Meat-Free Valentine’s Day–Good for You and the Earth

Make an Earth Promise to have a meat-free Valentine’s dinner. For both health and environmental reasons, opting to have a vegetarian meal is a great promise you can make.  Zenzibar Alternative Culture offers some valuable reasons to stop or at least cut down on eating meat:

·         Lowering the risk of cancervegetarians are less likely to get cancer by 25 to 50 percent.

·         Lowering risk of heart diseasevegetarian diet reduces cholesterol

·         Factory farmed animal carry disease–approximately 30% of all pork products are contaminated with toxoplasmosis. We are increasingly at risk from highly contagious diseases like Mad Cow Disease and Foot and Mouth disease in sheep and cattle

Many agree that damage caused by the meat industry is one of the top contributors to global warming.  Our friendly bovine cud-chewers are a large culprit of producing methane into our environment.  So what is methane exactly and how does it harm our environment? “Methane breaks down in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide, ozone, and water, all of which absorb heat.” The Earth’s atmospheric temperature then rises, causing the ice caps to melt, sea levels to rise, all which instigate a wide range of evils on our plants, wildlife, and humans.

 

Some environmental reasons to cut down on meat:

·         Environmental pollution–Raising animals for food is the biggest polluter of our water and topsoil

·         Destruction of natural habitat–It takes more land to raise animals for food than it does to produce the equivalent nutritional value by raising edible plants

·         Inefficient use of agriculture, water and energy–It takes 2640 gallons of water to produce one pound of edible beef. The water used to raise animals for food is more than half the water used in the United States. 70% of U.S. grain production is used to feed farm animals. The grains and soybeans fed to animals to produce the amount of meat consumed by the average American in one year could feed seven people for the same period.

 

So consider a meat-free Valentine dinner with your loved one, whether you prepare your feast at home or if you choose to dine out.   Those who are carnivores, aim to reduce the amount of meat you eat in an average week (one less meal than my average amount).  

Visit, Earth Promise, for more changes that make a difference.

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