Bloomberg’s editorial board is urging people to eat less meat to help curb climate change, noting both the high levels of greenhouse gas emissions from factory farms and the sheer amount of space cattle ranches use up.
In the editorial published Sunday, Bloomberg Opinion pushed Americans to consider adopting “Meatless Mondays” if a switch to a full-time vegetarian or vegan diet didn’t seem like a plausible lifestyle change.
“The effects add up: Skipping a single quarter-pound hamburger can save more than 400 gallons of water and the energy it takes to power a smartphone for six months. Do it every week for a year, and the greenhouse-gas savings are equivalent to biking 1,000 miles instead of driving,” Bloomberg wrote.
The outlet notes that scientists have found 12 percent human-man greenhouse gas emissions are from livestock — mainly cattle which produce methane, a greenhouse gas four times as potent as carbon dioxide.
If more people don’t adopt a meat-free or reduced meat diet, Bloomberg notes that the beef production industry is “on course to destroy itself.” Bloomberg cited research that says if global temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius, scientists predict global wheat output will fall by 10 percent and monthlong heatwaves will damage crops that feed humans and animals.
And the outlet notes rising temperatures are also predicted to reduce milk yield and kill thousands of cattle.
“Curbing meat consumption voluntarily seems a better bet than letting the industry self-destruct after years of contributing to climate change,” Bloomberg notes.
The meatless industry has seen growth in recent years, with new companies popping up and mainstream restaurants embracing meatless products.
The plant-based food firm Beyond Meat’s stock surged 163 percent on its first day on the market in May, making it the best initial public offering of 2019 at time, according to Fortune.