Negative Result of High Meat Consumption | Teen Ink

Negative Result of High Meat Consumption

May 20, 2010
By Hala Al Boainain BRONZE, Doha, Other
Hala Al Boainain BRONZE, Doha, Other
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Around 250,000,000 tons of meat is consumed annually by people. Meat eaters should reduce their meat consumption by at least 50% because grazing cattle affects the environment negatively. Eating meat makes it more in demand, thus increasing methane and deforestation.

Methane is the gas emitted by cows. This gas is about 21 times more powerful than any greenhouse gas, such as C02, cows emit nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse emissions. Since meat from cows is high in demand, the economy and various meat-based businesses benefit. However, if the methane continues, because more cows are available, the environment will suffer deeply. In addition, livestock holders who release this waste, known as methane, must pay a "polluters pay." According to Dr. Ranjendra Pachuri, a chair in the United Nations, people must change their diets, to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases as well as to limit habitat destruction caused by deforestation.

Deforestation has become a major issue when it comes to the environment. Forests have been cleared to make room for cows to graze. Cattle need a clear, grassy space to receive the amount of nutrition they require; therefore they cut down trees in rain forests. Cutting trees affects the environment just as much as greenhouse gasses. Also by cutting down and clearing trees and forests, we are losing valuable things such as nuts, fruits and medical plants.

Although prices of meat keep increasing, there is more demand for it. According to economists, when demand increases, price increases. In addition, on the site, it says that meat sales have increased the most between 2006 and 2008, and they will continue to stay high until 2017, at least. A lot of people argue that it is only healthy to have one meat free day a week.

However, others might agree that there is no substitute for meat, and that deforestation is just a price people must pay. There are many substitutes people can have instead of meat such as soy and tofu. Vegetarians, who live on soy and tofu, are known to live longer. The British periodical, The Guardian claims in one of its articles that no matter how many vegans there are, the effects of petrol and energy spent always are always going to be greater. However, based on my research, methane emission and cattle in general do affect the environment greatly. Therefore, reducing methane should be a priority, considering the fact that meat is transported in planes, which needs petrol and energy.

In conclusion, the environment is affected by numerous things. Specifically, it is affected by methane emissions and deforestation, as well as high demand for meat. Therefore, if people just reduce their meat intake by 50%, the demand for meat will decrease. This would lead to fewer cows being available, which would lead to less methane.

The author's comments:
I care a lot about the environment, and I think what they are doing with cows effects us, because it affects the environment greatly. I used to be a vegetarian for this reason, and I still try to cut down on meat as much as I can.

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