It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the momentous issues facing our environment today. Between rampant deforestation, rising greenhouse gas emissions, mass species extinctions, water scarcity and food shortages, things are not looking up.
More than any other industry, animal agriculture has become a leading driver of all these major issues. Producing the incredibly high volume of animal products demanded by our meat-centric diets requires an inordinate amount of land resources and freshwater supplies. On top of this, animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases emissions than any other industry, and yet, 850 million people across the world still suffer from lack of food. As our population grows to nine billion by 2050, these major issues are only set to grow exponentially, pushing our planet’s finite resources past their limit.
So how big is this problem, really? Well, let’s take a look at our plates and see: