I was just perusing through my newest copy of Reader's Digest this morning, and I came this little excerpt titled "Animal Planet." It gave out some astounding facts, which, though probably weren't news, still amazed me.
1. 60 billion animals a year are raised for food, meaning 10 animals per person. If you think about it, Americans probably have more than 10 animals, because billions of people live in poverty and do not always have access to fresh meat.
2. Growing corn and eating is expends 2.2 calories for every 1 calorie of protein yielded. But take that corn through the manufacturing process to produce feed for livestock, and take into account everything else that the livestock consume throughout their life (electricity, water, transportation), and it takes 40 calories to get the same 1 calorie of protein.
3. Steak dinner for 4 people = driving in a SUV for four hours and at the same time leaving all the lights on at your house.
4. Average American meat eater produces per year 1.5 tons of greenhouse gas than a non-meat eater. Yikes!
So does everyone have to become a vegetarian? I don't believe so - it's all based on your beliefs and values. However, there are some changes we all can make to ease the above statistics. Maybe try eating one non-meat meal a day, or one non-meat day a week. Cut back on portions a little bit - 3 oz. is a serving according to the FDA, not that 20 0z. steak the restaurant served. Try out some substitutes such as tofu and bean burgers. When you eat meat, try to find local sources or companies that don't use added hormones and use humane practices.
The above image, from MSN, is of a steak that is 72 oz.! Craziness.
So, is anyone a vegetarian? What is your reason?
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