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Copy of The Journey of Meat and Its Carbon Footprint

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Lucas Hornsby

on 28 June 2013

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Transcript of Copy of The Journey of Meat and Its Carbon Footprint

From farm to plate
The Journey of Meat
Raising Cattle
Topsoil Erosion + Destruction of Natural Space
There is a number of reasons one might choose to give up meat, but one that we should all consider is the future of our planet.
I am not attempting to force you to adopt a vegetarian diet. I have only compiled this to inform you of some of the environmental benefits of a meat-free diet.
Maybe have a "vegetarian day" once a week or a "vegetarian week" a couple times a year. Or simply reduce your meat consumption.
Anything helps.
Final Remarks
Feeding Cattle
Green House Gases Produced by Cattle
What is a GHG? A green house gas is a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation, causing global warming.
UN's Food and Agriculture Organization concluded that animal agriculture contributes to more greenhouse gases than all the trucks and cars on the planet combined.
Livestock manure produces around 37% of the total methane and 65% of the total nitrous oxide generated by humans.
Water Consumption
The average hamburger, weighing .3 lbs, requires 502 liters of water.
This is so because in beef cattle raising, water is need for:
Planting and irrigating a cow's feeding, i.e. grass or grains
Drinking water for cattle
Around 30% of the world's land is used for farming animals
Millions of acres of land in the U.S. are dedicated to livestock grazing and production of feed
FoEl, a reputable network of environmental organizations, estimates that 23166 square miles of forest land, roughly the size of the state of Georgia, are converted to farmland each year, most of it being used for production of or related to livestock.
Destruction of Open Space
Topsoil Erosion
Soil has a tendency to break down and wash away after intense and long periods of grazing. When farms are overcrowded, as they often are, erosion and destruction of the land occur with an even more incredible rapidity.
Numerous scientists and highly-regarded institutions have concluded that the production of meat and animal products, at its current rate, is unsustainable.
The meat industry requires an incredible consumption of water, excessive use of land, and destructive carbon emissions to continue to function as it does now.
Transportation + Packaging Waste
Shopping for fresh produce could create no
packaging waste (at later stages- not counting before arrival at grocery store) if the shopper has his or her own reusable bag.
Conversely, meats are often heavily packaged in plastic film, polystyrene foam, and other harmful materials.
Packaging Wastes
Transportation and Other Uses of Petroleum
Pulitzer-winning author, John Robbins, explains that an incredible amount petroleum used in the transportation of farm-animals, and any other petroleum used in the process, adds up to an astounding number.
It is much easier to find local produce of good quality that local meats of good quality, automatically making the carbon footprint of transportation of meat higher than that of produce.
More Info
Interesting Facts
35% of the world's people can be fed on a meat-based diet. A plant diet could feed everyone–then plus some.
The amount of veg protein fed to the US beef herd would feed almost the entire populations of India and China.
Amount of grain needed to end extreme hunger-40 million tons. Amount of grain fed to animals in the West - 540 million tons.
If more people adopted a plant-based diet, world hunger could be diminished.
A vegetarian diet has been proven to aid in weight-loss and healthier living.
End the inhumane treatment of animals who are harmed for the sake of omnivores.
Other Issues
The 7 billion livestock animals in the U.S. consume 5 times as much grain as is consumed by the American people.
To illustrate, it takes about 10 kg of good quality plant protein - such as wheat and soy -to produce 1 kg of meat protein.
Grain-fed cattle
Full transcript