Greetings beautiful people.
As I promised, here is my more factual blog with reasons why it makes sense [environmentally] to eliminate meat from our diet and how it can reduce our carbon footprint.
Most of us don’t consider the entire process of factory farming. I have listed a few facts below that were among my first reads when I had just begun my Vegan journey. It’s hard for us to imagine these harsh truths when eating a juicy piece of meat but it’s beneficial to understand the bigger picture. Completely altering ones lifestyle can be a challenge, but by casually and even occasionally eliminating meat/dairy allows us all to reap the benefits of a healthier and more sustainable environment. And guess what? It’s manageable. These findings don’t even touch on the health benefits of a plant-based diet… that’s another story all together. These findings also don’t touch on sourcing from a local farm. That also, is another story. We’ll save that for my next blog. For now, check out these astounding truths:
National Geographic reports that eating beef is actually more harmful to the planet than driving a car.
Eating one less burger a week is the same as taking your car off of the road for 320 miles.
In the U.S. alone, animals raised on factory farms generate more than 1 million tons of manure per day — that’s three times the amount generated by the country’s human population.
If a family skipped meat and cheese one day a week, that would be the equivalent of not driving for five weeks or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
Factory farms typically store animal waste in huge, open-air lagoons, often as big as several football fields, which are prone to leaks and spills. In 2011, an Illinois hog farm spilled 200,000 gallons of manure into a creek, killing over 110,000 fish.
When lagoons reach capacity, farmers will often opt to apply manure to surrounding areas rather than pay to have the waste transported off-site.
During digestion, ruminants like cattle, sheep, and goats emit methane, an infamous “greenhouse gas” and key contributor to global warming.
The demand for livestock pasture is a major driver of deforestation. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has estimated that 70 percent of land formerly supporting Amazon rainforests has been turned over to grazing.
Between watering the crops that farm animals eat, providing drinking water for billions of animals each year, and cleaning away the filth in factory farms, transport trucks, and slaughterhouses, the animal agriculture industry has a huge impact on the water supply. Producing one pound of beef takes an estimated 1,581 gallons of water, which is roughly as much as the average American uses in 100 showers.
The world’s cows eat enough to feed 9 billion people.
Producing an 8 oz steak requires 900 gallons of water.
Not all meat requires the same amount of energy. Pigs produce half as much carbon dioxide as cows. Chicken is the most energy efficient meat. However, producing a pound of chicken still requires 500 gallons of water, and while 600 to 700 gallons of water is required for a pound of pork.
Think about the overflow of manure into rivers, into the ocean and into our drinking water. There are more hogs in North Carolina than people. It’s difficult to imagine this happening on such a large scale but if we want to learn more, we should research factory farming and start asking questions. The truth is hidden in the smiles of politicians and corporate giants. We should never allow mainstream propaganda to determine our rectitude. Let’s discover our own truth.