United nations scientists present us one quick route to reduce our impact on the environment
Do you know the United nations calculated the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were a lot more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together?
In a recent article published in July 2010 by the Guardian.co.uk, leading journalist John Vidal reported how vegetarianism can aid save our world by eating less meat.
Behind the majority of the joints of beef or chicken on our plates is a phenomenally wasteful, land and electricity hungry system of farming that devastates nature, pollutes oceans, rivers, seas and atmosphere.
We mostly breed four species (chickens, cows, sheep and pigs) all of which need vast amounts of food and water, emit methane as well as other greenhouse gases and produce mountains of physical waste.
Last year, the UN calculated that the combined climate change emissions of animals bred for their meat were about 18% of the global total – more than cars, planes and all other types of transport put together.
A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans, vegetables and fruit may live on an acre of land or less, while the average American, who consumes around 270 pounds of meat per year, needs 20 times that.
Academics have calculated that if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people instead of animals, we could feed at least 2 times as many people – and perhaps much more – as we do now.
Eating a steak or a chicken will point to an abnormal water consumption, that the animal has required to live and grow. Vegetarian author John Robbins calculates a pound of beef needs around 20,000lbs of water.
Farming, which uses 70% of water accessible to humans, is already in direct competition for water with cities.
Industrial scale agriculture now dominates the western livestock and poultry industries, and a single farm is now able to generate as much waste as a city.
Farming animals generate manure and urine which is funnelled into massive waste lagoons sometimes holding as many as 40m gallons. These cesspools often break, leak or overflow, polluting underground water supplies and rivers with nitrogen, phosphorus and nitrates.
A meat diet is generally considered twice as expensive as a vegetarian one. According to the Vegetarian Society, meat eaters get increased possibilities of obesity, cancers, heart diseases and other illnesses as well as a hole in the pocket.
So what now? How can we start contribute save our planet?
Here a simple and quick recipe to find a good meat substitute, the Tofu and Green Onion Veggie Burger.
This healthy tofu based veggie burger receive an additional nutritional boost from wheat germ. This recipe is both vegetarian and vegan.
* 1/2 container firm or extra firm tofu, mashed
Now it's all up to you...
About me - Martha Volz writes for the vegetarian supplements for meat blog, her personal passion blog focused on vegetarian healthy eating suggestions.
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Vermont Vegetarian Society