THE HEALTH OF OUR PLANET
The health of our planet is a great concern. It is clear that we cannot continue on the same path as we have in regards to the foods we eat and global warming. Many people do not want to know about the inhumane slaughtering practices used on the majority of meat that is put in front of them, nor do they want to know the environmental impact their meat habit has on the planet.
The truth is nothing changes the face of the planet more than how we produce our food. It has such an impact on our environment, on other people, and on billions of animals. We have to think of it as an ethical issue, we have to think about what we are eating and the ethical consequences of what we are eating. It is something we all do 3-5 times per day.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is the animal agriculture industry that is most responsible for serious environmental problems on every scale, from local to global. This includes land degradation, climate change, water shortage, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.
Did You Know……?
Eating a plant based diet spares animals from slaughter and cuts back on your chances of contracting a life-threatening illness (such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more); a plant-based diet shields the whole planet from unnatural disaster. Your plant food choices are more sustainable than you may realize.
It Protects Our Soil
You can get almost all vital nutrients you need from eating plant-based foods (save vitamins D and B12) and that’s because minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and amino acids are in our soil. Researchers have found that raising animals for consumption contributes to erosion and nutritional depletion of soil, plus desertification and deforestation. As a result, the US alone has lost about a third of its topsoil from factors that include livestock agriculture.
Earth-friendly tip: Choose mainly organic, non-GMO food to help keep our soil (and your body) healthy and nutrient-rich.
It Conserves Water
More than 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water is used in agriculture of plants and animals: it takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods. Plus, the United Nations has reported that the livestock sector is most likely the largest source of water pollution. So, skipping the meat may have more of a positive planetary impact than turning off the water while brushing your teeth or taking a shorter shower! Consuming seafood is also an issue, as we face problems with overfishing, habitat damage, and species endangerment.
Earth-friendly tip: Skip the pre-rinse when using a dishwasher and only run it when full - this can save up to 7,300 gallons of water a year.
It Saves Energy
It is no secret that we have an energy crisis on our hands - oil prices are skyrocketing and the world is scrambling to find a more sustainable method to power our homes and cars. Meanwhile, citizens are urged to conserve energy, and one of the best ways of doing so is by eliminating meat and dairy from your diet. Case and point: a Cornell study found that producing animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil-fuel energy than creating plant-based protein.
Earth-friendly tip: Next time you buy a kitchen appliance, get one that is Energy Star-approved, and only use electronic appliances when necessary (in other words, unplug that blender after you make your breakfast green smoothie!).
It Clears The Air
You can smell a factory farm (feed lot) from a mile away - literally, those places stink! And it’s not just an unpleasant smell - this form of air pollution is a major problem. You’ve probably heard that cows release a lot of methane when they pass gas and burp. These emissions plus nitrous oxide in their manure are largely connected to climate change. That’s why a report by the UN concluded that animal agriculture is a larger contributor to greenhouse gas than all forms of transportation. And speaking of the previously mentioned issue of deforestation, when rainforests are cleared to create livestock pastures, carbon is released into the air.
Earth-friendly tip: Buy more local, plant-based foods to cut back on the distance it has to travel from farm to plate, thus reducing the amount of emissions created in the process.
It Combats World Hunger
Hundreds of millions of people around the world are currently suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and yet 70 percent of the grain grown in the United States is fed to livestock. Even animals in poor countries are fed cereal, as well as legumes and vegetables, in order to produce meat and dairy. All in all, more than 700 million tons of human-grade food goes into animal agriculture each year, which could instead be used to eradicate hunger.
Earth-friendly tip: Only order or make as much food as you can eat in one sitting to prevent waste. If you happen to have leftovers, store them in a reusable container and compost any inedible scraps.
Things You Should Know….
1. It takes 16 lbs of grain and soybeans to produce 1 lb of feedlot beef.
2. 1 acre of trees is spared each year by each individual who switches to a pure plant based diet.
3. Over 19,000 animals are slaughtered every minute in the U.S. alone.
4. Livestock production is the user of more than half of all water purposes in the U.S.
5. 1 billion tons of un-recycled waste is produced annually by U.S. livestock in confinement operations.
6. There are no sewer systems in our feedlots and the waste often ends up in our water.
7. 55% of total antibiotics used in the U.S. are fed routinely to livestock.
8. Grass-fed animals create more methane than grain-fed because it takes more digesting to break down
the cellulose in grass.
9. Many marine ecologists think that the biggest single threat to marine ecosystems today is overfishing. Our appetite for fish is exceeding the oceans' ecological limits with devastating impacts on marine ecosystems. Scientists are warning that overfishing results in profound changes in our oceans, perhaps changing them forever.
10. The majority of the dead zones (lack of oxygen) in our oceans are caused by runoff from animal manure, fertilizers, and heavy metals.
Every time we sit down to eat, we have the opportunity to “think green” and do our part in creating a world in which our planet can support life for all its inhabitants.
REMEMBER…FOOD IS A CHOICE! PLEASE CHOOSE WISELY!!