Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thoughts: Tonight I had a beautiful vegetarian dinner cooked by my friend Steph. We are not "officially" vegetarians but it's nice to give our bodies and the environment a break from meat. Did you know that meat is actually damaging the environment?! My oh so amazing vegan friend Carolyn Wagner sent me 7 Clear-Cut Reasons Why Meat is Bad for the Environment:
You often hear of people going vegetarian or vegan out of concern for animal rights, or for their health, both respectable reasons to cut out meat. But today a growing number of people are shunning meat because of its impact on the planet.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recently released a report called Livestock’s Long Shadow, citing livestock production as a primary contributor to global warming.
Here are 7 reasons — based on the FAO findings — why meat is anything but “green”:
1.Livestock production leaves a hefty carbon footprint, accounting for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world’s cars & SUVs combined.
Aside from carbon dioxide, the livestock sector emits 37 percent of global methane, a greenhouse gas far worse than CO2; and 65 percent of nitrous oxide.
2.2.4 billion tons of livestock-induced CO2 emissions are a result of the deforestation of over 7.4 million acres of trees cut for pastures and feedcrop land each year. This loss of forest means the destruction of billions of trees, each of which had the potential to offset around 1,400 pounds of CO2. According to the FAO report, “Some 70 percent of previously forested land in the Amazon is used as pasture, and feed crops cover a large part of the remainder.”
3.60 percent of US corn crops and 40 percent of soybeans are used as animal feed. We could be using the land and resources needed to produce these crops to grow food for human consumption. Instead, we are using it to feed farm animals, which are extremely inefficient converters of grain — Note: it takes 6 to 10 pounds of grain to produce a single pound of beef.
4.Livestock production is the #1 cause of soil erosion in the United States. Without a healthy topsoil, we can’t grow the crops that are necessary to feed people. Many civilizations throughout history have collapsed for this reason. In the United States, it is estimated that we have lost 1/3 of our topsoil in the last two centuries.
5.Meat production is heavily reliant on pesticides, which are toxic both to people and to the planet. “70 percent of the volume of herbicides used in agriculture can be attributed to animal feed production in the form of soybean and corn,” according to the FAO study. Of all chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticide residues in the U.S. diet, 55% are supplied by meat, while only 6% are supplied by vegetables, 4% by fruits and 1% by grains.
6.The livestock sector is the leading contributor to water pollution by Nitrogen and Phosphorous in the United States. It also makes a strong contribution to water pollution by pesticides and antibiotics (accounting for 50 percent of the volume of antibiotics consumed in the United States).
7.Animal agriculture consumes 1/3 of fossil fuels produced in the United States. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the production of one calorie of animal protein requires more than 10 times the fossil fuel input as a calorie of plant protein. Fossil fuels are used heavily in the production of herbicides, fertilizers, to power machinery on the farm, and for transport between the farm and the store. Before you next put food in your mouth, consider what it took for it to arrive on your plate. Think of the impact your meal might have had on the planet.
"Never mind changing lightbulbs and shopping with a cloth bag; the best way to “go green” is to change your diet. Considering the alarming toll the meat industry imposes on the environment, you can significantly reduce your impact simply by going vegan or vegetarian." Carolyn Wagner. "Or start small and join UF students who have pledged to go meatless one day a week during Meatless Mondays.) "
It seems we eat so much more than we used to (than 100's of years ago, because it's so easy to go to the store and grab a chicken, or some beef, whereas before people would actually have to farm their own meat), plus there are obviously more people on the planet, 6 billion now! And our population is growing so rapidly so the manufacturers are producing more livestock to keep up with our population growth and demand on eating meat! I totally totally totally respect the vegetarians and vegans (you are amazing Carolyn) for the stand they are making for our environment, because I love to eat chicken, and although I have given up eating red meat for my health and for the environment, I'm not giving up eating chicken. However I will definately reduce my meat consumption. Because I LOVE THE EARTH!!!!! ;) Hehe check out my web www.iloveearth.com.au
Challenges: Getting the impact of my meat consumption on the environment! And wanting to get that message to millions of people....how do you reach and impact millions of people?
Triumphs: Getting the impact of my meat consumption on the environment! And feeling empowered to reduce my meat consumtpion because I LOVE EARTH!
What I Ate Today:
Breakfast: Some of my frozen chocolate balls....mmmm they were absolutely divine! It was already a hot morning, so they were fresh and cold, and the whole hazelnuts in them were crunchy! And a beetroot, apple, carrot, ginger and celery juice.
Lunch: beetroot, ginger, apple, carrot, celery juice. Macadamia nuts, goji berries and walnuts.
Dinner: My beautiful friend Steph made me an amazing earth dinner! Wooo it's the first time anyone has made me dinner since I started this Earth Diet. Steph is super duper healthy and she made her speciality "Garden Feast!". The recipe is below!
Dessert: no dessert.
Snacks: chocolate balls! mmmm mmmm! Recipe in yesterdays blog! I have chocolate balls everyday! P.S Steph and I have been shitting up a storm today! Thankyou chocolate balls! (Yes we are sure that the cocoa is making us poop!)
Recipe: Stephs Garden Feast!
1. Olive oil
4. Spring onion
7. Red Capsicum
8. Green Capsicum
11. Brown Rice
1. Cook brown rice.
2. Make a tomato sauce by blending tomatoes, garlic, spring onion olive oil and basil in a blender. And then boil it.
3. Chop all your vegetables and steam.
4. Dish and serve.
Woooo easy garden feast!!!
Exercise: A little walking here and there in Surfers Paradise!
338 days to go!