According to a recent report, Climate Change and the Land from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we can help fight climate change by eating less meat. The issue is becoming increasingly urgent as we learn that climate change is causing a mass extinction of species worldwide. Elizabeth Kolbert explores this topic in this year's One Book, One Chicago selection, The Sixth Extinction.
The following articles discuss how our food choices can make a difference in combating climate change. You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I’ve also noted if an article is available freely on the web.
"Year of the Vegan" by Jessica Scott-Reid
Maclean’s, January 2019
Scott-Reid declares the vegan diet is now a moral imperative due to rising global temperatures, environmental devastation and animal suffering caused by the meat industry. The article points out the growing popularity of vegan diets and widespread availability of plant-based foods. She recommends that those who can go vegan should—for the environment, for the animals and for themselves.
"To Tackle Climate Change We Need to Rethink Our Food System" by Dr. Shenggen Fan & Kathleen Rogers
Milwaukee Courier, August 16, 2019
Fan and Rogers discuss the findings of the U.N. report, describing how animal agriculture impacts the environment by driving deforestation, degrading water quality and increasing air pollution. If Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 10% for a year, it would save 7.8 trillion gallons of water, and the decrease in carbon dioxide would be the equivalent of planting 1 billion carbon-absorbing trees.
"Meat Gets a Makeover" by Rachel Rabkin Peachman
Consumer Reports, October 2019 (Also available on the Consumer Reports website)
This article reviews the newest offerings in plant-based meats, comparing their taste, cost, nutritional profile and environmental impact. It compares two meatless burgers becoming widely available in stores and restaurants: the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Burger. It also discusses a new food technology in development: meat grown in labs.
"Until We Get Real Action on Climate, Try Some Fake Meat" by Timothy Egan
New York Times, June 22, 2019 (Also available on the New York Times website)
Egan writes that by buying vegetarian meat substitutes we can stop contributing to the environmental devastation caused by industrial animal agriculture. He says the growth of plant-based meat companies can help where governments have failed to act.
"I Was a Middle-Aged Diabetic: One Man’s Journey from Chronic Illness to Improved Health Via Veganism" by Rovenia Brock
Ebony Magazine, July/August 2018
If you’re not sure about going veg, this article may inspire you. It profiles a man who found health through a vegan diet. And it highlights two prominent African American chefs and their mouth-watering plant-based recipes.