Eco-fact Friday: eating less meat can help the environment. | Gallery Drinkware (Formerly Water Gallery)

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Eco-fact Friday

Eat less meat

Did you know that eating less meat can help the environment? The livestock sector produces approximately 15% of the earth's greenhouse gases, which is essentially the same exhaust emissions as all of the automobiles, aircrafts, ships, and trains on the planet. There is a serious problem with meat over-consumption, particularly in industrialized countries like the US, and left unaddressed, climate change will continue to spin out of control, according to a new report by the think tank Chatham House.

Very little is being done about this issue because governments fear a backlash from voters. Diet is a very personal issue to most people and many of us simply don't want others telling us how and what to eat. This viewpoint is understandable-- personal choice when it comes to something like one's diet should be just that. But when diet choices affect the world as a whole in terms of the environment, it's time to start looking a bit more closely at our choices. It's not about cutting meat out of one's diet completely-- no one should be forced to be a vegetarian or a vegan, just like, conversely, a vegetarian or vegan should not be forced to eat meat. However, we can all make small changes in our lives that can improve life as a whole for everyone on the planet, right?

Some people just simply don't know how much the livestock sector effects the natural environment. For example, according to the Environmental Working Group, the fertilizer, fuel, feed, and water it takes to raise livestock results in 10 to 40 times more greenhouse gas emissions than that of growing various grains. So public awareness is key. People can't change what they don't acknowledge or understand. Over the past few years, I've decided to limit my own meat intake to three meals a week, with red meat only being allowed at one meal per week. This is a healthy choice for me physically as well as for the natural environment. As someone who enjoys eating meat, this was a manageable change-- I don't feel deprived of the meat that I enjoy in my diet, but I limit it and I'm mindful of my consumption. Can we all make some small alterations in our daily choices? I think so. The changes don't need to be extreme. By all means, enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey if that's what you love! But perhaps try to have a couple meat-free days next week.

As always, reduce, reuse, recycle, and conserve. Small, everyday changes can make a big difference. 

3 comments

Feb 09, 2016 • Posted by Brittany

Very interesting read. It really makes you stop and think about what you are consuming on a daily basis.

Jan 08, 2016 • Posted by John Carter

Thanks, a lot here I didn’t know

Nov 28, 2015 • Posted by Denise H

I didn’t know many of these facts. Thanks for sharing!

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