If you haven’t seen Eating Our Way to Extinction, I implore you to make watching it your top priority.
The film details the ways our food choices impact the environment, specifically how animal agriculture (livestock in particular) is an overlooked issue that contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGE). I was stunned to learn that livestock alone produces more GHGE than the entire transportation sector.
You read that right. Cows are more damaging to the environment than all of the world’s planes, trains, and automobiles combined. So while creating carpool lanes and using fewer plastic bags are all well and good, they hardly address the most serious of our environmental issues.
Our collective food choices and global food system is wreaking havoc on the environment. And it’s not just global warming you should worry about. Deforestation, overfishing, water and food scarcity, desertification, biodiversity loss, and an increase in natural disasters — such as wildfires, heatwaves, floods, hurricanes, droughts, and severe storms — are major issues we’ll be faced with this century. There’s no denying we’ve already begun feeling the effects of climate change.
We’re destroying our health — and our planet’s — by the food choices we make daily. And it’s happening faster than we’d like to think.
As discussed in the film, global meat production is expected to double by 2050 as developing nations consume more animal products (which the current food system is ill-equipped to support). By 2030, only 10%of the world’s rainforests will remain from deforestation. There have been four times more weather-related disasters in the last 50 years than in the previous 100.
Simply put, the ways we eat and use our planet’s resources are grossly unsustainable and inefficient. If the entire world ate the way North Americans do, we’d need five Earths to support our eating habits.
EOWTE also details how a whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) diet is the single most effective way you can reduce your environmental footprint. Strategies such as ‘Meatless Mondays’ or ‘no animal products until dinner’ are fine for helping people eat more plants, but let’s be frank: We all need to eat as close to a 100% WFPB diet as possible to really make a difference.
Research shows a plant-based diet with the same energy, protein, and nutrient yield reduces land use required by 88% and our land area footprint could shrink to a quarter of its current use by switching to plant-based food systems.
There are many other benefits to a fully plant-based diet besides being more sustainable and better for the environment. Eating more plants reduces your risk of chronic disease, improves health and athletic performance, lowers inflammation, and reduces animal suffering.
The information presented in the film isn’t new, we’ve known for years that the ramifications of climate change are human-caused and pose a serious threat to the longevity of our species. But the film’s message is clear: we need to take immediate action to counteract the potentially cataclysmic effects of climate change to prevent global crises.
Many companies, brands, and manufacturers are “going green” by promoting renewable energy and denouncing fossil fuels, but that’s a small part of the problem. Governments and local authorities need to take bolder and more immediate action to mitigate climate change. This means shifting away from the multi-billion dollar subsidies given to animal agriculture and transitioning to a plant-based food system.
In the meantime, we can help solve these issues through our food choices. Experts agree the most impactful way you can do your part is to eat more whole, plant foods and significantly limit or eliminate all animal products from your diet.
Please watch Eating Our Way to Extinction and take the film’s message to heart. Consider what actions you can take to help address this growing threat to humanity. The well-being of our planet, our children, and future generations depends on it.