Part I: The Climate Problem With Cattle

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that vegans praise the array of benefits associated with their diet is due to its potential to reverse the damage done by cattle. You might be wondering why on earth these animals are to blame for such a thing, but the answer is simple. First, cows are a source of massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas even more damaging than carbon dioxide, and their numbers are only growing as the years move forward. Second, the way we raise cattle is unsustainable. We confine them to only a small area until they consume the grass of that environment, and then we move them to another regardless of the damage done.

The problem is bigger than it looks. Although climate change is causing the temperatures to rise on average and the seas to acidify, our inability to manage consumption is also causing vast swaths of ocean to transform into dead zones and the land on which we raise the aforementioned cattle is turning into a desert wasteland. If something isn’t done soon, then the extinction event that we’re in the middle of will inevitably cripple our chances at surviving into the far future.

Even though the problem is gargantuan, we might be able to save ourselves. There are a number of options that present themselves. For starters, we could simply consume less meat. That would slow down the release of methane into the skies above, and potentially help reverse the cataclysmic desertification below. For those who can’t stomach the idea of eating less (or no) meat, science might be the saving grace. In the future, we might grow accustomed to eating lab-grown or synthesized meat products that taste at least as good as, if not even better, than the real thing.

That day might not come soon enough.

Another scientist by the name of Allan Savory contends that, contrary to what we might believe, the answer to this apocalypse lies in raising more cattle, not less. It makes more sense than you’d think. Before mankind scoured the globe and settled down into towns and cities, herds of tens of thousands of animals were free to roam about, and hundreds of thousands or millions of birds flew through the skies. We’ve encroached on their territory, and the consequences have been disastrous for everyone.

Fewer animals means less movement of biological matter–one of mother nature’s most valuable resources–and subsequently less life to fertilize the environments around us. That’s why the land is quickly desertifying and animals are dying at such a terrifying rate.