A Blow to Meat-Loving Environmentalists

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.

Other thoughts:

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


5 responses to “A Blow to Meat-Loving Environmentalists

  1. I went extreme, vegan, for a bit after my diagnosis but it is soooo hard to sustain. However, the more I read about the mistreatment and the impact eating meat has on the environment, I was okay with leaving meat out whenever I can. Now, I have my hubby (who is a HUGE meateater), participating in Meatless Mondays with me. I only eat meat on occassions and when I know it comes from a good source like at the local farmers market or Whole Foods. Once again groovy article Dan 🙂

  2. Grillin’ and chillin’ is practically a year round sport in high desert country. Even in snow season.

    The beef we get from Whole Foods here in NM is grass-fed from CO. Not always enough fat for fast hot grilling; but, if you’re careful, it’s tasty.

What Say You!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s