Do ENVIRONMENTALISTS Actually Need to DITCH MEAT? | LIVEKINDLY

Do ENVIRONMENTALISTS Actually Need to DITCH MEAT? | LIVEKINDLY


– [Narrator] Is it possible to be a meat-eating environmentalist? – I love the environment, but I don’t love the
environment that much. – So you think the taste of something is worth the destruction it causes? – [Man] Yeah. – Avoiding meat and
dairy is the biggest way to reduce your environmental
impact on the planet. – Maybe choosing to skip the
meat could make an impact. – [Narrator] In June 2018, the United Nations’
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC, released a landmark report. – The Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change released its new report which confirms the need
to limit global warming to well below two degrees Centigrade and pursuing efforts toward limiting it below 1.5 degrees Centigrade. – [Narrator] The world had 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe. According to the world’s
leading scientists, governments must work to limit
global warming temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Even half a degree more could
worsen the risk of droughts, rising sea levels, extreme
heat, food insecurity, and poverty for hundreds
of millions of people across the world. – The report clearly states that the world has already warmed by
one degree Centigrade due to human activity, and, as a result,
climate change is already affecting people,
ecosystems, and livelihoods around the world. – [Narrator] Insects, which
are vital for crop pollination and healthy ecosystems, would be twice as likely
to lose their habitat at two degrees Celsius. According to one study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, the sixth mass extinction
is already underway. A biological annihilation of
wildlife over recent decades is caused by humans and threatens the
survival of civilization. “All signs point to evermore powerful “assaults on biodiversity
in the next two decades, “painting a dismal picture
of the future of life, “including human life,” said the report. In order to prevent major
environmental disaster, the level of human-caused
carbon dioxide emissions would need to drop a staggering 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, finally reaching a net zero by 2050. – A carbon-neutral future is the only way we will inherit a planet capable of sustaining life
on earth as we know it. – [Narrator] The report called
for unprecedented changes to all aspects of society to prevent warming beyond this level. – We are currently working
on an IPCC special report on climate change in land, which will include the idea
of food systems as a whole, including the question of dietary changes and the demand side. And what is very clear there is that there are lots of
reasons other than climate change for shifting diets. – [Narrator] At this point in history, atmospheric carbon dioxide,
a type of greenhouse gas, is at the highest level ever recorded. The majority of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by human activity, including burning fossil fuels,
agriculture, and landfills. – Reality has a way of, you know, hitting you in the nose if
you’re not paying attention. And I think that the public is starting to realize the science, in part because it’s indisputable. – [Narrator] While we can all take steps to reduce our individual carbon footprint, such as taking public transportation, opting for local produce,
and buying fewer things, does it make sense for an
environmentalist to eat meat? Carbon emissions from animal agriculture. According to the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the global livestock industries account for 7.1 gigatons of carbon
dioxide equivalent per year, representing 14.5% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. Cattle raised for meat and
dairy, as well as manure, are responsible for the majority of this, representing 65% of livestock emissions. This is divided between feed
production and processing and enteric fermentation, the
digestive process in cattle. According to the FAO, this accounts for up to
45% of total emissions. – So, the animals that can eat grass have very unusual stomachs
that have these bacteria that are methanogenic in there, and so they leak natural gas both out the front and the back. And so people have said,
“Well, let’s change the hay “or throw some things in there.” Nobody knows how to get rid of… – No one knows how to
get cows to stop farting. – Exactly, or burping. – [Narrator] Manure storage and processing represents 10% of emissions, and the remainder can be attributed to the processing and
transportation of animal products. In terms of animal products, beef and milk cattle are
responsible for the most emissions, followed by pig meat, 9%, chicken meat and eggs, 8%, buffalo milk and meat, 8%, and small ruminate milk and meat, 6%. The remaining emissions come
from other poultry species and nonedible products. – We know that our dietary
choices make a big impact. So, for example, if we talk about high greenhouse gas emissions diets, those are associated
with meat consumption. We know that, for example, beef and lamb tend to be higher in
greenhouse gas emissions due to the way that livestock is produced. – [Narrator] Marine fisheries
are typically excluded from food production
emissions assessments, but they have an impact too. According to a 2018 study published in the journal
Nature Climate Change, greenhouse gas emissions from
the global fishing industry grew by 28% between 1990 and 2011. But there has been little
increase in production. The increase comes from
