1000 Flowers for the Planet - #136 Eat Less Meat
I’m definitely not vegan or even vegetarian, in fact, I’m very much a carnivore, but I propose this Flower suggestion because there are a few advantages to eating less meat. In the first instance, people in Western cultures probably eat more meat than is desirable for good health. Reducing portion sizes will be better for your overall wellbeing as well as reducing your grocery bill. It is better to eat plenty of fresh vegetables with meat more as the accompaniment than the main event. Apart from better health for both your body and your budget, if millions of people eat less meat then fewer animals need to be grazed to produce it. I’m aware of the issue of farmers and profit margins, but won’t go into that here. With about one quarter of the earth’s land area being used for grazing, reducing the number of grazing animals means less strain on the environment, less wear on natural terrain, less water usage and less need for feed supplements. Furthermore, the animals would benefit from less dense farming, as fewer head can be run per acre. Eliminating factory farming would be even better but that also needs to be driven by less demand. Cattle apparently add considerably to greenhouse gas emissions. It’s difficult to find current figures on the effects of meat production on the planet, but I discovered a comparison: one cow emits the equivalent CO2 as a car using 8 litres of petrol per 100 km driving 12,500 km per year (source: http://timeforchange.org/are-cows-cause-of-global-warming-meat-methane-CO2). Yes, perhaps it is time for change.