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Reasons To Eat Less Meat

You don’t need to be a complete vegetarian for your diet to help protect the  planet. Just eat less meat. Here’s why:

1. Save the rain forest

World Wildlife Fund estimates that, every year, an area of the world’s rain  forests larger than the state of New York is destroyed to create grazing land.  In Latin America, says the United Nations, some 70% of forests in the Amazon  basin have been cut down to raise cows.

2.  Refresh the air

If you’ve ever driven by a feed lot, you’ve probably had to hold your nose.  No wonder. About 1.4 billion metric tons of solid manure are produced by U.S.  farm animals each year – 130 times the quantity produced by people. This figure  includes pigs and chickens as well as cattle, but cattle are the single largest  source.

3. Keep water clean

Two-thirds of the beef cattle raised in the U.S. are fattened up using  hormones like steroids, testosterone and progesterone. When the cows pee, they  can pollute surface and ground water with all these chemicals, affecting the  ability of frogs and fish to reproduce, too.

4. Save water

It takes 600 gallons of water  to produce one hamburger patty. Just one.

5. Feed more people

It takes about 2 pounds of grain to produce a quarter-pound of burger meat.  Why not convert that grain (and the resources used to grow it) into food more  people can eat?

6. Stop climate change

“Hamburgers are the Hummers of food” when it comes to climate change, say  scientists. Switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as  leaving the car home a couple of days a week. Food is the third largest  contributor to the average household’s carbon footprint after driving and  utilities. If people simply cut their meat intake from the average 90 kg/year to  53 kg/yr, meat-associated carbon emissions would drop by 44 percent.

7. Be nice

Many livestock and dairy cattle are raised in cruel and inhumane conditions  where they must be injected with antibiotics so they’ll fatten up and seem  healthy.  The Union of Concerned Scientists reports that about 70% of all  antibiotics made in the U.S. are used to fatten up livestock.

8. Avoid drugs

In addition to hormones and antibiotics, conventional meat producers  routinely process their products using chemical additives and preservatives like  phosphates and sodium nitrites. That makes them pinker, but not necessarily  healthier. Sodium nitrites may react with amino acids to form carcinogenic  nitrosamines; various studies have found a link between high processed-meat  consumption and colon cancer, possibly attributable to preservatives like sodium  nitrite.

9. Live longer

Speaking of health, eating a lot of meat can increase the likelihood of heart  attacks and high blood pressure.

10. Save money

Meat is usually the most expensive item you put in your shopping cart. Buy  less meat, and shift the savings to organic fruits and vegetables.

meat not green

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