Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking oil companies to court by suing them for first-degree murder “for knowingly killing people all over the world.” The famed environmentalist announced his plans recently at a live recording of POLITCO’s Off-Message podcast at the SXSW festival. The former governor of California shared that he is currently in talks with several private law firms and a public push around the effort is in the works.
“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it,” said Schwarzenegger. “Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that. The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill.”
While we fully support Schwarzenegger tackling Big Oil (at the very least, his efforts will help awareness around fossil fuels), he could also consider tackling the immense role factory farming plays in climate change. Schwarzenegger has been vocal about limiting meat consumption in the past, so we know the issue is at least on his radar … but more must be done.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that industrial animal agriculture is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent. Overall, the emissions generated by industrialized animal agriculture are higher than all of the emissions from the world’s transportation sector. There are similar studies that prove the negative role corporations and companies in the meat industry play. GRAIN, an international non-profit that works to support small farmers, performed an emission analysis, using methodology created by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, that found JBS, Cargill and Tyson, three top meat companies, emitted more greenhouse gases last year than all of France. The meat companies also emitted nearly as much as some of the big oil companies, like Exxon, BP, and Shell.
Our global food system dominated by industrial animal agriculture is at the heart of our environmental crisis, so it would be apt to focus on their role in tandem with the oil industry. Plus, we can all have a much bigger individual impact by dropping animal products from our diets today. Consider this: by eliminating meat for our diets, we can cut our carbon footprint in HALF and free up space that could be used to reestablish the various habitats that have been destroyed by our unhealthy appetite for meat, which help to sequester even more carbon from the atmosphere. Now you can feel even better about yourself by picking up a plant-based burger instead of a beef one!
Ready to start fighting climate change with your fork? Join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement! And be sure to SHARE this article within your network to help spread awareness about this important issue!
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