If the developed Western world ate like Asians instead of foisting a Western diet on Asians, the world would be a radically better place. Europeans and Americans used to be the only peoples who routinely ate huge roasts or slabs of steak and latterly, the ubiquitous burger. In most other world cultures the use of meat in diet has been done in a traditional and sparing way. The fatted caIf didn�t get slaughtered every day of the week. No, that was for special occasions. If the world reduced its consumption of meat by a mere 10%, world hunger, topsoil depletion, rainforest destruction, the fouling of the planet with animal waste and pesticides would be greatly reduced and vast amounts of energy saved. Carbon emissions would tumble and untold millions of lives would be saved from premature deaths from heart disease, cancer, and a host of other degenerative conditions. Methane gas from the billions of animals raised industrially for slaughter is major cause of global warming. Perhaps the United Nations instead of presiding over the creation of a carbon futures market and a host of other smart ways for businessmen to profit from C02 emissions, should campaign seriously for the reduction of meat consumption. Having attended the recent UN conference on global warming here in Bali last December from day one to its conclusion I don�t recall any mention anywhere that A cutting meat consumption was an obvious and simple way to reduce Co2 emissions.
lf Americans were to cut their meat intake by 10% the grain saved could feed 60,000,000 people. The number of human beings who could be fed by the grain and soybeans fed to livestock in the US alone is 1.3 billion people. The percentage of corn grown in the US eaten by human beings is 20% of the total, the remaining 80% being fed to livestock. Nor do Americans go for porridge it seems, the percentage of oats grown in the US eaten by livestock is 95%. The amount of protein, carbohydrates and fibre wasted by cycling through livestock is 90%, 99% and 100% respectively. You can grow 20,000 lbs of potatoes on one acre of land. The amount of beef produced on one acre is 165 lbs and 56% of all US agricultural land is used to produce beef. It takes 16 lbs of grain and soybeans to produce 1lb of feedlot beef. The land required to feed one American meat eater can feed 20 vegetarians.
The historic cause for the disappearance of many great civilizations has been topsoil depletion. The US has lost 75% of its original topsoil to date. Some 4 million acres of cropland, equal in area to the state of Connecticut is lost each year to erosion and 85% of topsoil loss is directly associated with livestock raising. Over 260 million acres of US forest have been cleared to create cropland to produce a meat-centred diet. One acre of trees disappears every 8 seconds, but one acre of trees are spared per year by each individual becoming vegetarian. The driving force behind the destruction of tropical rainforests has been the US meat habit. The annual import of meat from Central America alone to the US is 200,000,000 lbs. The amount of meat eaten in Central America is less than that of the average US housecat. he percentage of all raw materials required to satisfy current US meat diet is 33%. The percentage required for a vegetarian diet is just 2%. Livestock production uses more than half of all the water used in the US. The quantity of water used in the production of a single cow is sufficient to float a destroyer. It requires 2,500 gallons of water to produce 1lb of meat. It takes 25 gallons to produce 1lb of wheat. The cost of common hamburger meat, if water used by the meat industry was not subsidised by the US taxpayer, is $35 per pound. The cost of a pound of protein from wheat is $1.50. The cost for pound of protein from beefsteak if unsubsidized would be $89.00.
Pfwar …….. l
The total human excrement by the US human population is 12,000 lbs p/second. The production of excrement by US livestock is 250,000 lbs p/second. Few US feedlots have sewage systems. The amount of waste produced annually by US livestock in confinement which is not recycled is over 1 billion tons. It all goes into the land, the rivers and the oceans.
It is now well established that excessive consumption of meat and dairy is a health hazard, responsible in large part for degenerative diseases that kill us by late middle age. The amount of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, often used illegally in nations feedlots, substantially compounds the risk. 55% of chlorinated hydrocarbon pesticide residues consumed by Americans comes from meat and 56% of all antibiotics used in the US are routinely fed to livestock. The Holocaust of Animals 500,000 animals are killed for meat every hour in the US. That is almost 4.4 billion animals killed per year. Or to give it another perspective, it’s twice as many animals killed in 1 day as the 6 million innocents murdered in Hitler’s concentration camps in WW2. Now before anyone starts accusing me of equating humans and animals l do not. Nonetheless that is a staggering amount of death going on around us and if you think we are not affected by it you are living an illusion, conscious or not. The higher mammals have our full range of emotion and feel pain just as much as we do, all they lack is the consciousness of self that got us kicked out of the Garden of Eden. The un- conscious killing and consumption of animals on this scale and in the manner it is accomplished is an obscenity and in years to come our descendants may very well come to regard our treatment of animals with revulsion.
A friend of mine has a house rule for his family. He says, “if you kill it, you eat if’. l applaud that. Killing animals for sport is a pastime for the tamassic. Though l choose not to eat meat l’ve no interest in preaching the message to the unconverted. That‘s for them to figure out. l agree with my friend though, you need to respect the living being that dies so you can eat. But how can anyone possibly claim that in the knowledge of how sharnefully our livestock are raised and killed?
For anyone who claims to care about the planet, not to mention their own wellbeing, a first teensy weensy step might be to eat 10% less meat. Unless you`re a Cattle Baron that shouldn’t attack the fibre of the nation, now should it?