Week 12 – Eat Less Meat

One of the biggest changes that a person can make to reduce her environmental impact is to eat less meat.    Here are some of the environmental impacts of raising animals for meat:

  • Factory farm run-off pollutes streams and rivers.
  • Raising animals consumes huge amounts of water.  One estimate shows that growing 1lb of wheat takes 14 gallons of water whereas 1lb of beef uses 441 gallons.
  • Natural habitats are destroyed to make room for cattle to graze.
  • We feed large amounts of grain to animals in order to produce a small amount of meat.  In 1 year, a cow will eat 16,425 lbs of food.

    Factory Farm

    Factory Farm

  • Raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.  That is crazy!  How could this be? Manure emits green house gases such as methane.  Cows also burp methane.  Plus the meat industry uses fossil fuels to heat the buildings that house the animals, to produce of all the crops to feed to the animals, and to transport, process, and refrigerate all of the meat.
  • The production of corn and soybeans, the major grains fed to livestock, causes massive soil erosion because those crops are grown in rows. The bare patches between the rows expose the topsoil to both wind and rain erosion.

Therefore, starting this week, I will eat less meat.  I will no longer cook meat for myself or order it in restaurants.  The reason for not going full out vegetarian is because I don’t want other people to worry about cooking special things for me.  With my rules, I’ll still be able to cut out a significant portion of my meat intake.  Here are my sources for the info in this blog.


6 thoughts on “Week 12 – Eat Less Meat

  1. This is a great idea! Imagine if everyone tried doing this! I think many people would be happier (knowing they are environmental hippi… I mean heros) and healthier! I will also join in with this challenge but to a lesser degree. PS, week 52, vegan?

  2. I know you said you were not going full out vegetarian/vegan – but Tom and I went vegan a bit ago, so I have some great recipes if you ever want! 🙂 I think it is great you are eating less meat – so good for the environment! Hope you guys are doing well!

      • Started doing meatless mondays and eating less meat a while back, but there are ways to raise livestock where there is net carbon absorbed, beleive it or not, and the livestock lead happy, healthy lives. One of my friends is trying to start a farming buisness out in the driftless right now focused on thios very subject, http://www.savannagardens.com/. Also wanted to say that I started reading your blog when it popped up in my FB newsfeed, and have enjoyed reading it every week. Might I suggest at some point (especially over the summer) instead of using a dryer, using clotheslines instead (if you have room that is)

  3. Wow, what a cool idea with livestock herds that actually sequester carbon. Thanks for sharing that! It’s awesome to hear stories of farmers fighting the factory farm concept.

    I’ll have to consider completely giving up the dryer- it would be difficult with the limited space of an apartment, but do-able with drying racks and a shower rod. Greg and I already air-dry all of our work shirts, dress pants, sweaters, and cammies (the cammies are all mine- not his). Thanks for the suggestion!

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