The Oscar-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio has been an outspoken advocate for the environmental issues by fighting the global warming damages and climate changes. The 41 years old actor said: ”Climate change is real. it is happening right now. It’s the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. ‘The cause of our environment and the fight for the world’s poor are inherently linked. The planet can no longer wait.’
DiCaprio announced that his foundation will be donating $15 million in grants towards environmental protection. Now, with a single tweet, the planetary steward shines a light on the colossal environmental impact of animal agriculture.
✔@LeoDiCaprio “This is the video future generations will be wishing everyone watched today.” https://www.facebook.com/mercyforanimals/videos/10153539359379475/ … via@MercyforAnimals
The 4-minute clip, with the tag-line “This is the video future generations will be wishing everyone watched today,” starts by showing the awe-inspiring, grandeur of our living, breathing planet Earth as well as its incredibly vast biodiversity. It then turns dark as footage rolls of crumbling glaciers and disappearing coastlines, and links these global catastrophes to mankind’s insatiable appetite for meat.
The video points out that animal agriculture and meat consumption is the number one cause of environmental destruction, species extinction and ocean “dead zones.” The agricultural industry has consumed one-third of all fresh water and has destroyed 91 percent of the Amazon.
The video, however, ends on a good note. Its message, “She is our mother, there is only one, she is dying, she can be saved,” urges us all to help save our struggling ecosystems before it’s too late.
Industrial agriculture is at the heart of social and ecological costs of farming and integral to this are monocultures. These vast areas of production of one type of crop entail systematic deforestation and require machinery, fertilizers and pesticides which are highly reliant on fossil fuels. As more and more crops are cultivated for agrofuels, the interrelationship between big agriculture and energy firms is increasing and fields are viewed more like oil wells than as places of food production.
These harmful effects are intensified with meat and dairy production, which requires huge amounts of grain feed and bring belching cattle into the equation, which accounts for a huge chunk of direct emissions. This problem has deepened over the last fifty years with the increasing “meatification” of diets. The situation is only likely to worsen, with food production expected to double by 2050 according to the FAO, as the global population expands and meat consumption per capita rises and more people move into the middle classes.
A 2014 research paper from UK think tank Chatham House, Livestock—Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector, said greenhouse gas emissions from livestock account for about 14.5 percent of the global total, more than direct emissions from the transportation sector and more than all the emissions produced by the U.S., the world’s biggest economy.