In America, the production of meat has increased 500% since 1950. The mass production of meat causes a number of environmental problems. Growing the incredible amount of grain to feed animals has a large environmental impact. Nearly three-quarters of all water quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams are negatively impacted by agriculture in the United States – Environmental Protection Agency. Much of the agriculture here is to raise animals for the meat industry.
What is actually in our meat is also up for question. “Pink slime” has been in the news recently. This is beef trimminings that used to only be used in dog food and cooking oil. The trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia and added to most ground beef as a cheaper filler.
Meat processing uses a lot of energy. “If Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan to the Prius”, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago.
Meatless Monday is a movement that encourages meals on Monday to be meatless. Part of the mission is to reduce environmental impacts but also to prevent health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The website contains meatless recipes and encouragement to eat less meat in your diet.
I stumbled upon a new word – Vegcurious- while reading WorldChanging by Alex Steffen. “Vegcurious is a term used to refer to someone who does not identify as vegan or vegetarian but feels or shows some curiosity in cutting meat and dairy products out of their diets.” I’ve recently found myself slowly changing my eating habits. Two days ago I was in the organic section of Wegmans and happened to buy vegetarian burgers. I’ve never had one. My roommate of 3 years is vegetarian and I never tried one when we lived together. However, I’ve become more aware of the environmental problems that revolve around meat production and I’ve been reading a lot about this topic lately, so I bought them. I’m also currently growing tomatoes and strawberries on my balcony. I am vegcurious and proud of it 🙂
Are you vegcurious? If so, have you changed your diet? I’d love to hear your story!