I found a blooming gardenia bush on one of my walks this week. October and gardenias? Who knew! Is it global climate change or a little gardenia that just wants to bloom?
Remember how I said I’m vegan for environmental reasons? Well, Fred over at Fragments from Floyd pointed me towards an interesting article that TreeHugger.com posted about the relationship between meat and climate change.
According the the WorldWatch Institute (and an old post of our own) livestock contribute 18% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, even higher than the GHG emissions from transportation. As part of this figure they produce 37% of methane, which has more than 20 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. And if that weren’t enough to be concerned about, their manure emits nitrous oxide, 65% of world totals. WorldWatch also point out that in the United States, 70% of all anti-microbial drugs are now given to livestock.
18 PERCENT of global greenhouse gas emissions?!?! Sure, we all laughed when New Zealand issued a sheep flatulence tax back in 2003, but they were on to something. True, there will always be wasted energy in the harvesting, storing, transporting, and marketing of fruits, grains, and vegetables, but what would the consequence be if more and more people switched to a meat free, let alone an animal-free diet?
I’d like to keep thinking that each of our mouths, not just our voices count in preserving our world. And as much as I love smelling a fall blooming gardenia, I’d rather things stay in some sort of normal growth cycle. And maybe the sheep flatulence innoculation will work! Oh New Zealand…where would I be without you?