Eating for the environment

What we buy and eat can add up to real environmental benefits, including fewer toxic chemicals, reduced global warming emissions and preservation of our ocean resources

Why can meat-eaters not be called environmentalists?

A lot of people call themselves environmentalists and most of them do really care about the well-being of our planet. But the truth is, if you eat meat, you're contributing to one of the worst causes of environmental destruction.

Raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits.

Additionally, by avoiding animal products, you cut your carbon footprint to half. A pound of beef requires 13% more fossil fuel and 15 times more water to produce than a pound of soy.

Animals raised for food produce 7 million pounds of excrement every minute.

Animal agriculture is culpable for nearly 91 per cent of Amazon destruction, according to the World Bank.

Raising animals for food (including land for grazing and growing feed crops) now uses over one-third of the earth's landmass.

Factory farms have created more than 500 nitrogen-flooded dead zones in the world's oceans.

Even without fossil fuels, we will exceed our 565 gigatonnes CO2e limit by 2030— just from raising animals for food.

Clearly, there is no such thing as 'sustainable' meat and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as compared to their animal-based counterparts.

As James Cameron famously said, "There's no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist." If you really want to save the world cut meat out of your diet. Just speeches, singing and making posters mean nothing.

I have recently turned vegetarian. What are the vegetarian sources of protein?

The real problem is that many people are at risk of getting too much protein, not too little. Most meat-eaters consume about seven times the protein they need. Vegetarians can get enough protein from whole-wheat bread, potatoes, beans, corn, peas, mushrooms or broccoli –almost every food contains protein. Unless you eat a great deal of junk food, it's almost impossible to eat as many calories as you need for good health without getting enough protein.

By contrast, too much protein is a major cause of osteoporosis and contributes to kidney failure and other diseases of affluence.

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