With current concerns about the economy, global warming, health issues and food crop challenges, now is a great time to focus on why going green is great for everyone. In today’s often confusing and complex world it is more important than ever to focus on our daily actions and the resulting consequences to us, our society and the world we live in. Many companies and individuals claim to be green these days but are they really?
Most people care about our environment and are often searching for things to do to help protect it. Many people do not realize the major consequences which result from their decisions regarding what foods they choose to eat. One of the best ways to help protect your health and the environment is to consistently make healthier choices to improve your nutrition and lifestyle.
An easy way to determine how green you really are is to consider the amount of green foods you consume on a daily basis. Yes to be greener all you have to do is eat more green plants. In fact being vegetarian is one of the greenest things you can do to improve your health and the health of our world. Eating low on the food chain actually starts with eating green leafy plants at every meal.
One of the most important reasons to eat more green plants and eat less animal products and even consider being vegetarian is to help protect the natural ecosystem, our environment and your emotional, financial, mental and physical well being.
Concerned individuals can reduce their impact on the planet by eating less meat each week. Most people are unaware of the impact that animals raised for food have on the environment.
Concerns to Consider
More than a third of all fossil fuel, plant food and water used in the US are used to raise, process, deliver and prepare livestock for consumption.
It is estimated that 15 times more water is required to produce protein from animals than it does to produce protein from plants. Most animals on earth directly depend on plants for their source of protein. Think of the potential to feed more people by consuming plants for food. Plants are clearly a more efficient source of food for feeding people. John Robbins the author of Diet for a New America and May All Be Fed writes about how to save water, feed humanity and be healthy with plant based foods.
Raising animals for food releases more than 100 million tons of methane annually which contributes significantly to global warming
Livestock generate approximately 130 times more excrement than the entire human population of the United States. This untreated waste also has many antibiotics and chemical pollutants as it contaminates our sources of drinking water such as aquifers, streams, rivers and lakes. These toxins and waste products also end up in our bays and oceans and cause further pollution.
It requires up to 10 pounds of grains to produce one pound of animal. More than 70 percent of the grains we grow in the US are fed to livestock. Less than 50% of an animal is edible meat for humans with the majority of it non edible. The world’s cattle consume more food calories than required to feed 8.7 billion people. This is more than the entire global human population.
In the US more than 260 million acres of forests have been cleared to grow grain to feed livestock. More than 2.9 million acres of rainforest in the Amazon were destroyed in one year to raise crops used to feed livestock. Up to 220 square feet of rainforest are destroyed to produce a pound of hamburger.
The land required for raising animals for food plus the destructive impact of livestock on the land is the leading threat to endangered species. They are also the primary cause for the extinction of species in the US and the world.
The Worldwatch Institute declared the production of animal feed, the meat industry and over grazing is responsible for 85 percent of the soil erosion in the US.
Whether you choose to reduce the amount of meat you eat or go vegetarian, eating more plant-based foods is a major step to help improve your health as you protect the environment. It is easy to find a wide variety of delicious and nutritious plant foods in health food stores, restaurants and supermarkets.
Reducing meat consumption is important for protecting the land, forests, rainforests and water ways as well as saving petroleum products and generating less pollution. There are also other significant benefits for you and your family. Many health experts agree that a healthy vegetarian lifestyle can promote health and offer protection against diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
The next time you are about to buy food, think first about your health, the millions of undernourished and starving people and the global environment. You can make a big difference Remember to think and be green because going green is great for everyone!
References: Greenpeace International
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