Photo by CNN

Earth Day: Skip the Meat

To begin, I am not here advocating the elimination of all school Chik-fil-A sandwiches (I ate one today) or your favorite rib-eye from Outback. I am merely raising awareness of the vast magnitude of environmental damage weighed on your burger plate.

The raid rise of meat consumption globally over the last 50 years, spurred by ease of transportation and high demand, more and more people have been eating large quantities of meat – slightly below 180 pounds a year, to be accurate.

Eat one less burger a week: it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.

Photo by Perry's Steakhouse

Photo by Perry’s Steakhouse

The environmental damage behind the meat sector has generated almost a fifth of man-made greenhouse emissions that are accelerating climate change – more than the entire transportation sector, says the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.

Photo NPR

Photo NPR

The damage doesn’t stop there. Much less efficient than growing vegetables, meat requires enormous amounts of water. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. An equivalent amount of soy tofu produced requires only 220 gallons. And the last disturbing fact of the day: Livestock and poultry manure add up to about 500 million tons per year, enough that washes down the Gulf of Mexico to create a “dead zone” the size of Connecticut.

As for me, it’s nice to know taking a break from my typical diet can make a change.

Comment or leave a reply on your thoughts.


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