10th September 2023

‘Beef’ and Dairy Farming are not the only Causes of Climate Chaos and Environmental Destruction

When people think about how diet affects climate change, they often think of the GHG emissions emitted by the ‘beef’ and dairy sectors. That is probably due to the fact that environmentalists call for us to give up ‘beef’ and dairy but fall short of asking for a plant or vegan diet which excludes all animal products. Using cows as food may be the largest emitter of GHG emissions but all of animal agriculture harms our environment (Poore and Nemeck, 2018; EAT-Lancet Commission Summary Report; United Nations Climate Action; IPCC). The harm is not restricted to GHG emissions. Animal Agriculture harms the air we breathe, the water we need for our survival, and the soil we depend on to grow food. It causes loss of biodiversity, with entire species being wiped out because of the human demand for the bodies and products of other animals. It also uses vast areas of land that could be used instead to counter emissions.

When we use the term ‘we’, it is intended to include all of life, all the species who live on this earth and have a right to a healthy environment that sustains life.

Can climate change and biodiversity loss be tackled together - Carbon Brief: Accessed 10.09.2023

Can climate change and biodiversity loss be tackled together – Carbon Brief: Accessed 10.09.2023

If we stop demanding eggs, dairy, fish and flesh, and instead ask for what we need to sustain our vegan lives, farmers will follow the demand and produce plant products instead of animal products. The blame does not lie with farmers who are simply meeting our demands as consumers. That is why our Go Vegan World campaign targets consumers. However, fault does lie with farming bodies that ensure a continued demand for animal products through misinformation, planting seeds of doubt, and advertising animal products as if they are necessary and beneficial to human health. The power lies with the consumer. If we stop creating a demand for animal product (i.e. if we stop buying and consuming animal products) farmers will stop farming animals.

In terms of animal rights, far greater numbers of smaller animals are killed than larger animals. We need to stop thinking of other animals as our resources and stop using any animal as our food.

Our new ads represent sheep, pigs and chickens to educate the public that giving up flesh and dairy is not sufficient. If you are concerned about climate change and the environment, it is contradictory to eat anything other than a plant based diet. It is contradictory to regard humans as being more entitled to the resources of this planet than other animals. Therefore, although eating a plant only diet is a necessary condition to prevent further environmental destruction and climate chaos, it is not sufficient to heal the planet. The harm we have done to this earth will never be healed until we address our humanocentric speciesism and adopt the beliefs of the vegan philosophy that other animals are feeling beings who share our fundamental rights not to be used as resources, not to be owned, exploited or killed.

Our ads are live in cities and towns around Ireland. They feature the rescued animals who live at Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary. Each of them was rescued from an Irish farm where they would have been slaughtered, several years ago. The taste of their eggs and flesh would not even reside in the memory of those who purchased them, and paid for their precious lives to be taken from them.