How Eating Less Meat Can Save the Chesapeake Bay


Written by Dalton Sweet

Eating meat has a massive impact on the environment - especially on local waterways. Raising animals for food generates immense nitrogen emissions that cause harmful algal blooms, red tides, and dead zones.

Take the Chesapeake Bay for example. Overconsumption of meat in the area has recently contributed to waterway pollution and the deaths of native marine life across the bay's nearly 4500 square miles. Scientists have calculated that an overall meat reduction of only 30 percent would be enough to save the Chesapeake Bay from further harm. This equates to simply going meatless for two days a week, or just for lunchtime each day. Simple changes are enough of a practical reduction to prevent, and even reverse some of the damage to the Chesapeake Bay area.

To make it easier, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation has provided an online environmental impact calculator. Users can input data ranging from vehicle type to electric bill, and of course most importantly, average meat consumption. The results can be quite revealing. After calculating the user's impact, the website gives recommendations on how to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle, using tactics such as reducing one's daily meat consumption.

Choosing plant-based alternatives is one of the easiest ways to help the environment. These alternatives require less water and land to produce, and far fewer greenhouse gases are emitted than with the production of meat and animal agricultural products. Take the pledge today to become a reducetarian, and see just how much of an impact you can have!