Monday, April 06, 2009

Meat's Environmental Impact

Interesting article over at Alternet by Kathy Freston about the environmental impact of eating meat. It's chock full of startling facts about the impact on the environment of our carnivorous ways. Madam and I have all but eliminated meat from our diet. We do occasionally have a sustainably grown chicken and I still have to have a fix of crisp bacon or a sausage biscuit every couple of weeks, but there are weeks where we eat nothing but fruit and vegetables along with dairy and eggs. We have both lost weight and our food bills have considerably slimmed as well. Cooking with basic ingredients such as raw vegetables also helps you control what goes into your face by eliminating the chemicals that plague processed foods.

Here are couple of noteworthy facts from the article:

According to Environmental Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.
Globally, we feed 756 million tons of grain to farmed animals. As Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer notes in his new book, if we fed that grain to the 1.4 billion people who are living in abject poverty, each of them would be provided more than half a ton of grain, or about 3 pounds of grain/day -- that's twice the grain they would need to survive. And that doesn't even include the 225 million tons of soy that are produced every year, almost all of which is fed to farmed animals.
It makes one think about the cost of having so much meat in our diets.

h/t Jill at La Vida Locavore

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