Did you know that perhaps the single most important action each of us can take to protect the planet is simply to choose animal-free foods?
Animal agriculture is considered one of the leading causes of pollution and resource depletion today. According to the United Nations, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows and other animals for food contributes nearly one-fifth (18%) of all global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
By contrast, producing a veggie burger requires 93% fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than it does to produce a hamburger.
It also takes more land, water, and energy to produce meat, milk, and eggs that it does to produce plant-based foods. In fact, it’s several times more efficient to eat plants directly rather than funnel them though farmed animals.
Researchers from the University of Chicago concluded in a report that when all levels of production are factored in from livestock crop production to shipping animals to slaughter a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient.
YOU can make an incredible impact on the
ENVIRONMENT with a plant-based diet:
- It requires an average of 6kg of plant protein to produce 1kg of animal protein.
- It takes 100 times more water to produce 1kg of animal protein than it does 1kg of plant protein.
- Animal agriculture is responsible for 18% - 25% of global warming emissions worldwide.
- Cattle ranches and feed production account for over 70% of deforestation in the Amazon.
- The livestock sector is quite probably the largest source of water pollution worldwide.
- A single dairy cow produces approximately 120 pounds of wet manure per day, which is equivalent to that of 20 to 40 humans. (7) (Environmental Protection Agency)
- On average 990 litres of water are required to produce one litre of milk. (9) (United Nations)
Even former US Vice-President Al Gore suggests that by curbing our meat consumption, we can help curb global warming. Each of us can help protect the planet and animals one meal at time simply by choosing meat-free foods.
What we eat matters: our food choices have a major impact on the planet. According to a United Nation’s report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals for food contributes nearly one-fifth (18%) of all global human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
Researchers from the University of Chicago report that when all levels of production are factored in from livestock crop production to shipping animals to slaughter a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient, and the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by not eating meat, eggs, and dairy than by switching to a hybrid car.
Additionally, Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that we can do more for the planet by going vegetarian even just one day per week than by switching to a totally local diet.
Raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of both pollution and resource depletion today. It also takes more land, water, and energy to produce meat than it does to grow foods for a vegetarian diet. Eating plants directly is more efficient than growing and harvesting them in order to funnel them through farmed animals.
A 2007 journal published by the American Dietetic Association states that researchers found “meat protein production required 26 times more water than vegetable protein on rain-fed lands.”
The journal further states that dieticians “can encourage eating that is both healthful and conserving of soil, water, and energy by emphasizing plant sources of protein and foods that have been produced with fewer agricultural inputs.”
Raising animals food is also responsible for causing tremendous amounts of animal suffering. Every year in the U.S., more than 10 billion birds, pigs, and cows are killed for us to eat. Without adequate laws to protect them, farmed animals are routinely subjected to practices so cruel, it would likely lead to criminal prosecution if those same abuses were inflicted upon the dogs and cats with whom we share our homes.
“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.”undefined United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization.
Making a difference. Every time we sit down to eat, each of us can help make the world a better place simply by leaving animals off our plates.
1 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 2006. “Livestock’s Long
Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options.” http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/
2 Eshel, Gidon and Martin, Pamela. 2005. “Diet Energy and Global Warming.” University
of Chicago. http://geosci.uchicago.edu/%7Egidon/papers/nutri/nutriEI.pdf
3 Weber, Christopher L. and Matthews, H. Scott, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2008, http://
4 American Dietetic Association. 2007. Position of the American Dietetic Association:
Food and Nutrition Professionals Can Implement Practices to Conserve Natural
Resources and Support Ecological Sustainability. Journal of the American Dietetic
Association 107: 1033-43
6 Food and Agriculture Organization, op. cit.
7 Environmental Protection Agency. http://www.epa.gov/region09/animalwaste/problem.html
8 Resolution for a New Millennium, Audubon News. Jan. 2000
9 Food and Agriculture Organization, op. cit.
10 Green Living Guide, Greenpeace. http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/news/
11 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/ckeg0308.pdf
12 U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/HogsPigs/
13 Report by Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, 1997