Meatless Monday

December 14, 2012
By Anonymous

Today’s environmental problems are quickly becoming headline problems. Some of the main problems today are linked back to the effects of our meat production industry. One of the main concerns is the amount of greenhouse gas released into the environment during the process of raising the meat and distributing the meat. Since the livestock are not fed their natural diet of grass but corn, massive crops of corn are grown. The Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed at a shocking rate in order to support these crops. As trees remove carbon dioxide from the environment, the chances of the trees removing the large amounts of gas released into the environment decrease. Destroying the nearby creeks, rivers, and lakes, the runoff from these factory farms ends up in the water table. However, there is a simple way that everyone can help reduce the emissions, pollution, and habitat destruction caused by the meat industry. Once a week, each person should participate in meatless Mondays, meaning once a week there will be absolutely no meat in any of the meals.

By participating, a person’s carbon footprint will be reduced by a huge amount. The meat industry is responsible for one-fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions, and by taking just one day off a week, one reduces their dependence on this industry that is destroying the environment. In fact, this reduces a carbon footprint more than driving a hybrid or taking public transportation. As the greenhouse gas emissions become an increasingly concerning area, steps should be taken by each person to lessen the emissions, and reducing the amount of meat consumed is a simple starting point.

Apart from the emissions, the amount of water used to support the livestock along with the water polluted is incredibly high. Conserving water should be a part of everyone’s daily routine as pollution of the water rises every day. Eating fruits, vegetables, and grains as opposed to meat helps save some of that water. Manure and waste from the factory farms runs into nearby water tables leading to extremely high amounts of irreversible pollution. This pollution also kills off entire populations of fish in the surrounding habitat. When these fish die off, the rest of the food chain begins to decompose.

As the livestock’s food is grown in fields where the Amazon Rainforest once grew, lessening the consumption of meat means less corn will need to be grown to support the livestock. Saving this rainforest means saving the species that thrive within it and the trees that reduce the carbon dioxide levels released by humans.

In efforts to reduce the damage inflicted on the environment by the growing population, many are taking steps to decrease their carbon footprint and conserve their resources. By abstaining from eating meat once a week, a person achieves all of this. If everyone moved to a diet less dependent on meat, many of our environmental predicaments would be reduced.

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