I've noticed that when I suggest that someone consider trying a vegan diet for a short time, most people become borderline nasty. I suppose I understand, since I really don't like it when just about everyone I know tries to get me to eat meat. It is time we consciously think about our relationship to food and our planet. To be conscious about this relationship, we need to know the facts. The cover story in this week's Metro Times provides is a good place to start. Jim Motavilli, in Meat of the Matter exposes the truth about the meat industry. Some of the facts presented in the article are frightening:
- livestock production is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gasses
- one medium sized feedlot produces 500,000 pounds of manure daily
- one medium sized feedlot emits greenhouse gases equivalent to 33 million cars
- grazing occupies 26% of the ice/water free land of the planet
- grazing is responsible for deforestation of the Amazon
- raising livestock consumes 90% of the soy, 80% of the corn and 70% of the grain grown in America
The environmental impact of livestock is disastrous and yet, Americans are oblivious to the impact that their food choice has on the planet. Americans have an inkling that their food choice is disastrous for the beings that are their food, but they tend to ignore, evade or just turn away from the facts that animals suffer horribly before they are put on the American table. It is becoming more difficult to avoid the truth, Americans must move from a meat based diet to a plant based diet and quickly. Begin exploring a vegetarian lifestyle, you will be healthier, you children will be healthier and now you know the planet will be healthier. If you hesitate, ask yourself this question - How do I, my children or the planet benefit from a meat based diet?