Skipping Meat To Save The Planet?
In 2019, EarthX is promoting six initiatives that are simple ways we can all help the environment by making minor changes to our lifestyles.
One initiative is to go meatless one to two days each week because research shows:
• Livestock production is a significant contributor to global warming. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, livestock production uses 33 percent of the Earth’s entire land surface.
• Livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all of the planes, trains, and automobiles in the world.
• Meat production uses as much water in 24 hours as all of New England does in four months.
• Researchers at the University of Oxford found that cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 percent.
Going meatless and helping the planet is not an easy issue.
Thoughts of how going meatless would impact Texans ran through my head as I drove past the livestock feed yards in Amarillo on a recent trip.
Meat producers are not alone; those in the agriculture industry will also need to shift their way of producing food more sustainably.
Overall, the solution involves the growers, the consumers, and government policy.
The U.S. government food production policies support an outdated, unsustainable system of industrial agriculture, which has damaging impacts on soil, air, water, human health, and rural economies.
The late 20th century saw a transformation in U.S. agriculture. Farms grew to enormous sizes, becoming focused on a few commodity crops and increasingly dependent on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Meat production became dominated by large CAFOs.
These methods of producing food create a host of problems. Runoff from chemical inputs and CAFO waste pollutes our water and contributes to global warming; monoculture — planting a single crop over a large area year after year — depletes the soil and reduces biodiversity; overuse of antibiotics in meat production threatens our ability to fight human disease.
Science-based sustainable farming methods can (and do) produce abundant food without the pitfalls of industrial agriculture.
Forward-looking policies can help these innovative practices grow and prosper.
EarthX’s mission is to present all sides of the issues and bring everyone to the table to discuss solutions for our planet. Please go to EarthX.org for more information.