Earlier this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report which investigated mitigation of climate change, from energy and mobility to food and farming industries.
But what did it tell us?
First things first, the report made clear that Governments are not doing enough to halt climate change at a level that could prevent disaster.
Whilst world leaders agreed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, it is glaringly obvious that impactful actions necessary to achieve transformative change are not being made. With this lacklustre approach, we are heading for disaster which will impact all manner of living beings. Us included.
As our global surface temperatures soar, as does the likelihood of widespread drought and an increase in the intensity of wind speeds and storms. The vast rise of sea levels will also subject more areas to erosion and the power of waves and currents. In short, our natural world will be irreversibly damaged at a rate that humans and animals are unable to adapt to.
At the heart of the matter is that emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 and methane need to be reduced by 50% by 2030.
By reducing our emissions by 50%, we will be set to reach net zero by 2030 and through this, stabilize the Earth’s temperature and make a significant reduction to the risks that are already posed to our world.
We need to do this to mitigate the worst effects of global climate change and protect public health, our communities, economies and natural environment.
This means that, to avoid a global disaster, we need to fundamentally transform economic sectors and change the way we consume, for good.
And we certainly are a society of ardent consumers. But, before we panic at the sound of impending sparsity and doom, there is so much good news to be found.
Solutions are available, affordable and have a heap of positive side effects for us, animals and the planet.
Food and farming are, in total, responsible for 23-42% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
Because of this, the IPCC has urged us, in no uncertain terms, to consume fewer animal-based products.
After all, as it turns out, plant-based products have proven to be far less carbon-intensive and far easier on our resources.
Good for you, animals and the planet.
We all know that healthier, plant-based products are good for the body, mind and soul.
This dietary shift can also vastly improve animal welfare, cause far less harm to nature and the environment, and reduce the chances of future zoonotic diseases emerging and spreading.
Halting deforestation and restoring nature has the biggest potential as a climate solution in the sector of forest, farming and land use.
There is a very clear benefit in decreasing meat production – with its massive land use for feed production and grazing lands – to restore nature and our resources and improve our climate.
Changing to more diverse and ‘nature-based’ farming is a hugely impactful climate solution.
By shifting to more sustainable farming systems that are at one with the natural world, we can better adapt to tackle the current detrimental effects of climate change and do less harm to the environment in the process.
Animal welfare and health should be at the core of redesigning our food systems.
Improved conditions from sustainable livestock farming practices can promote carbon sequestration (capturing and storing carbon dioxide) and even mitigate the effects of greenhouse gases.
It has also been found that grazing cattle living on pasture can greatly improve soil quality.
Do good, feel good
In short, the findings are clear.
We need to transform our eating habits and evolve our farming practices if we are to limit global warming to the agreed 1.5°C.
No matter the size of your change, we can all make an impact by considering our footprint, supporting sustainable farming, and enjoying an animal and climate friendly lifestyle by choosing more plant-based products.
You can start off slow, by exploring and sampling some of our plant-based recipes here or sign our meat reduction pledge to commit to changing your habits and making a positive impact today.
Whatever you do, thank you for making the choice to #LiveKinder and taking action to reduce your meat consumption.