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Lose the Cattle, Save the World

Posted By Julia Ocean On July 10, 2010 @ 5:00 am In Fitness/Diet,Green Report / Media | 1 Comment

Reposted From Good Community By David Cannell

We’ve all heard the meat is murder argument, and chances are if it hasn’t inspired you to become a fourth level vegan yet it probably never will. There is another argument for vegetarianism that may have a bigger impact on peoples choice in cuisine. Cutting down, or completely stopping on eating meat can reduce your carbon footprint more than giving up your car.

There are many factors that contribute to global warming. The biggest are waste production, electricity and transport. Next on the list is food production. We all try to turn our lights off and walk when we can, but have you ever considered how your diet is effecting the planet, let alone your hair?

A Study in New Scientist magazine reported that the production of one kilogram of beef produced as much greenhouse gasses as three hours of driving. The greenhouse gas emission of animals was calculated by considering the production and transportation of grain, as well as the methane emissions from animals.

If you’re eating meat say four or five times a week, at 300 grams a go, there is 1.5 kilograms in a week. If you have up that meat, you’d be decreasing your emissions by the same amount of 4.5 hours of driving. This is a massive difference. It’s much easier to eat less meat than it is to give up your car, especially if you are dependent on it to go to work.

The environmental cost of meat comes from the massive amount of energy that goes into its production. The impact of animals like cattle on the environment is huge, the amount of land needed as well as grain food is massive.

To produce one calorie of grain fed meat, ten calories of grain are required. The production of grains is far less taxing on the environment. This means for every piece of meat eaten, ten times more land is required, ten times more water and ten times more energy. Over the course of a year you could expect to reduce your carbon footprint by 1.5 tonnes. Comparatively, switching to a hybrid car would reduce your emissions by 1 tonne.

You don’t have to give up the meat totally. Just try cutting down, even by one or two meals a week. If you are going to eat meat, look for environmentally sustainable kinds of meat such as Kangaroo. Eliminating just land mammals, such as beef, pork or chicken from your diet can have a massive impact on the environment.

Let’s not pretend that it wouldn’t be good for you; studies have shown time and time again that a diet high in red meat increases you risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

You are what you eat, make sure you are aware of how what you eat is produced. Know what the cost is on the environment.

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