Thursday, July 3, 2014

Vegetarians May Be The Best Weapon Against One of Our Generation's Biggest Threats. By Matt Connolly

Want to address climate change, but don't trust governments to take on the problem? You have one option that may help: Go vegetarian.

A new study published in the journal Climatic Change determined the difference in greenhouse gas emissions from 55,000 meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the United Kingdom. Vegetarians accounted for much less CO2 than meat eaters, while vegans did even better: They accounted for half the emissions that meat eaters did.

Vegans accounted for about 2.89 kilograms of carbon dioxide per 2,000 kilocalories consumed, much less than 5.63 kilograms of CO2 from medium meat eaters (and the 7.19 kilograms from high meat eaters). Vegetarians and fish eaters were similar, measuring in at 3.81 and 3.91 kilograms of CO2 respectively.

Why the difference? Greenhouse gas emissions come at every level of agriculture, from farming to transportation and storage. In total, agriculture accounts for 14% of global emissions.

Meat tends to produce much more emissions than growing plants. That's thanks in large part to livestock methane emissions and the inefficiency inherent in raising animals. (You need to grow, transport and store food for the animals and then raise, transport and store the meat from the animals themselves.)

An earlier study found that adjusting farming practices, including raising and consuming less meat, could produce up to a 90% drop in agricultural emissions.

What you can do: If everyone in the U.S. went vegetarian, it would be the equivalent of taking 46 million cars off the road. Take a quick glance at the barbecues going on July 4th, though, and you'll know that's easier said than done ... ► Read the full article by Matt Connolly in Mic News 
Source: Mic News
Author: Matt Connolly has written for Mother Jones, the Washington Examiner, Washington Post and Chicago Public Radio, among many others. He's a graduate of Northwestern University and a resident of Washington, D.C ... more
Photo: Mic│AP

No comments:

Post a Comment