Climate Change--Cutting Your Foodprint | Earth Day Network

The meteoric rise of meat consumption globally over the last 50 years is no coincidence. As the socioeconomic status of communities has risen and the transportation of meat has become easier, more and more people have started eating large quantities of meat. In fact, over the last 10 years alone, total global meat consumption has grown by 20%.

All this extra meat comes at an extreme cost to our planet. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide – more than the entire transportation sector!

To make matters worse, producing meat also requires a huge amount of water. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. By comparison, soy tofu produced in California requires only 220 gallons of water per pound.

Amazingly, the livestock industry also uses almost 50% of the corn produced in the United States as feed for the animals.

Imagine how much carbon and resources we could save if we ate less meat. Even just eating meat one less day a year would make a difference.

For instance, if over the course of a year you:

  • Ate one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
  • Skip meat and cheese one day a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
  • Skip steak once a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.
  • And if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.

As you can see, the impact of not eating meat can really add up. Join us in pledging to not eat meat once a week. If you already don’t eat meat once a week, why not try two days a week or three! You could even begin a full vegetarian diet if you’re up for it. Every little bit helps.


Need help figuring out how you and your family could stop eating meat? Our friends over at Meatless Monday have a collection of tips and alternative meal options to get you started.


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