I do not have a lot of fears. I am not afraid of heights, flying, spiders, the dentist, needles, snakes, water, clowns, germs, thunder, or the dark. But lately I have been feeling something that is absolutely fear: fear that within my lifetime the effects of climate change will be so great that life as we know it will cease.
Now, I don’t think the world will end, or that all of the catastrophic things that are coming (and they WILL come) will happen at once, but I do think that we as humans are going to be tested like never before. Natural disasters will continue to get worse and more frequent. They will also start to happen in places that they previous have not. Sea levels will rise – it is not out of the question that Boston, NYC, and London will be underwater within my lifetime. Forget about fighting over the ever-dwindling supply of oil, drinkable water will be the next thing to cause mass panic (look at the recent price gouges during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma – taking advantage of people’s panic and the very real chance that access to safe drinking water could be compromised, some stores were charging up to $50 for a case of bottled water).
I am SO afraid that society will just dissolve into chaos, even though the effects and consequences of climate change have been known for decades and we have had YEARS AND YEARS to get our acts together and change our ways.
I try SO hard to lessen my impact of the environment, with my biggest contribution being that I went vegetarian in May 2016. There is so much evidence that finds going veggie to be a key factor in dramatically lowering CO2 emissions. Science Daily states that “If Americans would eat beans instead of beef, the United States would immediately realize approximately 50 to 75 percent of its GHG (harmful greenhouse gases) reduction targets for the year 2020…without imposing any new standards on automobiles or manufacturing.”
HOW CRAZY IS THAT. We could keep our fossil fuel cars and barely change anything about our economy and have a MASSIVE positive impact on climate change BUT most people do not want to sacrifice even the simplest thing. They do not want to be “put out” or have to “sacrifice” anything. Sorry but if climate change gets worse, I am ready to sacrifice having children because I am not going to bring them into a mess that could have been avoided. Also, not eating meat is hardly a “sacrifice”
Even my own family “doesn’t want to hear about it” because “doesn’t want to know” the huge impact that the seemingly simple act of choosing to eat meat is having. And so many people feel this way. Look, I get it. In fact, I am trying really hard to give up dairy products, but often feel discouraged and “left out” that I often give in to the craving (and let me tell you, it is a very real craving). I also can sometimes get bitter and upset over the fact that while my friends and family can happily go out to eat and order a hamburger or a steak – sometimes there is just not a satisfying option on the menu for me, and sometimes there is no option at all if you are vegan.
But guess what: I’d rather have to eat a plate of white rice for every meal if that meant that I am not contributing to climate change. HOW can not everyone be like this?? Seeing as I’ve probably got another 70 years on this planet, it makes my blood boil seeing how selfish some people can be and how they literally do not seem to give a fuck. The SECOND I learned how much of an impact eating meat has on the environment (thanks to the incredible documentary Cowspiracy) I gave it up cold-turkey. I just don’t understand what the issue is. I have been thinking about this for a while and I needed to get it all of my chest. Yes I am sounding like one of “those” people. Like those vegetarians/vegans that push their ideology on other people who do not live the way they do. Oh well. I am stressed out about this and can’t sit by idly any more. I would like a habitable planet to grow old on. I do not want to see millions of lives lost due to hurricanes, floods, famine, thirst, and heatwaves. I am not asking you to give up your cars, spend thousands putting solar panels on your roofs, give up all plastic and modern conveniences. I am simply asking you to not eat meat. Or even just to eat less meat. It would change the world to even eat vegetarian only during the week.
If this can inspire even ONE person to consider giving up meat FOR THE SAKE OF HIS/HER FUTURE then that will have such a positive impact on the planet.
Learn more about the seriously frightening impacts of eating meat on the climate change here and on the infographic below.