While Al Gore’s highly-acclaimed and award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” may have conveniently neglected to highlight the harmful impact of our dietary choices, in a recent interview, the former vice-president suggests curbing our meat consumption to help curb global warming.
According to Gore: “Industrial agriculture is a part of the problem…. The shift toward a more meat-intensive diet is also part of the problem. The clearing of forest areas in many parts of the world in order to raise more cattle, that’s a part of it.”
Countless reports and studies support the assertions that industrial agriculture, specifically animal agriculture, is taking a major toll on the planet. In fact, raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of both pollution and resource depletion today. According to the United Nations, “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is needed to remedy the situation.”
Researchers from the University of Chicago report that when all levels of production are factored in—from livestock crop production to shipping animals to slaughter— a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient, and the average American can do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by not eating meat, eggs, and dairy than by switching to a hybrid car Additionally, Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that we can do more for the planet by going vegetarian even just one day per week than by switching to a totally local diet.
Bottom line: What we eat matters, and choosing plant-based foods is a simple yet effective step each of us can take to help protect the planet as well as our health and animals. Learn more by reading our Eating Sustainably brochure — and be sure to encourage others to start fighting global warming with their forks.