The First Parish Blog

Commit2Eat Less Meat

By , March 31, 2017

Green Congregation Action of the Week

Join the Meatlehttp://uuneedham.org/wp-admin/edit.phpss Monday movement!  Eating more plant-based and less animal-based food is gentler on our small planet, healthier for you, and better for the farm animals and fish you don’t eat. 

The single most positive impact each of us can make on the environment is to eat less meat and dairy. That’s it. 

Everything we put on our plates and in our bodies also has a direct effect on our planet.  Raising animals for meat consumes vastly larger amounts of water and farmland than growing crops for human consumption, while generating tons of methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.

Getting a steak to your grill emits about 27 times its weight in CO2 equivalents to our atmosphere.  Pound for pound, plant-based foods are an order of magnitude less.  The difference in water consumption between animal and plant based foods is even greater.

Over the course of a year:

If you eat one less burger a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles (at 30 mpg) or line-drying your clothes half the time. 

If your four-person family skips meat and cheese one day a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes. 

*  If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road. 

If the drought has been on your mind, consider this: it takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. To grow 1 pound of vegetables, it takes just 39 gallons.

Plants are delicious, and they’re good for your health, but it’s more than that. Eating more plants is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways that each one of us can do something to leave the world better than we found it. 

When you make the choice to eat plant-based meals, you’re also choosing to reduce your environmental footprint.  And it can be delicious, once you learn how to prepare some of the thousands of nutritious fruits, vegetables, greens, grains, herbs, and mushrooms Mother Nature provides.

From saving water and lowering carbon emissions to protecting farmland and supporting biodiversity, eating a diet high in vegetables and grains are the smart and sustainable choice.

Learn more at the Green Congregation table.  Those who sign a pledge will be entered to win delivery of 3 Purple Carrot vegetarian meal kits!

Also joining us at the GC table will be farmer Kate Canney, who will have information about signing up for a flexible “Farmers Market” CSA share from the Neighborhood Farm.

Source: Environmental Working Group Meat Eater’s’ Guide

For a more nuanced description, see NYTimes “Vegetarian or Omnivore? The environmental implications of diet”

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