Nice Cow – Baaad Cow Effects

| August 6, 2009 | 14 Comments

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Is Your Diet Destroying The Environment?

5 Reasons Why the Food on Your Plate is More Important Than the Car You Drive:

Many people who “go green” consider buying something major like a hybrid car.  A larger contribution to the environment is not in your driveway though, but in your fridge right now.

The climate change cost of animal meat production is greater than the cost of cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

This is not just vegetarians or health advocates saying this either. The World Health Organization, Scientific American, New Scientist and Readers Digest have all come out with clear information on this fact.

Effects of Meat Production on the Planet

1. Cow Farts:
Cattle farting (and burping) methane – as has been joked about in the media – is a factor in global warming.

2. Plant Displacement:
The biggest impact of meat production is that it displaces useful plants.  Trees, grasses and other year-round plants are what absorb CO2 and capture carbon on this planet but they are displaced for specific crops to house and feed cattle.

3. Water Pollution:
Rearing animals for meat contributes significantly to water pollution. Animal waste, antibiotics and hormones enter the water cycle alongside chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and the pesticides used to spray feed crops.

4. Water Usage:
Raising cattle for food is incredibly inefficient in terms of water. Meat production is different in different parts of the world but even the more efficient systems use 1,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef.

5. Overgrazing:
Overgrazing by cattle and other meat producing animals is so hard on the land that it can’t maintain any productive vegetation.

By the Numbers: Did You Know…?

One Fifth:
The amount of all pastures and ranges turned to desert by overgrazing for meat.

One:
The number of meat-eating dogs it takes to match the carbon footprint of one gas guzzling SUV.

Three:
The number of hours of driving it takes to match the greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution of one kilogram of beef.

Twenty:
The number of vegetarians who could live on the same amount of land as one meat-eater.

Twelve Thousand:
The number of gallons of water needed to raise a single pound of beef (in the inefficient production methods often used in North America).

220 Billion:
The number of gallons of hormone-, antibiotic- and bacteria-laden animal waste dumped onto farmland and into waterways from meat factory farms.

My Own Opinion

There are certainly many ways to save the environment and consuming less meat is a great part.

But…

People are slow to change their eating habits and the connection to the environment is not apparent to most.

I have found though, that when a person becomes interested in taking responsibility for their own health – they almost always become more environmentally conscious. They then start taking a number of “green” steps quite naturally.

That is what I try to help people with and one reason why we started RealFoodForLife.com.

Recipes and Ideas to Help You Go Meatless:

Have YOU Helped Save the Environment In This Way or Others?

 

 

 

 

About Randy Fritz

A certified Nutritional Consultant, Randy has been teaching health and personal development principles for over 30 years and has personally helped individuals with over 10,000 Body Health Assessments.

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Category: Health News, Our Earth

About the Author ()

A certified Nutritional Consultant, Randy has been teaching health and personal development principles for over 30 years and has personally helped individuals with over 10,000 Body Health Assessments.

Comments (14)

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  1. Sue Scott says:

    It’s good to be reminded how we take for granted that our arable land supports a meat eating industry and a wheat eating industry. There is very little left for vegetable and fruit crops continue to be developed into real estate. For years schools have taught the importance of meat and bread to the near exclusion of fruits and vegetables. When fruits and vegetables are continually presented as important snacks, it suggests that they aren’t as important as the main part of the meal. Thanks for this essay. Sue and Gord

  2. Alisha Cox says:

    The effects of Global Warming is getting much stronger these days. We should concentrate more on alternative energy to reduce carbon emissions.

  3. Gatuline says:

    I had the similar subject this past year. Around my experience, the very best solutions are patient and confident. Be realistic bravely, and you’ll be alright at last.

  4. Connie Clauson says:

    Hi Randy thank you for all your work. I watched a documentry a while ago about the shift from beef and  how they are starting to raise chikens with such big breasts they cannot walk. Pretty sad and unhealthy. I buy local organic. I really like your news letters
    Connie

  5. Randy says:

    Thanks Connie and Sheer for the comments. Yes the meet industry has some baaaad aberrations.

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  13. Mike says:

    Nice post thanks

  14. John says:

    Although the story is interesting, but come on… cow farts are real, but it’s been there since how many years? Global warming has more to do with things that we can’t control.

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