Welcome to another day of Finding Full and Happy World Environment Day!
The first question that we are usually asked when we tell someone that we eat a plant-based diet is, "Why? For the animals, health, or the environment?" Believe it or not, the answer is all of the above. However, today I want to focus on the environment.
Here is a list of reasons why we find a plant-based diet to be the most sustainable:
If one person exchanged a "regular" car for a hybrid, they'll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 ton per year...
If one person exchanges eating meat for a plant-based diet, they'll reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.5 tons per year.
If every American dropped one serving of chicken per week from their diet, is would save the same amount of CO2 emissions as taking 500,000 cars off the road.
Chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows are collectively the largest producer of methane in the U.S.
Methane is 20x more powerful at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
The meat, egg, and dairy industries produce 65% of worldwide nitrous oxide emissions.
Nitrous oxide is 300x more powerful at trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere than carbon dioxide.
1 calorie from animal protein requires 11x as much fossil fuel as 1 calorie of plant protein.
The diets of meat eaters create 7x the greenhouse emissions as a plant-based diet.
Nearly half of all water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.
It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat.
You would save more water by not eating 1 pound of meat than you would by not taking a shower for 6 months.
A plant-based diet requires 300 gallons of water per day while a meat-consumption diet requires 4,000 gallons per day.
Animals raised for food create 89,000 pounds of excrement per second, non of which benefits from the waste-treatment facilities human excrement does. This creates massive amount of groundwater pollution.
Chicken, hog, and cattle excrement has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states.
Raising animals for food uses 30% of the earth's land mass. Or 17 million sq. miles.
More than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals.
Essentially, 7 football fields are bulldozed every minute to create more room for farmed animals.
Livestock grazing is the #1 cause of plant species becoming threatened or going extinct in the U.S.
Animals eat large quantities of grains, soybeans, oats, and corn; however, they only produce a comparatively small amount of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return.
70% of grain and cereals grown in the U.S. are fed to farmed animals.
It requires 16 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat and 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish.