Did You Know: The UN Just Called Meat “The World’s Most Urgent Problem”

meat, urgent problem, plant based

The World’s Most Urgent Problem: Meat

When the United Nations (UN) declares that something is a major issue, you know it must be serious.

The UN just recently declared meat as “the world’s most urgent problem” when it comes to the environment.

“The destructive impact of animal agriculture on our environment far exceeds that of any other technology on Earth, according to these founders,” the UN stated.

Emissions And Gas Footprint

When people think of “gas footprints,” they often think of car exhaust, plane trails, etc., but according to the UN, “The greenhouse gas footprint of animal agriculture rivals that that of every car, truck, bus, ship, airplane and rocket ship combined. There is no pathway to achieve the Paris climate objectives without a massive decrease in the scale of animal agriculture [sic].”

Two entrepreneurs, Ethan Brown and Dr. Patrick O Brown, were inspired to take action by the monumental size of this global issue and founded Beyond Meat (Ethan Brown, 2009) and Impossible Foods (Dr. Patrick O Brown, 2011). Both founders believe that plant-based meat is the future and want to educate and inspire others to help gear the future in that direction as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The UN praised both foundations for their “pioneering work towards reducing our dependence on animal-based foods” and awarded them with their Champions of the Earth Award in the Science and Innovation category.

The Dilemma Of Eating Animals

When speaking about his reasoning for founding Beyond Meat, Ethan Brown stated:

“These four things kept coming back to me: human health, climate change, natural resource, and animal welfare implications of using animals for meat,” he said, describing his acute interest in the betterment of the environment.

“And what fascinated me is that you can simultaneously tackle all these concerns by simply changing the protein source for meat from animals to plants. If we shift our thinking to focus on the composition of meat versus its animal origin, we have a huge canvas to work from.”

Despite the general belief that has circulated for decades, it is more than possible to receive sufficient protein from plant based sources and putting this knowledge into action could greatly change the dramatic effects that animal food-production industry has on the environment and the world.

Global Problems

Dr. Patrick O Brown took a sabbatical from his being a Member of the National Academy of Medicine and Professor of biochemistry at Stanford University to “assess which global problems are the most urgent and which he could help to solve.” 

In stating his conclusions, he said, “By far the most urgent problem to me was the use of animals as a food production technology – the most destructive technology on earth…”

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that big global problems are not someone else’s responsibility. This problem wasn’t going to be solved by pleading with consumers to eat beans and tofu instead of meat and fish. And it wouldn’t be enough just to find a better way to make meat; to succeed we would need to make the best meat in the world.”

With that in mind, Dr. Patrick O. Brown has striven to create a foundation that promotes this urgent cause and inspires people to take action, voting with their dollars and creating this needed change.

What Can You Do?  

Like Dr. Patrick O. Brown said, issues like this aren’t someone else’e responsibility, it’s going to take all of us to make this dramatic of a global shift.

Pay attention to the amount of meat you consume weekly, even daily. Where could you cut down? Where could you use plant-based protein sources instead of meat-based? Start voting with your dollars and show support for companies and foundation that are striving to promote and support this change.

What are your thoughts on this environmental and global issue? What steps will you take to start inpsiring change? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.

And remember, we’re in this together.

Sara Wylie

Sara Wylie

Editorial Intern at Fitlife.tv
Sara Wylie resides in Utah where she is currently working as an Editorial Intern for Fitlife.tv while also pursuing a career in writing. She hopes that through her words and fiery passion, she will be able to not only inspire others to seek out and nourish their own passions, but to also help others feel what it’s like to truly be alive.
Sara Wylie

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