A Diet to Save The Planet

by CherryBlossom on February 2, 2016 - 7:39am

A study, led by Research Professor Gidon Eshel analysed the environmental impact of beef, chicken and pork and found that the production of red meat is the more harmful one for the planet using 28 times more land and 11 times more water than the production of other meats. In his article “Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert”, Damian Carrington reports that the study also denounces that beef production yields five times more greenhouse gases than does the production of chicken and pork and 11 times more than does the cultivation of essential foods such as potatoes, rice and wheat.

Furthermore, biologically, ruminants need to consume more to gain sufficient amounts of nutrients. According to Professor Mark Sutton, quality crop fields are being used to cultivate grain that is fed to the livestock although that grain could be used to feed humans.

There is a global concern amongst experts concerning the amount of grain, land and water that will be needed for the production of livestock in order to be able to feed the increasing population since we are expecting an increase of two billion people by 2050. The domain of agriculture itself is an important element in global warming as it contributes 15% of all emissions from which 50% is coming from livestock.

Eshel states that if governments stopped funding the meat industry, prices would increase and a lower consumption of red meat would follow.

A meat diet produces twice as much climate warming emissions than does a vegetarian one. A study on British people’s diets conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford shows that a meat diet releases 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions daily whereas a vegetarian or fish diet amounts in 3.8 kg and a vegan one, 2.9kg.

Simple diet choices have a heavy impact on the environment. If global warming is a concern to you, why not start by avoiding meat for a day once a week?

Link to article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars

I chose this source because after conducting a little research on the author and scientists quoted, I judged it to be reliable. Professor Gidon Eshel has a senior fellow in Center for Environmental Science and Argonne National Laboratory and has been teaching at Bard University since 2008 in the Bard Center for Environmental Policy primary academic program.

http://www.bard.edu/academics/faculty/details/?action=details&id=2436

Professor Mark Sutton is the co-Chair of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Task Force on Reactive Nitrogen (TFRN) and Chair of the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI).

http://www.unece.org/info/media/expert-opinions/biographies/mark-sutton.html

Finally, I am a little bit less certain about the author’s reliability and would have to look into greater detail on his behalf. However, I know that he is the head of the environment section of The Guardian newspaper and has been a journalist for 15 years now.

http://www.theguardian.com/open-weekend/damian-carrington

Comments

Because I am a pescetarian which means I do not eat meat except fish, I was really concerned by your summary. It was really truthful, good job! I don’t eat meat for three reasons. The first one is the effects on our environment that are horrible. The second one is the abuse towards the animal we eat. The last one is a little more spiritual, because it concerns the animals which, before dying, fill their muscles with stress which is what we eat. I think that we might not have to stop directly to eat meat, but we should start to reduce our consumption. Only trying to eat three times a week a meal without meat could change something. I don’t think that we all have to be vegan, but we should improve our alimentation.
I found an article on BBC news that illustrates the “Who, Where, What, When, Why, How” that is very interesting. “Can eating less meat help reduce climate change?” is the name of the article. It is more recent, but I think both of our articles illustrates the same point.
Also, I recently watched a video that is in French, but I found it very awesome. It is made by a French journalist named Julien Goetz. He names the channel on Youtube Data Gueule and he made a lots of video concerning taboo subject. The video is “Quand la boucherie, le monde pleure.”
Really, you made a good job, I loved it!

Your article summarizes the arguments for what a lot of people call "Meatless Mondays" very well, and poses a really convincing argument. Promoting vegetarian alternatives to certain meals is very important, and I find that a lot of people are providing resources for this movement in convenient, enticing and interesting ways. Take Concordia's Greenhouse, for instance; their Four Seasons Growing project "aims to explore the possibilities of urban agriculture in a greenhouse year-round". They promote recycling, reusing and organic growth and local industries. Other branches of the Greenhouse project sell the garden's harvested micro-greens, and some work to show interested parties how to grow their own balcony gardens. These practices allow people to find individual and easy-to-use alternatives to meat-based meals, and encourage them to get involved in a great, friendly environment.

I think it's a really important resource and an easy way to start changing our meat-eating habits. After all, having a farmer's market or our own gardens nearby can be a motivating factor for people to give up meat once a week (or more!).

If you're interested in seeing how can get involved with Concordia's Greenhouse, you can read this post (http://newsactivist.com/en/champlain-college-2016-newsactivist-contempor...) about the volunteer opportunities there.

Since I am an animal lover, I think that your post is really relevant to my final volunteering project in a way. Your post is about how dieting can make a change for the environment and also in the lives of animals, because they do not eat what they are meant to eat in order for them to be healthy. I want to help animals to be healthy as well, but in a different way! I want to volunteer in an animal shelter to be able to give some love and also care to animals that do not have enough. I found your article very truthful, presenting us a lot of informations that people generally are not aware of when they eat meat. This helped me to see that we can help animals, and the environment at the same time, in several ways! Here's a link to a summary of an article I wrote, about how a couple in Toronto have a way to help animals that live in horrible conditions!

http://newsactivist.com/en/news-summary/champlain-college-2016-newsactiv...