The Biden administration is investing over $2 billion to make the country’s agricultural sector more sustainable. While world leaders should be calling for an end to factory farming and asking people to reduce their consumption of animal products, the Biden administration has decided to take a different route.

Source: Farm Journal/YouTube

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of its $2.8 billion pilot program called Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. The program will start with a pool of recipients, which includes 70 agricultural projects that promote “climate-smart” farming practices. Then, the second pool of selected projects will be announced later this year.

According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, climate-smart agriculture is an approach to “transform agri-food systems toward green and climate-resilient practices.” These can include anything from conservative tilling and cover cropping. It can also include carbon capture and swapping out the use of wet cow manure. Wet cow manure rates a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock and animal agriculture make up a huge amount of methane gas emissions in the United States.

While all of this may seem good, there’s just one big problem: animal agriculture will never be sustainable or good for the environment, no matter how many “climate-smart” farming practices are implemented.

Factory farming is killing the environment, causing massive water pollution, and contributing to climate change and global warming. As more people become aware of the devastating effects of modern farming practices, they’re choosing plant-based options to help lower their carbon footprints.

Critics of the funding argue that grants should be going to support innovations outside of animal agriculture and ranching to truly combat climate change. Trying to reduce emissions of dairy farms while encouraging milk sales is like putting a band-aid on the problem instead of fixing it.

Factory farms are extremely unsustainable and harmful to our planet. They cause mass deforestation, account for 37 percent of global methane emissions, and use 70 percent of the world’s freshwater. Even though the animals are kept in inhumanely cramped spaces, it takes quite a bit of land to grow food to feed these animals, and thus, large swaths of forest are cleared to make room for livestock feed. Furthermore, the animals’ waste may be kept in large lagoons, which not only take up space but also pollute water and air. As a result, meat and other animal products, like dairy, are extremely harmful to the environment.

Plant-based foods generally have a much smaller environmental footprint than meat. One study found that a serving size of meat is responsible for 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions and 100 times more land use than a serving of veggies. According to the study, “Producing a serving of processed red meat has the second-highest mean impact on acidification, GHG emissions, and land use and the third-highest mean impact for eutrophication.” Another report found that people who eat meat daily produce 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide annually, as opposed to 1.5 tons for vegetarians and 1.1 tons for vegans.

Choosing to eat vegan and live a vegan lifestyle does not harm animals, is better for your health, and is better for the environment!

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