This blog is not to force everyone to become vegetarian or vegan, but to have more people aware of what they are eating and how some substitutions can be made to have a plant-based option. Many people aren’t aware of the effects of the meat and dairy industry on greenhouse gas emissions, the environment, and habitat.
Being vegetarian or vegan does not mean lugging a bag of carrots around with you everywhere you go because there are so many tasty foods that don’t contain animal products to choose from. Maybe this blog or blogs similar to this one will make it easier to eat less meat and animal products in the future. Happy veggie eating!
The meat and dairy industry accounts for more than 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Just think that with a simple cut in meat and dairy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions would go down by almost 15%! As well as emissions, land containing livestock takes up almost 40% of land in the United States. That is almost 800 million acres! For comparison, cropland takes up about 20% and urban areas take up about 4% of the US.
With 40% of US land being used for livestock production, that is a large area that could be used to better rehabilitate ecosystems and cut back on fossil fuels. To create sufficient farmland for livestock, many trees are cut down to make more room. With fewer trees and more carbon dioxide released by animals, that leads to an even higher level of greenhouse gas emissions. With more trees cut down, many animals may lose their home due to a shortage of sustainable habitat. With over 40% of land in the US containing livestock farming, that is 40% of land that could be used to help unhoused people, people at refugee camps, ecosystem rehabilitation, and other necessities. Think about what a difference you could make by such a little change.
“We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet for the sake of hamburgers.”
Is Veganism a privileged lifestyle?
Is Vegetarianism and Veganism a privileged lifestyle? In some ways, yes. And in some ways, no. Agreeably, for people in poverty, houseless people, people in less developed countries, vegetarianism is not a consideration. There is a higher priority to have food in front of you, than what the carbon footprint of the food you are consuming is.
That aside, is vegetarianism and veganism a privilege in the US for the working class? Inherently no, but for most, yes. Jessica Beth-Greenblum wrote
~I propose that veganism itself is not a privilege, but rather the ability to make food choices is ultimately the privilege~
Many people live fully vegan or vegetarian lifestyles with similar or less money than an average working American. That said, a gallon of cow’s milk is around $3.50 while a gallon of oat milk is around $8. The ability to choose the $8 option over the $3.50 option is privilege. Choosing one food over another is a privilege.
Now, having that privilege is not problematic. It becomes problematic when we are not acknowledging the privilege we have. It is great that more and more people are becoming more aware of the impacts of what they are eating, but you still have to be aware that that is not an option for many people. More people need to think that, ‘I am privileged in that I have the ability to be vegan or vegetarian but lots of other people do not have this privilege.’