From the Environmental Working Group Report:
Americans’ appetite for meat and dairy – billions of pounds a year from billions of animals – takes a toll on our health, the environment, climate and animal welfare. Producing all this meat and dairy requires large amounts of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed and water. It also generates greenhouse gases and large amounts of toxic manure and wastewater that pollute groundwater, rivers, streams and, ultimately, the ocean. In addition, eating large quantities of beef and processed meats increases your exposure to toxins and is linked to higher rates of health problems, including heart disease, cancer and obesity.
- Cows, sheep, and other livestock release substantial amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than CO2
- Most U.S. livestock are fattened on soybean meal, corn and other grains that require large amounts of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides and water.
- An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.
- Adult men, on average, get twice as much protein as necessary. In 2009, the U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person.
- Antibiotics and hormones used in livestock increase risk of resistant bacteria and certain cancers.
So this brings us to Meatless Mondays. According to the same report:
- If you eat one less burger a week, it is like taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
- If you and your four person family skip steak one day a week, it is like taking your car off the road for almost 3 months.
- If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
I think this will not only give me a good jump start toward a lifelong commitment, but will help me to continue the weight loss challenge. It should also broaden my culinary horizons and increase the variety of foods that I put in my body.