The Impact Of Meat On Our Environment

Global warming has been discussed in the news for a very long time. The global world temperature and emissions in the atmosphere are continuing to rise. 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that global warming and climate change is caused by humans. Some evidence for rapid climate change includes that the global temperature is rising, the ocean is getting warmer, ice sheets and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and extreme events are increasing in frequency. The impact of climate change is massive. If we don’t change our lifestyle quickly and fight global warming, we will have to deal with stronger hurricanes, more droughts and heat waves and changes in precipitation patterns. Especially the midwest will experience extreme heat, heavy downpours and flooding which will affect many parts of our lives.

Most of us are familiar with the fact that burning fossil fuels causes a big part of emissions which leads to global warming. Another part of our life with great significance is our diet, especially a meat-focused one. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about 15% of the global emissions are contributed by the livestock farming industry. The use of animals for meat causes twice the pollution of producing plant–based foods. Furthermore, industrial meat is the single biggest cause of deforestation globally. Rainforest gets burned down because the space is needed for cattle ranching or to grow industrial animal feed like soya. The meat industry also accounts for one quarter of the total use of freshwater worldwide. 

WIth more and more people understanding that meat is not so good for the environment, there are also more people becoming vegetarian or vegan. In a vegan diet, there are no animal products like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products included. According to a study, 10% of U.S. adults identify as vegan or vegetarian. There is steady growth as well. From 2004 to 2019 the number of vegans in the U.S. has increased by 30 times. Plant-based food options also become more and more popular. For example, Burger King’s vegan burger was one of the most successful product launches in Burger King’s history. You may think that the vegan/vegetarian movement is still pretty small, but it is not only about vegans. Another big plant based company called “Beyond Meat” states that 70% of their vegan beyond burger patties are purchased by meat eaters.  Furthermore, there are researchers  working on developing lab-grown meat. There is the opportunity to take a cell sample from an animal and let it grow into animal tissue or meat in a laboratory. The Food and Drug Administration recently just cleared lab-grown meat for human consumption. 

In my opinion, it is important to take climate change seriously and try to incorporate more sustainable habits into one’s own daily routine. Reducing meat consumption could be one part of that. I decided to not eat meat anymore in 2020. I also try to eat less of other animal products as well. I’m aware that meat plays a big role in the American diet and culture - especially in the Midwest. However, if we want to continue living on this planet I think that we have to alter our dietary habits at least a little bit. It is not about abolishing meat or going 100% meatless, but adjusting one's own lifestyle to a more sustainable world as much as possible. 



Do you eat meat?

Have you ever tried vegan meat alternatives?

Do you think that we have to change our eating habits in the future?

Do you think that meat will become a luxury in the future? 



You need to be a member of History 360 to add comments!

Join History 360

Replies are closed for this discussion.


  • Great topic choice and well done Laura!

  • I eat meat almost on a daily basis it has become one of the most eaten things in America. No, I have not tried meat alternatives but I wouldn't mind trying some. I don't think that we need to change our eating habits regarding meat and I'm not sure if meat will become a luxury or not it depends on if we ever start running out of meat.

  • I eat meat almost everyday and I don't think that I could stop eating meat. I don't think I will ever try any vegan alternatives because I don't see a point in them and from what I hear they have a terrible taste. I don't think that we have to change our eating habits considering almost everyone has ate meat for thousands of years.

  • I eat meat every day and cannot see myself cutting it out of my diet. I would never try any vegan alternatives because there is no point to them. It's all just some processed junk. I don't think that we have to change our eating habits because this is the way it's been for millions of years. If meat becomes a luxury in the future, then I don't want to be in the future.

  • I do eat meat regularly, as most people do here and in most of the world. I think that meat will become a luxury because it is getting unpopular for hurting animals, and I thnk meat will be less produced and we will have to eat vegan or vegetarian options instead. I've tried a few of the alternatives and even if it isn't as good as the usual, I guess it is saving some animals in a sense.

  • I do eat meat on a daily basis. It has a lot of nutritional value, some which we can't get from plants. I think that if everyone became vegan or vegetarian it could cause harm to the economy because it would get rid of jobs. Even jobs we don't think about such as restaurants, meat packing plants, grain farmers, and many other careers not directly related to raising animals for consumption.

  • I do eat meat every day of my life. I haven't tried any meat alternatives because I think I would prefer real meat. We don't have to change our eating habits if we don't want to because meat is a major food source for humans and it would be impossible to change everyone eating habits.

  • Yes, I eat meat every day. I have never tried an alternative to meat. I don't think will have to change our eating habits, because there is a lot of people who eat meat and if everyone stopped eating meat a lot of people would not have any jobs.

    • I can understand that you're worried about people losing their job. However, I think that there could be new job opportunities that we don't even think about yet. 

  • 02/15/23

    I personally love all kinds of meat. I have heard of all kinds of meat alternatives, but I have never really tried them before I’m sort of a picky eater so trying new things is hard for me. I’m afraid I won’t like it and won’t end up finishing it. I’ve been taught that it is rude to not finish all of your food so I tend to just stick to what I know that I like, but who knows maybe in the future I will try some alternatives. I think that in the future more and more people will switch up their diets to consuming less meat or no meat at all. I think that your decision to eat no meat is a great start to making a difference in the environment. In some cases, I think that meat is already a luxury and it can be served in many different ways, but yes it could be more of a luxury in the future if people decide to lower their consumption of meat.

This reply was deleted.
eXTReMe Tracker