I love meat. All kinds. Eat it regularly. If you don’t dig it, fine be me. There’s plenty of room in this world for vegans, vegetarians, and meat worshipers alike. I understand the debate. Doesn’t bother me. But if you care about the environment, score one for the vegans.
Last week the Environmental Working Group (the same people responsible for the “dirty dozen”) announced the results of a study of meat production. Turns out, eating meat (and dairy) is pretty doggone bad for the environment. Like 46-million-cars-worth-of-emissions bad.
From fertilizer (petroleum-based) for feed, to slaughter practices, to gas for storage and transportation, to cow farts, the environmental toll of animal products is significant. The EWG estimates if we all went vegan for one day a week for a year it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
This news rattled my cage. I basically knew it, but seeing the numbers is startling. Am I an environmentalist? Sure. I care about the environment. It’s one of the main reasons I try to eat organic. But I didn’t pass an environmentalist certification exam or anything. Still, I care. About the environment. And meat. What to do…?
The EWG is here to help. They’ve given us Meat Eater”s Guide with all the stats and some guidance. That helps. But am I really ready to go without meat once a week? Honestly, probably not. But awareness is the first step to change.
I’m aware now that all though I buy, as my dad calls them, squiggly lights. And buy organic. And walk when I can. And mind my water consumption. There’s always more to do (like recycle regularly). I will try to decrease my meat consumption. For the good of the planet, if not my sanity.
The New York Times’ Mark Bittman, More Weight on Less Meat
Healthcastle.com’s Gloria Tsang, What’s the Enviornmental Impact of the Meat you Eat?
Heather Moore for PETA writing in the Miami Herald Squash Your Carbon Footprint: Go Vegan