Save Us or Kill Us?

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Save Us or Kill Us?

Laurel Correa, Opinion Writer

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It both builds up and traps heat in. Over time it has been making our world much hotter. Can you guess what it is? Well, here’s the answer: scientists call it “global warming” or “climate change.”

What is the cause of this? Some are saying it’s the greenhouse gases that are all throughout the air. There are some that say it can be fixed, but others have their own opinions on the matter.

Global warming has led to many problems, some minor and some serious.  For example, giant icecaps are melting, which is in turn, causing oceans to rise; therefore, coastal shorelines and islands are slowly disappearing beneath the water.

Other parts of the world have different problems. The hot weather is drying up lakes and rivers, and because of this many places may soon have too little water, and so growing food could potentially become much harder.

However, is there a solution? One way many people think Americans can help is by changing the way they eat, beginning by eating less meat. On the other hand, livestock companies are saying that meat is good for us. Many Americans will agree with this, but unlike them, there are others such as newly elected president of the Tampa Bay Press Club, Wayne Madsen claiming “it is not,” and that “the way farm animals are raised is causing more gas, therefore, it’s bad for the planet.”  Wayne said this with the belief of animal agriculture being possibly the second largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after fossil fuels which is a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution as well as biodiversity loss.

According to one of Seward High School sophomores, Angel claims “It won’t work. I believe taking away meat will not solve the problem.” After interviewed and questioned, she decided to do a small amount of studying to find information to back up her beliefs on the matter.

Although a lot of people think their idea of less meat would work, farms would raise fewer animals if fewer people ate meat. Then, less gas would be released, and soon global warming would slow.

“Sure, the idea sounds like it could make sense,” Angel admitted with slow consideration.  “It won’t work, though,” she repeats.

It leaves out what would happen if farmers grew more of the other kinds of food. Angel helped explain that scientists at Carnegie Mellon University looked at what would happen if farmers grew more fruits and vegetables. What she had in mind seemed to become a “proven fact,” they found that even more greenhouse gas would instead be given off. The reason for this is that growing fruits and vegetables requires a lot of machinery. A lot of machinery means a lot of fuel. Greenhouse gases are given off when that fuel is burned; therefore, in the end, more greenhouse gas is produced from machines than from farm animals.

On top of this, fruits and vegetables use up more water than raising farm animals. If farmers were to actually fall away from meat, they would end up using more water.

In the end, her opinion stands firm in her mind: raising farm animals is better. It is also less harmful to the planet. Although, “fruits and vegetables are still good for you and should be eaten regularly,” eating less meat would not be healthier for the planet. It might even make things