We sit around and criticize people for trying to be too green, animal-friendly, etc. But guess what: it's not a fad. If people are being green because it's "the new black", then they're wasting their time. It shouldn't be one way of life, it should be THE way of life. People who don't care about what they're doing to the environment because they won't be around forever and therefore, only give a hoot about what the environment is like NOW, are selfish, ignorant idiots: think about your children and their children. Think about your legacy. Think about how you're affecting nature, and making it worse. Here's how you can help right here, right now. These are just a few things to think about.
In a more sentimental perspective, consider the way that the Quechua people in the Andes worship and give back to the mountain upon which they live. In a book I strongly recommend called 'Mountain of Condor', Joseph W. Bastien penetrates their culture by comprehending the importance of the mountain as a metaphor for meaning and hierarchy in their lives. The Earth is what naturally governs them, and why should we not do the same? These Incan people feed the mountain before they feed themselves. A friend of mine told me that during a trekking tour in Machu Picchu, their tour guides would regularly take out a bottle of water and pour some on the ground before they drank some for themselves, which would be their way of thanking the Earth before indulging in its fruitful offerings. If you are still not convinced, watch how the people in BBC's documentary "Human Planet" reciprocate aid to the Earth and animals around them, whether they are animals for food like the Indonesian sailors who harpoon a sperm whale to feed their entire village, or the way that a Mongolian father and son train their eagles to hunt after foxes to feed them during their harsh winters.
Since food production is responsible for 12% of greenhouse gas emissions (Pazderka et al. n.d.), choose your food and eat your meat wisely. Due to mass production, which not only feeds society's stomachs, but our mind set, to make meat or dairy the main ingredient in all three meals of the day, over the past 50 years, world meat consumption has gone up 50%.
At the same caloric and nutrient levels, vegan diets have the least effect on the environment, followed by vegetarian and omnivorous diets. This doesn't mean that vegetarian and vegan diets are always better than carnivorous. If we consumed organic meat, that would be much better for the environment than non-organic cheese, milk, etc.
When organic was compared to conventional systems on each diet, the organic diet wins whether vegan, vegetarian or omnivorous. (Baroni and colleagues, 2006). So maybe instead of going vegan, opt for an omnivorous diet that consists of organic produce.
To produce 1 calorie of meat it takes 100 times the amount of water that it takes to produce 1 calorie of grain.
Transportation: Moving the food to the animals, then moving the animals to slaughter and transporting the meat to a store magnifies harmful emissions
Energy and Fossil Fuels.Animals must eat 6 kilograms of plant protein to make 1 kilogram of animal protein. Ittakes 40 calories of energy to produce one calorie of beef, making it the worst offender. Following close behind aremilk (14:1), and eggs (39:1). The average energy-in to energy-out ratio for animal protein is 25:1.
In order to reduce the number of gas emissions that are truly harming our environment, we need to consume a little bit less than we do today, not solely in amount, but in variety. Especially since food is constantly being wasted or coming from ruthless (in terms of anti-green) factories who don't care. This doesn't mean that everyone should just go vegan to protect the Earth or cut down their food intake by half. Instead, we should try to consume more organic products in general, so as to not feed the mass production industry of animals for their meat and by-products. The reason that these industries are constantly mass producing animals is because we DEMAND it, and therefore they SUPPLY it. Support grass-fed beef, and organic produce. It's better for your health and the environment.