Veganism, Methane and the End of the World As We Now Know It

I recently read an article called “A New Global Warming Strategy” in which the author Noam Mohr concludes that “arguably the best way to reduce global warming in our lifetimes is to reduce or eliminate our consumption of animal products. Simply by going vegetarian (or, strictly speaking, vegan), we can eliminate one of the major sources of emissions of methane, the greenhouse gas responsible for almost half of the global warming impacting the planet today.”

Methane is not only produced by belching cows (which is also the source of 2/3rds of all ammonia) but also comes from livestock and poultry manure.

Noam Mohr’s article is excellent and I encourage everyone to read it. It did get me thinking though. The article advocates a vegan diet as a realistic and effective way of reducing greenhouse gases which is essential for the well being of the planet. But what if everyone went vegan – what would the world be like?

One thing is for sure. There would be some very unhappy people and in all likelihood a major worldwide economic collapse.

For starters the people involved in the following industries would suffer. Meat, dairy, eggs, fast food chains, major supermarkets, all confectionery manufacturers using dairy in their products, pasty makers, most restaurants and TV cooking shows and the myriad of retail outlets that sell animal based products. You would also have to include the leather and wool industries as their products also come from livestock.

When you think about it there is hardly any aspect of human existence that does not involve products that come from animals. Food, clothing, furniture, sporting goods, the list goes on. Since major animal using companies are also listed on the stock market, their demise would also have a major impact on portfolios and pension and superannuation funds.

If we were to take it a step further and we all stop eating things that are not good for us, there go soft drinks, alcohol and most supermarket food items because they contain trans fatty acids and too much salt and sugar.

It would also mean that people would be healthier, live longer and not be such a burden on the health system. But that’s going to put many health professionals out of work (one of the few work sectors thriving in today’s modern society). The pharmaceutical industry would also take a big hit. And who is going to pay for the millions of people who are living longer, as we must assume they would if they were eating only healthy food?

Following a vegan diet while good for the individual, is not something that if everyone was to do it, would ever enable the survival the economic system as we now know it. Our system relies on bad health and other problems that people can be employed to solve. The police rely on criminals, soldiers rely on the prospect of global conflict, lawyers rely on personal and corporate disputes, banks rely on people putting themselves in debt, and fast food chains rely on peoples craving for sugar, salt and fat. Do we want to see the downfall of things as we now know them? Hmm… I guess that poses an interesting question. If I am advocating a vegan diet or vegan lifestyle, which I am, does that make me a subversive?

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