Eat Less Meat

Posted on January 29, 2009 by ELCA World Hunger

cow-picture-728329As you’ve no doubt been reading, David Creech is in Nicaragua learning about the effects of climate change on life. In keeping with that theme and bringing it closer to home, I have a suggestion: eat less meat. It’s not an original suggestion. Today, I’ve lifted it directly from The Sierra Club. They recently had a post on on their blog, The Green Life, which I thought made their case succinctly. You can click here to read the original, but I’ll quote the two paragraphs that I found most fascinating and actionable (and, actually, comprise most of the post):

“Livestock production generates almost 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than the entire transportation sector. If Americans reduced meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would be as though we all switched from a sedan to a hybrid. (New York Times)

Animal factory farms pollute U.S. waterways more than all other industrial sources combined. And you’d save more water by refraining from eating a pound of beef than you would by not showering for an entire year. (E – The Environmental Magazine)”

Asking Americans to reconsider their meat consumption does not seem to me to be an unreasonable request, especially considering most of us could do with more vegetables in our diet, anyway. It also seems so very straightforward. How many of your meals each week include meat? What is 20% of that figure? Switch at least that many of your meals each week to vegetarian selections. That’s it! You’ll improve the health of the planet and quite likely yourself at the same time. In the process, you’ll also improve the environmental circumstances of everyone, but especially of those living in poverty who are most effected by climate change.

-Nancy Michaelis