The global production of food is responsible for a third of all planet-heating gases emitted by human activity, with the use of animals for meat causing twice the pollution of producing plant-based foods. This includes clearing forests for livestock grazing and methane production from cows and sheep. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas.
Like limiting airplane travel, buying less, and driving less, cutting meat consumption is a powerful and personal thing most Americans can do to tackle the climate crisis. According to a 2019 study published in Nature, if every person in the U.S. cut their meat consumption by 25 percent, it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent.
In the coming month, see if you can decrease the amount of meat you consume and set a goal for yourself. For example, if you usually eat meat every day, try eating meat only 3 days a week. If you don’t eat much meat already, see if you can decrease the number of meat meals by half for the month. Reducing meat in your diet often can lead to better health.