I’m not here to try to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism. I am here to encourage you to eat less meat though. Not for health reasons, but for environmental reasons. I know this is a sensitive topic. No one wants to be told what to eat and how much of it to eat. And if you don’t want to hear this message, that’s totally fine! We all live different lives and we need to accept each other the way we are.
But, if you are interested in learning more about the effect meat has on the environment, then keep reading!
I found a wonderful Scientific American article about the effect meat has on the environment. It’s not just the methane produced by cows (which I learned recently primarily comes from cows burping, not passing gas as I always thought it was). It’s the feed that has to be grown for the livestock. The fertilizer and nitrogen that is used in growing their feed. The land that is used for growing their feed plus the land that is used for grazing (this often results in deforestation). The water that is required for growing their feed plus the water the livestock needs to survive. That is a lot of resources used for humans to consume meat and these are resources that we need to use elsewhere.
For example, ecologist David Pimentel of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences reports that “if all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million.”
So, again, I’m not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism. I just want you to take a look at your life, your global footprint, and see how consuming less meat can have a really big impact on our global environment!