Following the United Nations climate report that warned climate change is upon us, PETA offered a helpful solution, or at least a small step in the right direction, for anyone eager to offset their carbon impact. The animal rights organization released a "Methane Offset Starter Kit." The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report highlighted the direct impact that animal agriculture has on the environment in the context of our climate crisis. The UN report estimates that humans have about five years to change our collective behavior regarding the environment, PETA’s new initiative aims to encourage people to take initiatives to eat more plant-based, lowering our individual impact on the environment and help to change the world’s food economy.

With UN leaders claiming that the report signals a “code red for humanity,” PETA received funding to tackle food and dietary behavior within the United States. The PETA starter kits will allow consumers to begin eating more plant-based, converting our diets and thereby changing the aggricultural industry. The PETA Methane Offset Starter Kits will contain a block of tofu, seeds to grow soybeans, recipes, nondairy creamers, and a PETA vegan starter kit guide. The PETA guide will share tips on how to begin living a plant-based lifestyle with information on environmental sustainability in food production.

“The U.N. report, like the one before it, shows that human diets are a major source of greenhouse gases because of belching animals and deforestation caused by growing crops to feed them,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “PETA’s Methane Offset Starter Kit shows how simple it can be to switch to vegan meals now because the Earth can’t wait any longer.”

The IPCC underlined that a world shift to plant-based eating will be necessary in order to curb the dangerous level of carbon and methane emissions. The report detailed that animal agriculture is currently responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-responsible greenhouse gas emissions. The report goes on to explain how animal agriculture is responsible for excessive water and land usage that leads to both deforestation and massive amounts of waste. By moving away from meat and dairy dependence, PETA explains how people can help combat climate change.

“We can expect a significant jump in extreme weather over the next 20 or 30 years,” Piers Forster, a climate scientist at the University of Leeds and one of the hundreds of international experts who helped write the report, said while discussing the growing level of natural disasters occurring nationwide. “Things are unfortunately likely to get worse than they are today.”

PETA plans to distribute the new Methane Offset kits to areas across the United States that will be increasingly affected by climate change within the next few years. The cities include Corpus Christi, TX and Jacksonville, FL where increased flooding is predicted; Charleston, SC where experts expect heat advisories, heavy rain, and increased flooding; and Tuscon, AZ where the dangerously hot temperature could be harmful to citizens and could lead to a reduction in groundwater supply.

“There’s no going back from some changes in the climate system,” Ko Barrett, a vice-chair of the panel and a senior adviser for climate at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said. Barrett continued by stating that a severe shift towards sustainability limitations and prompt emission cuts “could really make a difference in the climate future we have ahead of us.”

PETA’s outreach effort marks the beginning of consumer involvement in the fight against climate change. The UN study suggests that methane can be accounted for 30-50 percent of the rise in temperature. By providing consumers with information and a starting point, the organization hopes to change the layout of Americans’ consumption habits nationwide.

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