Comment of the (Earth) Day: Vegetarian = Less Pollution
Photo by ILoveButter via Flickr
There are still many comments to be left today by readers, but torrmoz's comment on an earlier story about vegetarian eating highlights points from a New York Times Mark Bittman story (Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler) about meat production and the environment. These are well worth bringing to the forefront:
- If Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan to a Prius.
- Livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world's greenhouse gases — more than transportation.
- Agriculture in the U.S. contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation's rivers and streams.
- Meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world's tropical rain forests.
- About two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption.
In February, Chino's Westland/Hallmark Meat Company came into the spotlight when the government recalled beef after secret video footage revealed staff was mistreating the animals.
On a more positive note, vegan and vegetarian restaurants are becoming neighborhood staples in Los Angeles -- definitely a good thing, whether you choose to eat meat or not.