By Cami Hoffman:
When I was little, I thought about my future a lot. I thought about what job I’d have, what house I’d live in, what I’d look like at the ripe old age of 80. I remained blissfully ignorant of the fact that I might not actually live to see the ripe old age of 80. My life could be cut short for a variety of reasons, but there’s one reason that will impact every being on this planet — climate change.
I’m a senior in high school. I can wholeheartedly say that, having been through 12 years of public education, climate change was never a major topic of discussion at school. Seems a bit ironic, no? During all those years, I was being told to study for my future and plan out the rest of my life, yet no one was talking about the very thing that could destroy all of our futures. What’s more, no one was talking about what we could do to stop it. I knew that cars made the world hot and that paper killed trees. That was the extent of my knowledge about climate change for a long time. So how on earthwas I supposed to know that the milk in my cereal, the turkey in my sandwich, or the beef in my burger were all rapidly propelling environmental destruction?
Not until I did some digging did I realize that I could combat climate change simply by shifting what I did and did not eat. Initially, a love for animals drove me to remove animal products from my diet, and that love remains at the core of my being today. With this change came a cascade of knowledge — first about the horrors that animals endure in animal agriculture, then about the health impacts of animal products, and then, of course, about the environmental impact.
Four United Nations bodies now agree that animal agriculture accounts for at least 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Fifty-one percent!Bear in mind that all forms of transportation combined is roughly 13%. Let’s apply these statistics to a real-life example. Burning one gallon of gas produces around nine kilograms of CO2 emissions. One pound of beef, on the other hand, accounts for roughly 35 kilograms of CO2 emissions. So, theoretically, it could be more environmentally-friendly to adopt a plant-based diet than to buy an electric car (although I’m not stopping anyone from doing the latter). Why is no one talking about this? Even if we completely abandon the use of fossil fuels, we still will be on a path toward environmental destruction by 2030 — all from raising animals for food. Why is no one talking about this?
According to the latest UN Climate Change report, we have 12 years left to prevent a climate catastrophe. We vote with our dollars every single day. When we purchase animal products, we vote for climate catastrophe. These industries will continue supplying our demand and decimating our planet until we tell them to stop. We have the solutions; we just have to act.
About Cami Hoffman
Cami Hoffman is a teenage vegan activist. She leads the San Diego chapter of The Raven Corps. The Raven Corps is a youth-driven group that promotes sustainability and compassion through plant-based advocacy. Ravens are dedicated to instilling positive change in their communities for people, animals and the planet. Cami also regularly volunteers at Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary, where animals discarded from animal agriculture industries can live out their lives in peace and tranquility.
The Raven Corps – |
Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary –