Practical Issues > Health - Index > Planet - Index
Would You Stop Eating Meat to Save the Planet?

[Houston Chronicle - opinion]

Although I do enjoy a good steak, I don't eat red meat all that often. I'm beginning to think I never should again. The conclusions of a new report released by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are rather sobering. Among them:

-- Livestock now use 30 percent of the earth's entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock.

-- Livestock generate 18 percent more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent than transportation.
Yikes! One-fifth of the world's animals are born, nurtured and fed to satisfy your appetite. They live on one-third of the planet. I've never been interested in becoming a vegetarian, but I didn't realize that our desire for meat appears to be having such a disastrous effect on the planet.

In our modern society energy is essential. Given the choice between driving a car to work and eating a steak, I would choose the former. Eating meat seems like a luxury in comparison. I'll be eating less of it.

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