Meat’s Not Green

To most people, “going green” means recycling, switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, using cloth grocery bags, and carpooling. What most people don’t know is that eating vegetarian is just about the greenest thing you can do.

The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook states that “refusing meat” is “the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.” Researchers at the University of Chicago found that going vegan is more effective in countering climate change than switching from a standard American car to a Toyota Prius.

A 2006 United Nations report summarized the devastation caused by the meat industry by calling it “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” The report revealed that the “livestock sector” generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined.

The livestock sector is one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and the single largest source of both methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Nitrous oxide is considerably more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. According to the U.N., the meat, egg, and dairy industries account for a staggering 65% of nitrous oxide emissions.

Environmental Defense estimates that, “If every American had one meat-free meal per week, it would be the same as taking more than 5 million cars off our roads. Having one meat-free day per week would be the same as taking 8 million cars off American roads.”

Just like the rest of the green initiative, every little bit helps! Consider something like a Meatless Monday to help our environment (and your health, and the animals).

Future posts coming about the destruction the meat industry causes to our air, land, and sea.
Breakfast: Strawberries
Lunch: Salad bar at Harris Teeter
Dinner: Tacos with soy chorizo (best item ever sold at Trader Joe’s!), cilantro, soy cheese, salsa verde, and delicious tortillas from San Antonio


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