Go Vegetarian

Most of us eat meat. Whether you’re at work eating a turkey sandwich, or at home about to take a juicy bite out of your bacon burger, people are consuming meat. What you probably don’t know is that there are major environmental consequences for eating meat. The United Nations found that the meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all of the world’s transportation systems combined.

With the trajectory of the planet’s well-being today, it is essential to reduce your carbon footprint. But most people don’t know the first thing about their carbon footprint and how to effectively reduce it.

By going vegetarian you will be significantly reducing your carbon footprint and helping in the fight against climate change. Going vegetarian will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions the meat industry is responsible for and will lower the amount of land and water used for animal agriculture.

As recent research has shown, the number of cows in the United States primarily correlates with the amount of meat consumption in the United States, as 32.2 million cattle are slaughtered every year for meat consumption.

In addition, research tells us that 2,400 gallons of water goes into the production of one pound of beef. Therefore, killing the livestock alone takes copious amounts of water.

Furthermore, some believe that cow manure can be great for soil health. In smaller quantities, manure breaks down and is very beneficial for the soil. In fact, when manure comes in these larger quantities, farmers must pile the waste in deep layers over the fields. This is an ongoing issue because these deep layers of manure cannot break down into the soil. It is found that the runoff from the raw manure ends up polluting nearby streams and waterways with a potent mix of bacteria, drugs from the food, animal waste, and ammonia from urine that seeps into the groundwater.

The meat industry accounts for 14.5% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions are from cows, which emit an average of 19.3 pounds of volatile organic compounds per year.

Now, consider that 19.3 pounds multiplied by 35 million cattle raised each year. This smog emitted by cows is the primary and most pressing reason why the meat industry is a major contributor to global warming.

The United States Department of Agriculture showcases that animal agriculture is the single largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.. Therefore, the easiest way to reduce our carbon footprint and solve our environmental crisis is by going vegetarian. When people go vegetarian, they are releasing less greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, which has a lesser impact on the environment.

Large mammals such as cattle, are known as plant eating consumers; meaning they require food, land, and water. The plants that cattle eat need their own additional land and water to grow. In fact, it was found that 87% of US farmland is used to raise food for animals and noted that animal agriculture uses more than half of the water used in the United States.

The solution: going vegetarian. Going vegetarian lessens the amount of land and water it takes to create food for each and every person. In a study from a ProQuest Commentary by Rebecca Libauskas, it showed that it takes 20 times less land to feed a vegan, than for someone who eats meat.

Changing your lifestyle is difficult, and going vegetarian isn’t an easy thing. Despite this, the environment and the future of this planet doesn’t get to choose the way in which it’s treated. So be the catalyst for change and eat more vegetables.