Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Meat, meat the godawful truth

the more you eat it, the more you pollute. "
I was part of a discussion at Crunchy Chicken's a while back, and I was surprised at how emotional it got. I would have expected heat from the cattle and swine men's associations, but there is absolutely no possible argument that eating meat is deadly to our environment.
Chile Chews 'Cut The Crap' challenge this month is great. The best way to literally 'Cut the Crap' is to quit eating meat. According to the EPA, animal waste pollutes US water more than all other industrial waste COMBINED. According to PETA(not an unbiased source, I know) meat production creates 130 times more excrement than humans, about 87,000 pounds per second. The Union of Concerned Scientists states that 40,000 pounds of livestock shit is produced for every US family annually. Need some compost for the old family garden anybody?
John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution figures that by not eating a pound of California beef you would save more water than by not showering for a year. I have lifted these stats and quotes from a great article by John Motavalli over at E Magazine.
It isn't exactly news that in 2006 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that, "the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent – 18 percent –than transport."
" It generates 65 percent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of CO2. Most of this comes from manure. And it accounts for respectively 37 percent of all human-induced methane (23 times as warming as CO2), which is largely produced by the digestive system of ruminants, and 64 percent of ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain.
So drive a Prius or take a bus to work, great. But if you really want to make an impact on greenhouse gases, quit eating meat. Or at least cut down for cryin' out loud! Use meat as a flavoring for soup or stew, or eat it as a treat, once a week. But for Earth's sake, do something about it.
This hasn't even touched on the connection between meat consumption and world hunger, but that is in the two articles sited and I will be doing some summarizing later. But let me end by saying this, if you are serious about reversing global warming, water conservation, saving rain forests from destruction, you will take steps now to eliminate or reduce meat from your diet.


Erikka said...

people need to be educated more on where the red meat they are buying is coming from and then they should decide to buy it or not. not all meat is part of this industrial waste pollution chain and there are small farmers with good practices to support. i try to buy meat from my farmers market when I can and I don't feel guilty or bad, I feel like part of the solution.

and ps. thank you for correcting me on the Kingsolver mix up. :) I can't believe I did that every time, even with the book right in front of me!

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Feeling guilty and bad sucks. I'm glad you don't. And if you are going to eat meat the organic small farm way is better than the big producers. At least for the environment if not for the cows, eh?

Chile said...

Agreed, Equa Yona!