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Opinion: Bovine blues

Jean Carlo Emer- unsplash
A cow

Climate change continues to be one of the most critical issues we face as a planet. On first glance, it may seem like too big a problem to fix, but once we start looking at individual causes, the problem gets simpler. One major cause is meat production.
According to an article by The Guardian, meat production accounts for 14% of human-induced climate emissions. Scientists have known for a long time about the negative side effects of meat production, but we haven’t done anything about it. According to the USDA, the U.S. has produced roughly 27 billion pounds of beef per year since 2001. That’s roughly 80 pounds of beef per person in the U.S. per year. Reducing this number is crucial to helping mitigate the meat industry’s effect on the climate.
How can you help?
The easiest way is to reduce your meat consumption. For those who can afford to do so, it’s a relatively easy change. There are many other ways to get protein in your diet, and it can provide you with a wider range of nutrients, according to When you go shopping for the week, select a few protein alternatives like yogurt, eggs or beyond meat to replace a few meals that would usually include beef or pork. You can also start incorporating more fish into your diet since the production of seafood is more environmentally-sound than the production of livestock. By replacing even one meal’s protein source with a plant alternative, we can work towards creating a better world.
Why should you care?
Climate change threatens all humans. We will continue to see small effects daily through increased temperatures and weather disasters, but we will also see significant changes within a decade or two. For example, it is estimated that climate change will cause a decrease in corn production by 24% as soon as 2030 which will cause scarcity and increased prices.
While there is much work to be done to prevent these and other effects of climate change, you can take the first step today by reducing your meat intake and educating others about the harmful effects of meat production.

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