There is more to the environment than global warming.
Of course climate change is an ecological and humanitarian catastrophe in the making. Its powerful and destructive effects are already being felt by farmers across the world. For example, the serious droughts hitting the whole of Europe and Australia this year.
Whilst science can rarely prove definite correlation, there is clear evidence, and a general consensus in the science community, that the primary cause of climate change is mankind’s industrialisation and consumerism. At the heart of this we find meat production, said to account for up to a third of greenhouse gases.
The answer is simple then. Let’s all turn vegan and cut global emissions by a third! Well, let’s hang on just a minute. There is more to the environment than just global warming.
Livestock agriculture in the UK plays an essential role (if done responsibly) in promoting biodiversity and protecting the British countryside. Without livestock farming maintaining permanent grasslands, many species of fauna and flora would lose their natural habitats. Furthermore, livestock farming tends to be less dependant on pesticides than its cereal producing counterparts.
Only farmers can manage the UK countryside effectively at a reasonable financial cost to society. If we take what is on offer to us, such as Countryside Stewardship options, we can maximise our positive impact on the environment like no other industries can. We can also still do a lot to reduce our CO2 emission and footprint dramatically by convincing consumers to eat local, reducing our dependence on imported soya based feeds and modernising our machinery to name just a few.
So come on farmers, let’s show vegans that not only we are able to dramatically reduce our climate change footprint, we are also an essential link in preserving biodiversity and combating many other environmental issues.