crustacean fisheries, which represent only 6%
of all marine life caught but are responsible for more
than 1/5 of all emissions due to the use of
fuel-powered fishing vessels. Deforestation and land use. How much land does animal
agriculture occupy? According to the FAO, 26% of the planet’s ice-free
land is dedicated to livestock, and 33% of cropland is dedicated
to growing animal feed. The global demand for meat has quadrupled over the past 50 years and we now produce about
320 million tons annually. Demand is expected to increase
by 73% by the year 2050. Raising animals for
meat is land-intensive. Each year, 13 billion
hectares of forest are cleared to make room for animals
or animal feed production. This can be seen in the Amazon rainforest where areas equating to more
than 1 1/2 soccer fields are being destroyed every
minute of every day. – [Woman] The Amazon is
home to million of species, and the biggest threat
to the rainforest itself is this one. (animal grunts) – [Translator] The situation
here is completely backward. This area should never have
come under cultivation. It’s on a permanent nature conservation. There shouldn’t be any cattle here and it should never have been deforested. – [Narrator] Clearing
land also contributes to water availability, soil fertility, biodiversity, and climate change. – [Translator] Our main argument
in favor of reforestation is the protection of water sources. What use is a cattle ranch if you have no water on your land? That’s a strong argument to win them over. – [Narrator] But we need not dedicate land to raising animals. Globally, there is enough cropland to feed nine billion in 2050, if the 40% of all crops grown for animals were used for human consumption instead. Water use. Animal agriculture uses around 1/3 of the world’s fresh water, while 700 million people
suffer from water scarcity. By 2025, that number is
expected to reach 1.8 billion. According to a study
published by the UNESCO IHE, Institute for Water Education, global animal production requires about 2,422 cubic gigameters of water annually. Beef cattle use up 1/3 of this, and dairy cows require another 19%. – [Man] What about wasted water? It takes nearly 2,000 gallons
to produce one pound of beef. Compare that to broccoli and cauliflower. The lowly legumes require
just 34 gallons a pound. – [Narrator] Most of the
total water footprint used by animal agriculture
is used to grow feed crops. Ocean dead zones and acidification. The world’s oceans suffer because of animal agriculture as well. Runoff from animal agriculture,
like manure and fertilizer, has been linked to ocean dead zones, oxygen-depleted hypoxic areas of the ocean where little or not life can survive. – But the one that contributes the most or puts in the largest portion of the load is agricultural runoff. – The bacteria can suck all
the oxygen out of the water, creating a dead zone
where nothing can grow, which sets up a chain
reaction that’s devastating for anything living in or near the water. But the real problem is the toxins some types of blooms can create, which are poisonous and even deadly for fish, wildlife, humans, and pets. – [Narrator] Ocean dead
zones have roughly doubled each decade since the 1960s. Today there are around 400
dead zones in the world. The largest is a Florida-sized
area in the Arabian Sea. The second largest is
in the Gulf of Mexico and is on average 6,500
square miles in size. When excess nutrients
from manure and fertilizer enter the oceans, they spark an algal explosion. Phytoplankton, a microscopic
algae that loves nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, float near the water surface,
absorbing the sunlight. Blooms consisting of phytoplankton can be seen via satellite. Zooplankton consume the phytoplankton, which are then eaten by small fish. The rapid increase in algae
leads to higher levels of animal waste in the water, which falls to the ocean floor. The bacterial decomposition
uses up oxygen, which is vital to help
the ocean ecosystems. This may be exacerbated
by warming temperatures. Warm water carries less
oxygen than cool water. A January 2019 report published
in the journal Science found that the oceans
are warming 40% faster than previously thoughts. As oxygen depletes, smaller animals like
snails, crabs, and fish will move away, making it harder for
larger fish to find food. Immobile creatures die off. Ocean acidification, the ongoing
decrease in the water’s pH caused by uptake of carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere, is another consequence of climate change. Ocean acidification has been linked to the bleaching of Florida’s coral reefs. Aleck Wang, professor of marine chemistry at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, says the ocean’s pH levels
“are expected to double “by the end of the century.” This will kill of marine life, including oysters, corals, and plankton, drastically affecting the food chain. But what about? If you were to google tips
for being more eco-friendly, you would probably find tips
like cutting back on plastic, taking shorter showers,
or buying grass-fed beef. But cutting out animal products
makes a much bigger impact. On average, it takes
1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. Using that, you could take 104 showers or do 60 loads of laundry. – Meat takes an enormous
toll on naturally resources in the environment. – Under the current system,
it’s not sustainable. It has to change. – [Narrator] Grass-fed beef
is framed as more sustainable than conventional beef, but according to a study published in the journal
