5 Sustainable Reasons to Eat Less Meat

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If giving up meat entirely doesn’t appeal to you, even skipping it for one day per week can make a real difference for the environment. Here are 5 reasons to eat less meat…

Awareness is growing about the detrimental effect that industrial agriculture has on the environment. According to this article from Green Future, “Animal agriculture has such a severe impact on the environment that the Union of Concerned Scientists lists meat-eating as the second biggest environmental hazard — with fossil-fuel vehicles as the number one hazard.”

As a result, more and more people are taking steps to eat less meat – or even giving it up entirely. However, this can be a daunting prospect to those who have grown up eating meat at every meal. If you can’t stand the thought of giving up meat entirely, then don’t!

Some people assume it has to be all or nothing, and that unless they give up all meat it won’t make any real difference. However, even reducing your meat intake by one day per week (e.g. “Meatless Monday”) can actually make a big difference. (To make an even bigger difference, when you do eat meat, switch to grass-fed meat that is raised using sustainable practices.) If we all did this, we could make a real dent in climate change, even while still enjoying our favorite steak once in a while!

Here are 5 good reasons to eat less meat – even if it’s just skipping it one day a week:

1. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Americans consume 60% more meat than Europeans, and the rest of the world isn’t too far behind.
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2. Meat production is responsible for an estimated 24% of global greenhouse gases every year. Greenhouse gases include methane production from animals, carbon dioxide from deforestation, and nitrous oxide from fertilizer. Methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

3. Based on current data and consumption patterns, if everyone on the planet went without meat for one day per week, we could reduce emissions by an estimated 1.0 gigaton per year. That’s equal to taking 273 million cars off the road.
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4. Livestock in confined factory farms generate 500 million tons of manure per year. That overwhelming amount of manure creates toxic wastewater and pollutes groundwater, streams, rivers, and — eventually — the ocean.
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5. Agriculture uses about 70% of all global freshwater resources. Fresh water is a finite resource, and rising global temperatures are already causing a decrease in precipitation. FAO recently released a report which stated that if farmers don’t take action to reduce their emissions and conserve water, up to 42 million people could face dangerous levels of hunger.
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Read More at GreenFuture.io

 

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