When Jane Goodall talks, people listen. For good reason; the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, she spent a whopping five decades studying them in Tanzania, and has dedicated her life to animal welfare, environmental preservation and peace.
That’s why her words about climate change are particularly powerful. On April 15th the 81-year-old told a New York City audience that animal agriculture is to blame for the rapidly shifting weather patterns, reports TheirTurn.net.
Dr. Goodall told attendees that agribusinesses are razing Amazonian rainforests in order to graze cattle—and grow crops to feed them, the site reports. “Without rainforests – the ‘lungs of the earth’ – the planet’s ability to convert carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, into oxygen is compromised.”
She also discussed the danger of methane gas, a chemical that’s released via cow flatulence and is even more harmful than CO2. As more and more countries eat more and more meat, more methane and CO2 are released into the atmosphere, further heating up the planet and putting everyone’s future at risk.
While she’s previously said she’s not a vegan because she travels to so many exotic places (where food availability is an issue), she is a long-term vegetarian, and advocates others adopt a veg diet as well.
“The average person doesn’t have a clue that the meat they’re eating is causing all this havoc,” she told Gary Null in 2009. “They don’t understand about the effects on the environment or on human cells. The suffering of the animals they might try to turn away from. So how to make them listen and understand is difficult, but it’s happening.”