Did you know that producing half a pound of hamburger for someone’s lunch (a patty of meat the size of two decks of cards) releases as much greenhouse gas (GHG) into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000-pound car nearly 10 miles?
Raising livestock depletes other natural resources as well, including fossil fuels and topsoil. Much of rainforest land is being cut down to farm and raise livestock, which is then exported to the U.S. and ends up in fast-food hamburgers. According to the Rainforest Action Network, 55 square feet of tropical rainforest are destroyed to make every fast-food hamburger made from rainforest cattle.
Animal waste changes the pH of our water, contaminates both water and our air; and the ammonia, hydrogen sulfide and methane gases emitted from their waste stream are believed to be a major causes of global warming.
In terms of immediacy of action and feasibility of bringing about reductions in the shortest period of time, our practice for this entire week is to go vegan. If you cannot cut both meat and dairy, go vegetarian.
And not just because it may cut climate costs; but also because we are very concerned about the mistreatment of animals, the loss of the rainforests, the increasing threat of global warming, and with having clean water to drink and clean air to breathe for future generations.
There are several ways to decrease the effects of climate change and we are suggesting you try taking this week’s practice and see if you can expand it to a month or beyond.
I know that Valentine’s Day falls into this week, perhaps you could take that night off or if you are really motivated, you could make a rose petal salad.
The Deep Dive:
And here, from the Vegetarian Times is more of the WHY.
The PETA Vegetarian/Vegan Starter Kit.
Is my lunch causing global warming? Try the low-carbon diet calculator here.
Get the sobering facts about the surprising environmental costs of a hamburger from Scientific American here.
How our food choices can help save the environment here.
And for those adults who like comedy, try this Colbert segment on the $200 hamburger with author, Raj Patel here.