
Think about that for a moment. Isn’t it strange that we will stop using straws to save fish and other sea creatures but we won’t stop eating fish to save fish?
While you might think you are removing straws from your diet to save the turtles and that turtles aren’t harmed by eating fish, you are not alone.
Before I became vegan I didn’t think that by eating fish I was harming turtles, dolphins or other sea-life. That was before I learned about bycatch, the catch of animals and non-targeted fish in fishing nets. According to Oceana, an ocean conservation organization, different estimates say that up to 40% of all catch is bycatch, resulting in 63 billion pounds of bycatch annually.
These are only two examples of the many ways animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment. While I could easily write for pages on this issue, after all, I did write my Junior Theme on the environmental impacts of animal agriculture, I will stop here.
If you are looking for more information on this topic, I would highly recommend watching “Cowspiracy” on Netflix.
While I do not expect people to change their diets overnight, I certainly didn’t, I just hope people will be more conscious of the environmental impacts of their food.

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