Environmental Research Letters, if the US wanted to switch to
a 100% grass-fed beef system, it would require a 33% increase
in the national cattle herd. And current pastureland can only support 27% of the current beef supply. The research concludes that only reductions in beef consumption can guarantee reductions
in the environmental impact of US food systems. What about small family farms? While they do exist, it’s
only in very small numbers. An estimated 99% of all animal products are sourced from factory farms. – Open wounds, pressure sores, infections, bleeding gums from
biting the bars so much. And these animals aren’t
even being cared for with individualized veterinary attention. – [Narrator] Even if you avoid beef and go for pork, chicken, lamb, or even a vegetarian diet, you’re not saving as much water as you could by eating vegan. Animal products have a much
larger carbon footprint compared to crops. – Some diets require more land and water and lead to higher emissions than others. For example, diets that are high in grains, nuts, and vegetables have a lower carbon footprint than those that are high in meat, and they lead to better health outcomes. – [Narrator] As for sustainable seafood, the labeling can be deceptive. The Marine Stewardship Council
is known for its blue label which indicates that a fishery has met certain sustainability standards. But investigations into
MSC certified labels have revealed that the
certified sustainable label can be deceptive because
it applies to regions. A fishery may use ocean-friendly
fishing methods in one area and trawling in another. Trawling is a practice
notorious for causing bycatch, a term that describes
when unintended species are captured along with the target fish. The MSC has even certified some fisheries that work in regions where
populations are at risk. – What we’ve been trying to do is prove scientifically and by visual the scale of the illegal
fishing in this area, which we know has been going
on for a long, long time. – [Narrator] Some might
argue that they do their part by cutting down on carbon
emissions from transportation, like buying an electric
car, carpooling, cycling, or using public transit. But changing the way we
eat is more effective. The sustainability of a plant-based diet. How sustainable is a plant-based diet? Animal products generally
have a larger footprint compared to crops. For example, the average water
footprint per calorie of beef is 20 times larger than that of cereals and starchy roots, and six times larger than pulses. Beef creates up to 105
kilograms of greenhouse gases to make 100 grams of meat, while tofu produces
less than 3.5 kilograms to make the same amount of food. The Beyond Burger, a plant-based patty made from pea protein. – That patty is 100% plant-based protein. – [Narrator] Generates 90%
less greenhouse gas emissions and requires 46% less
energy, 99% less water, and 93% less land
compared to a beef patty. The water footprint per gram of protein for milk, eggs, and chicken is 1.5 times larger than pulses. According to an Oxford University study, producing one glass of cow’s milk has at least three times
the environmental impact of plant-based milk. In terms of carbon footprints, a San Francisco-based
food tech company, Just, makes a vegan egg using mung beans. It uses 77% less surface and ground water and emits 40% fewer carbon emissions compared to conventional eggs. – I eat eggs every day
and I didn’t even notice. – Yeah.
– Wow. – Wow, it tastes like real, yeah. It tastes and feels like real egg. – [Narrator] While many
experts have acknowledged that some parts of the world still rely on animal agriculture, in the West, plant-based
ingredients are readily available. While every step toward
reducing your carbon footprint is a good one, a 2018 Oxford study found that
adopting a plant-based diet is the single biggest way to
reduce your carbon footprint. With 10 years left to make a change before global warming is
past the point of no return, why not start with your plate? That’s it for today. Are you an environmentalist? Let us know in the comments below. As always, remember to subscribe and hit the notification bell. New videos every Tuesday and Friday. (gentle music)

10 thoughts on “Do ENVIRONMENTALISTS Actually Need to DITCH MEAT? | LIVEKINDLY

  1. Let’s have a courage to address true root cause of environmental destruction: Social evolution has a cancer and it’s called the monetary system. Our entire economical paradigm is a threat to the ecological and social stability. Ditching the cruel system in favor of something new is no longer a matter of mere ideological preference but rather one of species wide existential necessity. THEZEITGEISTMOVEMENT.COM
    THEVENUSPROJECT.COM
    http://youtu.be/W2FPZrbYWK0

  2. Ive been vegetarian for 2 months now, and I feel great, but I also want to eat a steak burrito it was my favorite. I’ve been holding strong and today I was ready to crack and this video reminded me why I’m doing this. Coincidence?

  3. No. You cannot call yourself an environmentalist if you are not vegan.

    Just like you can’t eat animals and claim to love them too.

  4. The future is vegan. Not my personal belief but facts from authorized officials in government, Medical and agriculture. Over 400k people sign up for a veganuary this year. I won't be surprised if we witness 1 million plus sign ups next year. The future is definitely vegan. Much love to all of my fellow vegan Influencers and youtubers. Cheers from Miami 🌞🙏🏿

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