Our diet choices, especially the choice for eating meat, has had a significant impact on the planet. Without action, the impacts of our diet choices threaten to catastrophically damage our world.
Meat, To Eat or Not to Eat
That is the question, whether ‘tis nobler to indulge the succulent red juices willy-nilly or to consider the repercussions and decide to sustain life on Earth.
We could be as smart as Albert Einstein, who in a personal letter in December of 1930 said “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” That’s Einstein for you, doing some very quantum thinking deep into time. The good news is this could be fun and tasty, while also diminishing some very cruel conditions for a peaceful creature.
Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases! This is more than all forms of transport combined, being only second to energy production for carbon emissions. Add another 13% to that for animal agriculture transportation exhaust. Livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
And we are actually paying dearly to encourage this expensive habit! Our federal tax dollars subsidize the meat and dairy industries to the tune of $38 billion every single year! That’s thirty-eight billion for agri-business, not small farmers. In high contrast succulent fruits and beautiful vegetables get a subsidy 0.04% of that, a measly $17 million. And where is most of that meat going? Burgers! Every burger is getting us deeper into carbon/methane debt.
Earth’s major oxygen supply and carbon sequestration resource is being clear-cut for burgers, with 1-2 acres of rain forest cleared every second. And if that were not enough of a concern, the treatment of these gentle cattle creatures, especially in the ‘fattening’ months prior-to and during slaughter, are too disturbing to discuss here. Then, adding insult to injury, deforestation for livestock further burdens the world’s greenhouse gas emissions by another 15%. Americans eat 10 billion burgers annually. Just reducing that by 1/3rd would be equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars off the road (World Resources Institute).
Some approximate food value numbers:
The hard truth, from http://www.cowspiracy.com/facts/
- 5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.
- Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.
- Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, nitrogen-flooded ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Due to use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops.
- Nearly half of the contiguous US is devoted to animal agriculture.
- Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.
- 70 billion farmed animals are reared annually worldwide. More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.
- 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.
The positive health benefits to a meat-minimized diet are astounding!
There is plenty of research confirming the wonders thereof,
including the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Minimize meat to:
- Prevent Cancer!
- Prevent Heart Disease!
- Lower Blood Pressure!
- Prevent and Reverse Diabetes!
- Reduce Gallstones, Kidney Stones, and Osteoporosis!
- Lower Asthma Severity and Frequency!
- Even improves your mood and much more!
How to make eating meatless delicious? Easy. . .
- The Best Vegetarian Diet Plan
- Meatless Recipes that Carnivores Will Love
- So Satisfying You’ll Want to Go Meatless Forever
- The Bizarre Economics of Meat and Dairy
- Five ways the meat on your plate is killing the planet
- Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth
- How Does Meat in the Diet Take an Environmental Toll?
- Studies Show Link Between Red Meat and Climate Change
- Meat and the Environment
- Farm Animal Welfare: Cows
- Are cows the cause of global warming?