April 3, 2007

Being green and red meat free

Besides being bad for your waistline, here's another reason to avoid the fast-food hamburger: it's bad for your environment. That's right. Eating hamburgers contributes more to global warming than driving a car.

Time Magazine this week lists the 51 things you can do to stop global warming. On the list at #22 is "Skip the Steak". Believe it or not, the Big Mac is more responsible for causing harm to the environment than your Honda.

The international meat industry generates roughly 18% of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions—even more than transportation. Much of that comes from the nitrous oxide in manure and the methane that is the natural result of bovine digestion. Methane has a warming effect that is 23 times as great as that of carbon, while nitrous oxide is 296 times as great.

Because of fast food proliferation throughout the plant, global meat production -- already 1.5 billion cattle and buffalo -- is accelerating, doubling in the next 40 years.

Time says, "given the amount of energy consumed raising, shipping and selling livestock, a 16-oz.T-bone is like a Hummer on a plate."

If you stopped eating meat today you'd save up to 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide a year.
Trading a standard car for a hybrid cuts only about one ton.

You can be green by skipping the red meat, saving yourself a lot of calories (and maybe, the planet.)

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