The data connecting our meat consumption with global warming is unequivocal. The consumption of meat is associated with increased risk of disease. The production of meat causes suffering on a scale too large to fully grasp. These aren't opinions; they are plain facts.
The average person can be excused for not understanding much of anything. If the intelligence quotient (IQ) distribution graphs are correct, half of us have IQs of 100 or below. An IQ of 100 isn't particularly high; someone with an IQ of 100 probably wouldn't be considered to be particularly bright. But, those of us with a lower IQ are still consumers. And, because we make up half the market for many consumer goods, advertisers do what they can to take advantage of our limited insight.
Society, indeed, civilization, relies heavily on smart people. Smart people have an obligation to those less intellectually gifted to make wise decisions, to be at the tiller and help us navigate treacherous waters. Smart people who take advantage of those less observant and wily than themselves are little more than thieves, crooks, or charlatans, or worse.
We tend to look to those we think of as experts for insight and sometimes guidance. We take their opinions to matter, to help us understand the world. Society labels them for us: MD, PhD, DDS, DVM, etc. These experts are given even greater credence and respectability when they are associated with institutions like federal agencies, medical centers, or universities.
When an entire institution embraces a position, or implies approval of a position, it is unlikely that many of us would or even could question its authoritative position. This leaves a tiny few of us to do so.
We are killing broad swaths of life on Earth, and that article is from 2016. Generally speaking, we do this unknowingly. We have children, we pollute the environment, we buy products that are produced through practices that harm the global ecosystem, we behave as we do because our leaders, those we look to for guidance and wise counsel, are leading us astray.
The brightest among us ought to be doing all they can to lead us to safety; but they aren't. They are consumed by self-interest and greed. This, more than anything else is why civilization may be in its end days.
A case in point is the UW-Madison saying, "Screw you." At a time when the smartest people ought to be telling us to stop eating animals, that an ethic of kindness might yet save us, the University of Wisconsin, Madison is hosting a "meat competition" looking for ways to make meat more appealing, to increase it's consumption, which will hasten the warming of the planet.
Things like this are why hope alone may be hopeless. Stand up, speak out, defend the weak. If you've read this, you are now partially responsible for what comes next.
See too: Another Day, Another Dire Warning. Or, How the Experts and Our Leading Institutions Continue to Fail Us.