The Key to Climate Change: Eating Sustainably

by Stuart McDonald

According to a recent United Nations report, we have about “12 years to limit climate catastrophe”. That’s right–just 12. To do this, climate scientists say we must focus on four significant changes: energy, land use, cities, and industry. If we don’t, the global temperature will warm by 1.5 to 2 degrees. This may seem like a small amount, but on a global scale it will be devastating–resulting in the loss of habitat for animals, stronger and more dangerous storms, food scarcity, and climate-related poverty and displacement.

Each one of us has the power to do our part in fighting climate change, and it starts on our plates!

As recent studies have shown, choosing a plant-based diet is the most effective way to lessen our contribution to climate change.

Factory farming causes vast suffering for billions of animals, and takes a severe toll on surrounding communities and the environment as a whole. The majority of animals farmed for food are raised on intensively crowded and filthy factory farms. These industrial facilities, with their massive amounts of methane-releasing waste, are a major cause of the world’s rising temperature. In fact, methane emissions are 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, which comes from cars and other sources.

A 2017 study by environmental nonprofit, CDP, revealed that over 70% of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by just 100 corporations. Most of these are energy producers like ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron. Although these companies should be held accountable, making up the bulk of carbon dioxide emissions, factory farms primarily emit methane: an even more potent greenhouse gas, that traps more heat in the atmosphere.

Most industrialized farming operations are owned by just a handful of massive corporations like Tyson Foods, Cargill, and JBS. These corporations own and contract enormous factory farms all over the United States, which contribute to methane emissions and environmental toxins.

Watch COK’s recent investigation of the devastation caused by factory farms in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence — for abandoned farm animals, and for the environment as massive manure lagoons overflowed into the surrounding waterways and communities. And now, Hurricane Michael has reportedly claimed the lives of 2 million chickens.

Though sometimes the power of these enormous corporations can feel like it dwarfs our individual impact, we have the power to take action with every purchase.

To get serious about climate change and turning around the proverbial sinking ship, we must, as individuals, refuse to buy into the system that is destroying our planetary home.

By leaving animal products off our plates from wherever we are, we can do our globally important part in limiting the climate catastrophe–today.

For recipes and sustainable meal ideas, visit
and download our guide to Eating Sustainably.

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