Droughts, Deforestation, Health Concerns: The answer- Shift to a Vegetarian or Vegan diet

A recent view of the local news on the California drought brought this to my attention. Eating a plate of vegetables and grains requires much less water than a plate of steak. Below are some charts and info on just how much water and feed is required to make one hamburger.

Notice that in order to feed a cow, a farmer needs water to grow the grain to feed the cow, the water to hydrate the cow, and use machinery to transport the food to the cow. All this requires much more water and energy than growing fields of farro or lentils. All plants need is sun and lots of water, but no more than a cow needs. If we eat such a vegetable diet, we could save a lot of energy, and use grazing grounds for growing more grains and beans. Surely, we would have more food to feed the world.

Many experts agree that if we continue with our demand for meat, the US being the second-ranking in the world, we will run out of food resources to feed ourselves. Not to mention our health will suffer, as well as pollution from animal waste in the air and our rivers. Luckily, the meat trend is slowing down, probably because so many peoples’ health is suffering. I hope we awaken to the demand we are putting on this earth, the senseless eating that has become a custom in the US, and have a conscious thought about eating.

It seems an obvious choice to go pescetarian (fish & vegetables only), vegetarian, or vegan. Still, we have so many concerns about the vegetarian diet. For instance, the increasing demand for dairy and eggs, (because of the switching from meats to dairy or eggs) puts stress on the farmers. Unfortunately, many male chickens are killed for they don’t produce eggs, and many calves are taken directly away from their dairy mothers at birth so we can obtain their milk. For this reason, even if we do include dairy in our diet, let us focus on low quantities and responsibly farmed sources. A diet of fish also has its downfalls for we are farming fish now, too. Yet, I feel I need fish in my diet so I stick to small fish like mackerel, sardines, snapper, and stay away from top predators such as Tuna, Yellowtail, Mahi Mahi, and Swordfish because they probably contain high levels of mercury or other pollutants. In this way, I hope to do my part while I am here on this earth. God bless your choice.   

What It Takes To Make A Quarter-Pound Hamburger

Burger resources

Just look how much we ate in 1909 and then in 2012. No wonder many of our grandparents are healthy. Certainly my 88-year-old grandma is one.

U.S. total meat consumption, in billion pounds

U.S. total meat consumption, in billion pounds

U.S. meat consumption per person, in pounds

U.S. meat consumption per person, in pounds
“Though meat consumption in the U.S. has dropped off slightly in recent years, at 270.7 pounds per person a year, we still eat more meat per person here than in almost any other country on the planet. Only the Luxumbourgers eat more meat than we do.”
Meat Consumption, 2007


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