2018 saw record-high atmospheric CO2 levels. Unprecedented bushfires are currently ravaging Australia as a result of climate change. The US recently made official its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, the most comprehensive global agreement on the reduction of carbon emissions in light of the climate emergency.
As many people know, NC State prides itself as a leader in sustainability. Something else many people know is that animal agriculture, particularly the production of red meat, is a significant source of carbon emissions. As an institution that promotes the planet’s wellbeing, I and many other students believe that NC State should be doing more to reduce our university’s carbon footprint as good stewards of the global environment. One significant step we could take would be to remove red meat products from campus dining services. Several educational institutions across the UK and in California have already reduced or completely removed red meat from their campuses in response to the climate crisis, and there is no reason for NC State not to follow in their footsteps.
As a land-grant university, part of our mission statement is to create and apply knowledge. This year’s IPCC report on climate change provides us both with clear knowledge of what needs to be done to prevent worldwide climatic catastrophe, as well as an urgency to readily apply this knowledge. I’d like to urge our university’s administration to remove red meat products from university dining services and encourage my fellow students and alumni to sign this petition asking NC State to do just that.
Sirena Rowe, a fourth-year student studying environmental science and agroecology.