DR.SUE MAXAM’S EARTH DAY EVERYDAY #EVERYDAYACTIVISMCHALLENGE NUMBER 4
Sue Maxam’s Everyday Activism Blog
Week Four of “Earth Day Every Day”
This week the world celebrated Earth Day, which is something I (and millions of others!) like to celebrate EVERY day! I’d like to focus my final blog on how and why we can choose to change the world beginning on Earth Day, because indeed, ALL of our actions are CHOICES, and we need to be conscious of them and how they impact people, the environment and the voiceless animals. Sooooo…a few facts (mainly focusing on factory farming) from the Humane Society of the U.S., followed, of course by solutions:
- By 2100, it’s estimated that 50% of all the world’s species could go extinct. That’s a frightening number and factory farming is one of the major culprits.
- Altogether, the food we eat makes up nearly 30% of our total greenhouse gas footprint – that’s more than ALL the emissions from cars, buses and airplanes (a huge culprit!) combined!
- Factory farms are one of the largest sources of powerful methane emissions, which have 86 times the global warming effect of carbon dioxide? Altogether, the food we eat makes up nearly 30% of our total greenhouse gas footprint—more than all of the emissions from cars, buses and airplanes combine
- Confined farm animals generate 500 million tons of manure annually. On most factory farms, chemical-laced feces and urine are funneled into massive waste lagoons, making them a major source of water pollution and contamination that threatens approximately 119,948 miles of rivers and streams and 450,892 acres of lakes, reservoirs and ponds in the U.S.
- Animal agriculture is a leading cause of deforestation. Nearly 80% of the world’s agricultural land is used to raise livestock or to grow feed for livestock. More than two million hectares of tropical forest are cleared each year for animal agriculture—an area the size of the state of Massachusetts. In the U.S. alone, 10 billion animals are raised for dairy, meat and eggs each year.
So….what can each individual do to make a difference?
- Pledge to Reduce Meat in Your Diet: Commit to reducing or replacing meat in your diet, whether by participating in Meatless Mondays (see blog #2!), eliminating meat from one meal per day. If every American ate a plant-based diet just one day a week, it would be the equivalent to cutting 500,000 cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions!
- Pledge to Reduce Your Greenhouse Gas Footprint: Take action on state and federal legislation that cracks down on factory farming and promotes a more humane food system. Mass confinement has profound effects on animal welfare, human health and the environment; several states now have laws banning extreme confinement of farm animals.
- Pledge to Help Crack Down on Factory Farming: Be savvy with your support and consider buying directly from more humane producers who reject the factory farm model. Not all farms are created equal! If you consume meat, eggs or dairy, take the time to understand how different farms and suppliers treat their animals and the land. Make sure you know the meaning of different labels on meat, eggs and dairy, such as “free-range,” “grass-fed” and “pasture-raised.”
- Sign the U.S. Humane Society’s Pledge to be a Compassionate Shopper/Consumer: I pledge to help animals and our planet by being savvy with my support and consider buying directly from more humane producers who reject the factory farm model. I will make sure I know the meaning of different labels on meat, eggs and dairy, such as “free-range,” “grass-fed” and “pasture-raised.”
In the end Helping Animals = Helping the Earth! Even the smallest changes can and will make a big difference!
- Want to take part in this challenge? Click here, Everyday Activism 2019, to learn more and sign up for the #EverdayActivismChallenge!