the SCIENCE of sustainability

I have highlighted mostly some ethical issues with the American system  for growing our livestock. Personally, many of these reasons alone have altered where I buy my meat and other food items. I have even cut down my meat consumption considerably and I have to say, I feel more energetic in the morning and it hasn’t hurt my exercise regiment in the least. Anyone who says, “that’s because your wrist is broken” gets clubbed. Come on, daily cardio comes before breakfast as the most important part of the day so you’re crazy if I’m missing that.

I have found that many people really don’t care about how they get their food as long as it is cheap from the grocery store or restaurant. I have also found that a lot of people tell you to STFU when you try and tell them that they, and America in general, eats too much meat and we do it in an unsustainable manner. To all of you, here is some SCIENCE to maybe persuade you to change your mind about how Americans eat- from the pasture to the plate.

Check out this article here: 342 sustainability

How many read the article? Zero? That’s probably right. Come on, its only 3 pages with big graphs and charts; real good stuff, I promise. Anyway, for anyone whose head hurts at the sight of scientific data, here are the nuts and bolts:

  • the world has 6 billion people; only 2 billion live off a meat-based diet (guess which one we are?)
  • US population has doubled in the past 60 years and is expected to double again in 70 years
  • US food production uses 50% of our available land area, 80% of our fresh water, and 17% of our fossil fuels
  • A lactoovovegetarian diet requires half of the feed for livestock (450 kg/yr) to produce animal products (milk and eggs) as a meat-based diet (816kg/yr) despite providing the same caloric content for those who eat primarily vegetables or meat, respectively
  • every year, 90% of available farmland loses soil at a rate 13 times the average as a result of our farming practices
  • producing 1 kg of animal protein wastes 100 times more water than grain proteins
  • Annually we raise 5 times the meat and poultry products as our collective weight as a country

One final note:

the fact that we have to grow, process, and transport grains to feed our animals in order to have them slaughtered is problematic. We are essentially losing money on both ends here. We spend all of this money to raise corn and grain to feed to these animals who we also spend more money on to raise and then even more money to slaughter and process/transport these animals where they are most needed.

By cutting down on your meat intake, you can help alleviate the strain on our monetary and more importantly, our environmental resources

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