Consumption and Not Fossil Fuel Is the Real Culprit of Climate Change
“Scientists have warned us that increasing global meat consumption can have a disastrous environmental impact.”
Climate change is a subject everyone knows but very few understand. People protest against what they see: if they see smoke billowing from smokestacks and see the highways in traffic jams they quickly recognize the culprit. Since all can identify that our climate is out of control from massive forest fires in California, BC or Australia, flooding and hurricanes they say are 1 in 100 years and the 100 years comes again year after year. Earthquakes happen in the strangest places like the mid-west—which is not a typical earthquake zone—but nothing is typical any longer as the unusual has become normal. Most see the problems the world is facing but very few can identify the actual causes; feeling helpless and needing some sort of solution they wait until they can be lead to one. It does not take long for a child shall lead them and oh, it sounds so inspiring like a quote from the bible: “they shall be led by a child.” Is it that simple? I watch the news and see the massive rallies with statements like we are fighting for our future, your generation have created this mess and we are creating a revolution for change.
I find it inspiring that people are getting off their couch, walking and seeking a change, but then it is comical when you see them texting with their iPhone 11, driving their cars to the rally, leather shoes, clothes made with forms of plastic derived from fossil fuel, then eating at McDonald’s and chanting “we need climate change to end.” Well, as long as I do not have to sacrifice the conveniences, of course. And then they attack the US for pulling out of the Paris Accord for lower emissions citing China and India and most other G20 nations have made commitments for 2030 and 2050, promising everything you want to hear for some future date but doing nothing but pointing fingers. We need to look deeper than the surface and open our eyes. For the last 3 decades we have plowed our farms for shopping malls and massive infrastructure which are now quickly loosing popularity with online shopping. “The decline began slowly, in the mid-2000s. The rise of online shopping and the blow of the Great Recession led to a drop in sales and foot traffic at big-brand retailers”  as a result of a market correction. Do not forget: online shopping is far from being eco-friendly.
Then we discover that the Amazon rainforest is being cut down to make way for agriculture of some sort or for fields to raise meat. They say the rainforest are the Earth’s lungs, which they most certainly are. If the demand for them to be cleared was replaced with a global agreement with compensation to be preserved, they probably would be. We decimate our lands but you do not dare change yours! The issue is a global concern but we offer no global solution just condemnation.
To meet the global demand for meat with every meal we have replaced the grazing cattle with institutionalized farming. Cattle are squeezed into fenced fields of dirt normally meant for pigs and not intended for massive numbers. Pig’s cages do not provide enough space for them to lie down or turn and their hoofs never touch the ground nor do they see daylight—it is inhuman how they are treated. Chickens are raised in massive warehouses, and packed so tight they have no room; so many die on the floor and are not removed. To keep the birds producing, the lights are never turned off and all are injected with either steroids or antibiotics and feed genetically engineered foods with some sort of nutritional standard so they are quicker to market. Yet, this is still not the biggest concern. Scientists have warned us that increasing global meat consumption can have a disastrous environmental impact. “It is difficult to envisage how the world could supply a population of 10 billion or more people with the quantity of meat currently consumed in most high-income countries without substantial negative effects on the environment.” Did you know that if we went meatless even for 1 day, we would help the environment enormously?
The data indicated that, as a country eating vegetarian for one day, we would save 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost four months; 1.5 billion pounds of crops that would otherwise be fed to livestock—enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year; 70 million gallons of gas, enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico with plenty to spare; 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware; 33 tons of antibiotics; 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages; and 4.5 million tons of animal excrement, which would eliminate almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant. Keep in mind; the impact of going full vegan would be even greater than going vegetarian.
We need to be careful moving forward with the above proposal. The name of GMO crops are being changed, we are wise to this toxic mess to “bioengineering”, lab produced GMO plant-based food and for meat crickets—the idea will be sold as the world’s saviour for global starvation, something that has been deliberately created.
Other statistics are not less scary either. Did you know that we discard 1/3 of the food we produce? Imagine how greatly it would help the environment if we ate everything. Not to mention having a narrower variety of foods. Do we need 30 different cereals and multiple brands of the same jams, ketchup, crackers, and teas? The answer is probably no. The entire middle isles could be cut in a 1/4 yet still, we want it all. This is how it always goes: the need for more (whatever that may mean) and the comfort and convenience constantly reshape our future and with that the future of our entire planet. There is so much we could do, the only question is: are we willing to make the sacrifices?
