Meat Industry & Global Warming: What’s the Link?

Why Don’t More People Make the Link Between Animal Agriculture and Climate Change?

By Kamal Prasad and Marilyn Cornelius

Scientific evidence that animal agriculture contributes significantly to climate change has been mounting for several years. From the fossil fuels required to grow animal feed, to the destruction of the rainforests, to the emissions of greenhouse gases from the animals themselves, there is no doubt that by eliminating or greatly reducing the consumption of animal products, people can make an immediate and significant impact in the fight against global warming.

A project has been developed by a group of activists to ask Al Gore to be more open about the harmful role of animal agriculture in climate change to the people that look to him for guidance on this issue. Dubbed “Operation Missing Link,” the aim of the project is to solicit petitions and video messages to ask Al Gore to make the elimination or reduction of animal foods a key point in his message to highlight this important step anyone can take to greatly reduce their environmental footprint. To learn more about Operation Missing Link and to add your voice to the campaign, please visit People Powered Peace.

The last decade has been the warmest on record and the effects of climate change are proving to be a real threat in many parts of the world. Yet, people seem to be putting their faith in solutions that are unaffordable to most, and technologies that may not see widespread deployment for several years. Why is it that the simplest action anyone can take every day by eliminating the consumption of animal products from one’s diet not even on the radar of most well-meaning people?

Part of the blame lies with the media, for not widely reporting studies, like the United Nations’ Livestock’s Long Shadow and the more recent work by the Environmental Working Group calling for a reduction in the consumption of animal products.

However, what is most disturbing is that our environmental leaders, whom people look up to for guidance on how to best help the environment, readily ignore the devastating effects of animal agriculture on our planet. Chief among them is Al Gore, who did a wonderful job awakening the world to the dangers of climate change through his film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Although he agrees that animal agriculture adds significantly to climate change, Gore does little to tell his large audiences that they have the power to make a huge impact in the fight against climate change by eliminating or greatly reducing their consumption of animal products.

Even as Gore is preparing to launch “The Climate Reality Project,” it appears that he will, once again, be sidestepping the issue of animal agriculture’s impact on global warming. By maintaining this silence, Gore is keeping from his supporters the one bit of information that can significantly help the fight against global warming on a large scale. Help us help him get things right this time – send him a message through Operation Missing Link. Add your voice here.

SIGN THE PETITION: Ask Al Gore to Openly Address Animal Agriculture’s Harmful Role in Climate Change

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Vivian Hir
Vivian Hir1 years ago
Please sign my petition. Thanks.

greenplanet e.
greenplanet e5 years ago

There are a lot of carbon and other greenhouse emissions in meat agriculture, as well as inhumanity.

Penny C.
penny C5 years ago


J.L. A.
JL A5 years ago

so many factors that could be addressed if corporate benefactors didn't find it so hard to do

Natasha Salgado
Past Member 5 years ago

The human species is is one sad sack of potaoes...we are solely to blame for all that is so wrong with this world. Not any animal species!!!! Thank you

Danuta Watola
Danuta W5 years ago

Thanks for sharing

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Brian M.
Past Member 6 years ago

Climate change may actually reduce the amount of meat consumed on this planet: as crop failures become increasingly common, livestock will be rushed to slaughter. For a time, there may be a glut of meat on the market. However, after that, the argument that food should be grown to feed livestock rather than people will lose any validity it claims at present. Famine has a way of altering most people's perspectives.

Will Rogers
Will Rogers6 years ago

Youssef, you quote from the Koran and that's all you got to say? Like as if it's original or something. Everyone one said the same thing years before! The Greeks, the Chinese, native Americans, Egyptians. it's not an exclusive and why would you want to bring religion into it anyway? It's got nothing to do with what some guy said years ago. Especially some religious nut who cared nothing for earthly things and was only concerned with what was going on in heaven! Quoting one line from a religious text just doesn't cut it and shows lack of imagination and disdain for such a beautiful planet, that heaven itself is based on it. ...Oh yeah! ...farting

Diane L.
Diane L6 years ago

Well said, Will! It just never ceases to amaze me at the fact that when one vegan argument about WHY becoming vegan will "save the planet" is shot down with facts, they come up with yet another one.

Anybody ever watch the movie, Dances with Wolves? Look at the scene with the buffalo hunt. Even then, the numbers were thinning because of white hunters, slaughtering the bison by the thousands. Even in today's numbers of livestock, they couldn't even come close. The only difference is they are now stuffed into smaller spaces, when we're referring to CAFO's, so the "gasses" produced are more concentrated at one site, and yes, probably measurable. Who would run around in tens of millions of acres of open land trying to measure the gas given off by farting buffalo? Ever go in a horse barn at night? WHEW! Hard to smell it when they're outside, though. My dog farts a lot when he sleeps at my feet, and it's pretty stinky as well.

Oh, and Angela, how much time do you spend at the ass end of a cow? How are you coming up with which end is producing the gas? Most of the vegan propaganda claims it's from their "farting". Personally, I could care less.