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Vegetarian Diet Key to Curbing Global Warming

Vegetarian 300x225 Vegetarian Diet Key to Curbing Global WarmingA recent Cornell University concluded that a global shift toward a vegetarian diet is extremely important in order to combat the worst effects of climate change.

Environmentalists stress the need for the general public to understand the connection between land use and the environment. The United Nations has declared that raising animals for food is one of the primary contributors to the most serious problems with the environment, from local to global.

Consuming a primarily vegetarian diet would not only have considerable health benefits for the US population, but it would also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Experts believe that a meat-eater’s diet is responsible for up to seven times as much greenhouse gas as a vegetarian diet. Meat is a very carbon-intensive commodity.

3,370 square meters are used to produce enough food to feed a meat eater, while only 890 square meters are necessary for a vegetarian. Of the 3370 square meters used for the carnivore, up to 2,950 of those are for animal farming, i.e., sheep, cows, pigs, chickens.

Large nitrogen and fertilizer inputs are necessary for a meat-based diet, resulting in higher CO2 levels.

Experts posit that over twice as much of the recommended amount of protein is consumed in the US every day. In addition to causing health issues, the rate of consumption taxes the environment greatly.

If the American diet evolves from a meat-based to a plant-based one, and consumers make healthy choices, then nutrient inputs, greenhouse gas emissions could all be reduced significantly.


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About the author

Leigh is a Senior Technical Communicator working in the energy sector in Dallas, Texas. Prior to her work in the energy industry, Leigh spent years specializing in life saving engineering projects for the US Department of Defense. In her spare time, Leigh pursues her passions of environmental awareness, vegan baking, dog rescue, and defending the place of art, literature, and music in a world that values science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Comments

2 comments
Annabelle Randles
Annabelle Randles

There is no doubt that curbing meat consumption can have positive effects on the planet. Everyone should to reduce their meat consumption. Adopt a flexitarian diet and eat less meat. It's easy and not only good for the planet but also your health.

JimCorcoran
JimCorcoran

"A 1% reduction in world-wide meat intake has the same benefit as a three trillion-dollar investment in solar energy." ~ Chris Mentzel, CEO of Clean Energy

"As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease." ~ Worldwatch Institute, "Is Meat Sustainable?"

“If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains... the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. Roads.” ~ Environmental Defense Fund

"The livestock sector emerges as one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. The findings of this report suggest that it should be a major policy focus when dealing with problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity... The impact is so significant that it needs to be addressed with urgency." ~ United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization's report "Livestock's Long Shadow"

“It’s not a requirement to eat animals, we just choose to do it, so it becomes a moral choice and one that is having a huge impact on the planet, using up resources and destroying the biosphere.”  ~ James Cameron, movie director, environmentalist, new vegan

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