How does our diet impact our environment?
As one of the articles of the University of Minnesota ‘How Are Food and the Environment Related? ‘explains’ “Americans demand cheap food, so American agricultural policy for the past 30 years has focused on providing large amounts of inexpensive calories. Two of the cheapest sources of calories are corn and soy, both GMO, which the federal government has long subsidized and which make up a large percentage of our caloric intake today (often in the form of high fructose corn syrup or soybean oil). Corn is also a large part of the diet we feed to the animals we eat.
Corn and soy are prized because they can be efficiently grown on vast farms. But growing just one crop consistently (a monoculture) depletes the soil and forces farmers to use greater amounts of pesticides and fertilizers.
The effects of pesticides and fertilizers on natural wildlife and our water supply are well-documented. Currently, the “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico, where no fish or other animals can live, has grown to 8,543 square miles, the size of New Jersey. This is due to chemicals in the Mississippi River, particularly fertilizers, as they flow into the Gulf.”
The unseen is much more revealing than the visible; we only need to pull back the covers and examine where we have not looked before. As an individual we see climate change as this huge monster destroying our planet, like some Godzilla. We feel helpless and victimized, we blame big business interests as the real culprit and we do not see the power we have as an individual on how our families’ choices could lead to an immediate improvement of our planet.
We must talk about the changes we have done with others. It is not enough to avoid McDonald’s because of their single use plastic or how they raise their beef and chickens, and gravitate to A&W because they do not use antibiotics and have eliminated single use plastic. We must let them know why we do not support them by stating it e.g., on social media. If we just make the changes in silence nothing will be changed. We all have our part to play and every little effort helps. Never forget the power we have: the collective power to change the world! Besides changing ourselves and our own behaviours, we also need to focus our efforts on changing systems by working with others so they also make changes. Finding like-minded people or groups to work with in reaching our goals as it is far more effective than the lonesome journey many choose to take.
The impacts of fashion industry
Food is not the only thing that we should consider—it is also our clothes or rather all those clothes that we do not even use. Statistics show that we use only 20% of our clothes on a regular basis which means that—again—our consumption has a serious environmental impact. Throwing away so many clothes have enormous environmental costs that are not immediately obvious to consumers; neither are all the ‘behind the scene’ information about the unsold inventories and all those pieces that are regularly produced only to keep the production costs as low as possible. This creates landfills made of clothes no one ever worn but slowly we all pay for. It is becoming crystal clear that the fashion industry is contributing to the destruction of our planet; in fact, it is considered the second most polluting industry of all the existing ones.
Fast fashion and its extremely negative impact on both the environment and the ethical behaviour became a highly discussed topic on social media platforms, especially after the collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Documentaries like True Cost or movements like Fashion Revolution then started to show the real picture and offer solutions for everyone who is willing to make the right choices.
“A United Nations report says that we are on track to increase the world’s temperature by 2.7 degrees by 2040, which will flood our coastlines, intensify droughts, and lead to food shortages. Activists, world leaders, and the public at large are just beginning to reckon with the way the fashion industry is accelerating the pace of climate change.” But then again these increased temperatures are politically motivated to help further the climate change agenda, the rising temperature has more to do with earths weakening magnetic shield and the increased solar activity at this 12,000 year cycle, the politicians know they can not tax humanity for what our solar system is doing but if they twist the narrative they can tax fossil fuel and carbon emissions for the changes. (see https://www.youtube.com/user/Suspicious0bservers for more information.)
Our everyday activities and their effect
From the food we eat and the clothes we wear to our overall everyday behaviour—everything plays part in the actual climate (pollution) situation. What about the other aspects of our lives—besides food and fashion? Have you ever thought about how your leisure activity contributes to climate change? You might be thinking “well, I do not own a private jet and I am happy to binge-watch my favourite TV show without even leaving my home the whole weekend so I guess, I do not harm the environment at all.” Unfortunately, this is far from being true.
