Earth Day 2017: How Eating Less Meat Helps the Environment
Written by Tyler Puckett
Earth Day - a time when millions of people around the world celebrate our environment by unplugging the TV, taking shorter showers, and using refillable water bottles. But did you know that you can have a positive impact on the planet just by eating less meat? Here’s how:
- According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the meat industry alone accounts for nearly 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- Factory farms produce an estimated 500 million tons of manure each year - more than three times the sewage produced by the entire U.S. human population. After making its way into local waterways, this pollution can cause major health and environmental problems.
- Nearly half of all water used in the United States goes towards raising animals for food. According to National Geographic, it takes nearly 2,000 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. By comparison, plant-based foods such as potatoes or wheat use fewer than 200 gallons per pound during production.
- Animal farms and processing facilities also require a substantial amount of land to operate, and due to the growing demand for expansion, the animal agriculture industry is a direct contributor to the Amazon’s deforestation. Even locally in the United States, nearly 300 million acres of land has been cleared to make room for range, pasture land, and crop fields used to grow livestock feed.
Thankfully, reducetarianism offers an easy and practical way to help the environment - simply eating less meat can save water, land, energy, and other vital resources. To learn more about the impacts of animal agriculture, visit our Why We Do It page.
For practical ideas on how to make a difference, check out our newly released book, The Reducetarian Solution (Penguin Random House). In celebration of its release, we have partnered with several outlets for a week long blog tour. Read exclusive book reviews, excerpts, and other insights from this past week week, including four delicious plant-based recipes from the book. Check it out at: www.reducetarian.org/tour.