What I propose to do is make a website that allows individuals to see the impact that their personal meat eating habits are having on the environment on a global scale. Because the livestock industry has a number of impacts on the environment it has been said that the current trends of the meat industry is not sustainable. The website is intended to create awareness of this problem and to make individuals consider that they might be eating too much meat and dairy products, and to promote the idea that individuals can make a difference without having to quit eating meat altogether.
The way I intend to challenge this problem is based on a reflection of my own personal journey. It is not to suggest that people should become vegetarians overnight, nor to suggest that they are unethical people by showing them videos of livestock being mistreated. I would like to present them the data in a digestible way, and in a way that they could see what the effects would be if they were to have a burger once a week instead of three times a week (for example). Because I made a decision once I was aware of the true scope of the problem my rationality is that other people may be inclined to do the same if they consider it, I am making the assumption that some people are willing to change if they see enough benefits in doing so and are presented with a logical reason to do so. I also intend to show the user that they do make a contribution to the problem and that they can do something to contribute to solving this problem, however small the contribution may be. I will try to do this by presenting the data to them in a form that reflects their own diet. Below is an extremely simple example of what this might look like.
How the website will work
The user will enter in the amount of meat that they eat per week, through selecting items that they eat on a weekly basis, this can be an accurate representation based on their weekly shop or it could be an approximate amount if they are not sure about the exact amount. Once they have submitted that data they will be shown an infographic which compares their eating habits to the global average, if the user is eating more than the average amount they may consider that they are eating too much.
Because the livestock industry effects the environment in a series of ways, there will be a number of different infographics to represent each environmental problem which the livestock industry contributes to. These are water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, land use, and forest destruction. Below is the site map which illustrates the different sections of the website.
The website will be as minimalistic as possible and will have two main pages, the first page (index.php) will be the page that the user enters their data into. As the second prototype shows the user will choose the meat items they consume by clicking on sections of a ‘meat counter’, which will resemble the section of a supermarket that people buy meat from. Once the user has finished entering the items they buy during the week they will click on a submit button which will take them to the second page (process.php) which returns the data in the form of four animated infographics, each representing the categories mentioned previously. The infographics will be based on images which are relatable to each problem (such as a running tap to illustrate water usage for example).
Chalabi, M., 2013. Comparing carnivores: UK meat consumption. http://www.theguardian.com, The Guardian. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jun/05/meat-consumption-uk-global-trends#data [Accessed 2 December 2015].
Walsh, B., 2013. The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production. Time.com, Time. Available from: http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/ [Accessed 30 November 2015].