First, our devices require electricity and with that, fossil fuels are being used (for the moment let us not even consider lithium mining impact for batteries). But this is not the only aspect of the story. It is a fact, that streaming video services make climate change worse because “transferring videos online is data-intensive. In 2018, online video traffic was responsible for more than 300 million tons of CO2, equivalent to what a country the size of Spain releases in a year—for all sectors combined. The higher a video’s resolution, the more data that is required.”  More than one third of the online traffic is related to streaming video providers such as Netflix or Amazon, and constant development does not help the situation at all. We are not even talking about the implementation of 5G and 6G technology that does not only include the large towers but also antennae set up about every 100 meters delivering a focused electromagnetic radiation concentration far greater than current levels.
Perhaps next time—instead of watching something out of boredom—we could do something that is less harmful for the environment, novel idea is reading a book. Also, do not forget that we as consumers have the right to demand that internet giants switch the data centers to renewable energy, again how it is produced is critical. And we can do so much more! Here are some tips how we could help our planet!
7 Easy Ways to Help the Planet
- have a vegetarian day once a week
- recycle when possible
- consider purchasing from ethical brands
- avoid fast food and fast fashion whenever you can
- use your (older) devices longer when possible
- use less data (switch to lower resolution if you can, avoid mindless scrolling on the internet)
- choose natural products over synthetic, including vitamins
Sustainability – The Doctor’s Choice Way
Being a conscientious company in the natural health industry for over three decades has always been a nonnegotiable premise—therefore we have been constantly creating the very best from start to finish, making sure that our products only have benefits without side effects or disadvantages.
Considering global weather changes and the rise of diseases due to environmental toxins we remain diligent in continuing our journey of social and environmental responsibility, and mainly related to product quality and the purity of ingredients used in our formulations. As a nutraceutical company we meet the highest pharmaceutical standards of (cellular absorbable) raw materials in the world. Our products are vegetarian, except for our desiccated raw tissue gland formulations and digestive enzyme. Our vitamins, minerals (all methylated) and fermented amino acids have been tested and analyzed in every stage by the latest testing equipment. The ingredients are never sourced from genetically modified organisms (GMO). We encapsulate our formulas with natural flow agents and in vegetarian capsules (not the cheaper animal gelatin form) and we only use USP Pharmaceutical Grade standards or the equivalent raw materials. In 2019 Life Choice (Doctor’s Choice parent company) was awarded Canadian Supplier Sustainability Award by the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) for our green initiatives.
As you could see, it really is our consumption and lack of oversight and enforcement on the main polluters, use of GMO crops, herbicides, pesticides, and toxic forever chemicals that puts the future of our planet at risk and how we fix it needs to be done with full transparency and not targeting a single industry but all aspects that contribute to pollution and the environment. We consume media the same way as fast food and fashion: and we want it all, the latest, the shiniest, the fastest and the biggest. But is it worth it? We must ask ourselves: Are we really willing to sacrifice everything for the least important everyday conveniences? The answer is, hopefully, no.
- Sanburn, Josh. 2017. Why the Death of Malls Is About More Than Shopping. https://time.com/4865957/death-and-life-shopping-mall/
- Devlin, Hannah. 2018. Rising global meat consumption ‘will devastate environment.’ https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jul/19/rising-global-meat-consumption-will-devastate-environment
- Kahn, Joel, MD. 2019. The Environmental Impacts of Going Vegetarian for Just One Day. https://vegnews.com/2017/7/the-environmental-impacts-of-going-vegetarian-for-just-one-day
- Denton, Carolyn. 2019. How Are Food and the Environment Related? https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/food-medicine/how-are-food-and-environment-related
- Segran, Elizabeth. 2019. Your H&M addiction is wreaking havoc on the environment. Here’s how to break it. https://www.fastcompany.com/90311509/we-have-to-fix-fashion-if-we-want-to-survive-the-next-century
- Cwienk, Jeannette. 2019. Is Netflix bad for the environment? How streaming video contributes to climate change. https://www.dw.com/en/is-netflix-bad-for-the-environment-how-streaming-video-contributes-to-climate-change/a-49556716
 Sanburn, Josh. 2017.
 Devlin, Hannah. 2018.
 Kahn, Joel, MD. 2019.
 Denton, Carolyn. 2019.
 Segran, Elizabeth. 2019.
 Cwienk, Jeannette. 2019.