The Problem with Meat

Often times when people hear the term “green” they picture someone who frequently turns off all the lights in rooms that are not in use, never allows the water to stay on for a second longer than it is needed, or someone who obsessively recycles absolutely everything that they can. While all these things are very important for sustaining our environment, one element of living a green lifestyle that people commonly overlook is their diet.

Meat is tasty. There are very few people who will disagree with that statement, especially in the United States. However, today the meat and dairy industry is arguably the leading cause of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. For centuries, this was not the case. But due to technological and economic developments, meat and has become more accessible than ever before and things are beginning to get out of hand.

Reasons why a plant-based diet is more environmentally sustainable than a meat-based diet:

  • Emissions from beef and lamb are 250 times that of emissions from legumes. (Beef and lamb are also much higher in emissions than pork, chicken, dairy and fish.)
  • There are more green house gas emissions from one serving of beef than there are for 20 servings of vegetables.
  • Meat protein must be fed and fattened by acres upon acres of corn and other grains. This is valuable real estate that could be used for growing healthier plant-based foods for humans.
  • The process of harvesting and distributing meat has a much higher energy and labor cost than that of vegetables. Think about how a tomato grown from the earth is immediately ready to be consumed. Then think of all the work and resources that must go into turning a cow into hundreds of individually plastic packed servings of raw meat. Not to mention the time and energy it takes to cook that raw meet once it is purchased.
  • Excessive methane released from cow manure is detrimental to the Ozone Layer.

Some argue that when taken into consideration the large amount of vegetables needed to replace the number of calories otherwise obtained from meat, there really is no difference in environmental impact. To read more on that, click here. But do people really need to consume more than 20 servings of vegetables to replace one serving of meat? Probably not.

Do the research. Consider going plant-based.

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