An often overlooked and unknown cause that contributes significantly to numerous environmental issues is animal agriculture. Livestock accounts for 65% of human-related emissions of nitrous oxide and over 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide every day. It takes 2,500 gallons to produce just 1 pound of beef and livestock and livestock feed takes up ⅓ of earth’s ice-free land, contributing to dead zones and water pollution. Oceans are also drastically affected by the 90-100 million tons of fish pulled out, contributing to dead zones and water pollution. In comparison to meat, plant-based foods require a significantly smaller amount of water and resources per kilogram. However, with the more widespread access to meat, meat consumption is increasing and becoming a more alarming issue.
Given this information at a younger age, children will be more aware of their impact on their environment and may become more willing to live in a more sustainable way when they grow up. GIN will be holding a simulation game that will allow students to actively participate and learn the facts of animal agriculture. To promote a more plant-based and environmentally friendly diet, there will also be a dessert workshop where the children will bake without any animal products to show them that delicious food can be made from plant-based foods. We hope to help children begin to understand the connection between their food and the environment and motivate them to look into a new way of helping the Earth.
We will be playing an agriculture simulation game:
- Each player will have a lock of empty land at the beginning of the game
- Four stations will be set up: trees, meat, grains, and dairy. In each of these stations, participants will perform tasks like running across the field, or kicking a ball into a goal to gain each of these aspects -- in other words, they are “farming” and adding to their land
- Performing each task, participants will receive a card that details the consequences of their actions.
- The cards will feature several measures: environment (AQI), economics (money), food value, and animal well-being. For example, starting a beef farm will give -10 points environmental, +5 money, etc.
- By the end of the game, we will tally up the points and determine a winner
Debrief trivia game:
Explain their points to them and how they may improve their diets to help in the real world
Detail environmental reasons
Explain animal suffering briefly (won’t show graphic images)
After the simulation and workshop, we’ll move to making simple vegan desserts with the students in the kitchen. There will be an adult supervisor. No nuts will be used.