Do It for the Environment
Your daily choices make a world of difference
How can one person make a difference to the future of our planet? Believe it or not, the choices YOU make every day matter, and when you combine your choices with my choices and his choices and her choices, suddenly the power to change the future is quite literally, in our hands. If you’re still not sure, consider these facts:
Billions of animals are “grown” for food consumption each year. Where does all their manure go? It doesn’t go into waste treatment facilities like human excrement. Factory farm waste is stored in manure pits or lagoons. From there, it pollutes the earth and runs into our rivers and oceans. U.S. livestock produces 900 million tons of waste annually (about 89,000 pounds per second!), that’s 3 tons of manure for each American. To give perspective of the size of the satellite image of the feedlot lagoon to the right, each little black dot in the squares is actually a cow. Can you see the enormity of the problem of what to do with all the poop?
- Water scarcity is at critical levels; today about 2.8 billion people live near areas experiencing drought. Here’s where the water is going; 10% used in homes, 20% used by industry, and 70% used for agriculture…and a vegan diet requires 300 gallons of water a day versus a meat-eater’s diet that requires 4,000 gallons of water a day.
- It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just one pound of animal flesh. Alternatively, 16 pounds of grain could feed 10 people a day.
- If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking 500,000 cars off of U.S. roads.
- According to Worldwatch Magazine and many scientists, livestock farming generates 51% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. The diet of a meat-eater creates 7 times more greenhouse gases than the diet of a vegan.
- According to Scientific American, the largest fraction of the greenhouse effect from beef production comes from the loss of trees, grasses and other year-round plant cover that would have been absorbing CO2 on land where the feed crops are grown and harvested. Second largest part of the fraction is the methane given off by animal waste and by the animals themselves as they digest their food. Meat production (beef, chicken and pork) emits more atmospheric greenhouse gases than do all forms of global transportation or industrial processes. Only energy production generates more greenhouse gases than does raising livestock for food.
Consider making choices that reflect respect, responsibility and reverence for the only planet we’ve got.