Saturday, January 26, 2008

Want to help "Save the Planet?" Stop Eating Meat!

I stopped eating meat in 1988 because I objected to the factory farming methods and use of hormones and chemicals to accelerate growth. I also believe that we are not naturally meat eaters. We simply do not have the right teeth and intestines to process meat. It is only because humans learnt to use weapons and fire that we became meat eaters.

Today I have read a couple of articles that have rekindled my passion for convincing others to also stop eating meat because stopping eating meat is the single most important action we can all take to slow global warming and damage to the environment.

UN Secretary General warns business on looming water crisis

Right now there is a looming water crisis that will eclipse the oil shortages. Now this is not an easy thing to understand where I live in Hull where our water crisis is about too much not too little, but we are using clean drinkable water faster than it is being replenished so we are depleting the underground reserves.

World Water Crisis

Where does meat eating come into this? 70 % of water consumption is for agriculture and most of this is for meat production. Producing one kilo of potatoes requires 100 litres of water. Producing one kilo of beef requires between up to 13,000 litres of water. In addition there is a significant consumption of oil in heating the huge sheds where the animals are kept and in producing the fertilizers for feed production, hormones and other chemicals to keep the animals alive and in processing waste. (Cattle produce 130 time more waste them humans now)

Most of the merciless destruction of rain forests is to provide farmland either to graze cattle or to produce animal feed. If you eat beans you get the same food energy as beef producing only 4% of the carbon dioxide. Cattle produce one fifth of the global methane emissions. Methane is 24 times as potent as carbon dioxide in contributing to global warming.

Finally there are frightening consequence of meat eating we really are not able to measure. Natural wildlife is relentlessly destroyed by shooting, poison or burning because it is seen as a threat to meat production. Add to this the impact of animal waste and destruction of habitat and we have 25% of mammalian species now in danger of extinction not to mention the plants, plankton, fungi, bacteria and insects that are an essential part of our delicate eco system.

How food choices can help save the environment

Meat eating is simply no longer sustainable and the sooner everyone realises that - the sooner we will start to make a real impact on environment damage.

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