The collective impact of our individual consumption choices can only be described as catastrophic for the entire planet and every species on it.
On one hand, we are leveling forests to make room for livestock and their feed. According to the UN FAO, animal agriculture is the number one cause of deforestation in the world. This results in massive habitat loss for species, with so many going extinct that biologists have already classified our time as the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s history. We are also fishing the oceans dry – with scientists projecting a collapse of every fish species used for food in just a few short decades.
On another hand, we produce an immense amount of waste, which continues to rapidly increase as our human population grows by nearly 230,000 people every single day. We produce so much plastic waste, that virtually every corner of the oceans (and life in it) is now contaminated. In fact, over 90% of seabird species have plastic in their stomach.
It’s also worth noting that an estimated 46% of plastic pollution in the oceans, by weight, is discarded fishing gear. While we urgently need to curb every aspect of our plastic use (particularly single-use), as with so many other environmental crises, we cannot solve the plastic problem without also addressing our massively unsustainable and destructive appetite for eating animal foods (including marine animals).
Our blissful ignorance is wrecking havoc on other species, who often pay the ultimate price. Does our apathy and ignorance have no limits?
Please don’t be apathetic. Please do what you can to tread as lightly as possible. Please go vegan, eliminate plastic use (particularly single-use) as much as possible, consider the benefits of smaller families, and be mindful of the immense impact our consumption choices in general have on the entire planet and the other species with whom we share it.