NCR Podcast: Eating animals and climate change

Wild turkeys graze on the grounds of St. Mary Catholic Cemetery Oct. 24 in Appleton, Wisconsin. (CNS/Brad Birkholz)

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This week, as folks in the United States sit down to tables full of food for Thanksgiving, NCR columnist Colman McCarthy warns against enjoying that turkey or ham as a centerpiece, explaining that emissions from animals raised to feed people worldwide is greater than the air pollution by cars, trucks, planes and boats combined. NCR staff writer Brian Roewe also talks about the upcoming COP24 Summit which will discuss just how well countries across the globe are holding up to their promises of lowering carbon emissions.

On the show today:

Background reading:

  • More than 150 canonized women and men were vegetarians, writes McCarthy. Given that animal agriculture is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a leading cause of deforestation, pollution and biodiversity loss, it's time to emulate them.  
  • Last month, six bishops representing episcopal conferences on five continents issued a joint statement calling on the international community to take immediate action against climate change. Addressing world leaders who will be attending the COP24 Summit in Katowice, Poland, in December, the bishops urged them to take concrete steps "in order to tackle and overcome the devastating effects of the climate crisis."
  • The global community finds itself at a "can't-fail moment," United Nations officials said with the release of a major report that foresees an ecosystem-altering climate crisis mere decades away that will impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people unless "unprecedented" transitions across society occur. Catholics who work on the climate change issue say the world has "a moral and ethical imperative to act," with urgency and decisiveness.
  • Read NCR's Eco Catholic blog, which features the intersection between spirituality and the environment.

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This story appears in the COP24 Poland feature series. View the full series.

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