Food Choices and Climate Change

March 25, 2015 1

Virtually everyone wants to eat healthier. Some people actually make an effort to do so, some don't. Well, if you're one of those people who need an extra incentive, consider the following. According to the U.N. news service, United Nations News Centre, the cattle industry contributes more to greenhouse gases than automobile emissions. Yes, you read that right. The report stated that cattle-rearing generates more of the greenhouse gases associated with human caused climate change than transportation. The report was put together by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization and was based on CO2 equivalents. Warning that "urgent action is needed to remedy the situation", the report found that besides being "one of the most significant contributors to environmental problems", the cattle industry "... is also a major source of land and water degradation." Additional problems caused by the abusive livestock industry are energy inefficiency and an adverse effect on global hunger. It takes ten times as much energy to produce one calorie of animal-based food as it does for one calorie of plant-based food. Also, the world's cattle population consumes enough grain to feed 8.7 billion people. That's more than enough to feed everyone on the planet. So, eating a meat-free diet can help more than just your own personal health. It can help the entire planet's as well.

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