Monday, October 15, 2007

Everyone knows to reduce our "Carbon footprint" we should:
*Reduce our drive-times, and our trips in the car.
*Drive a vehicle that is energy-efficient.
But what is the one thing we can do--easily--that will do more to reduce pollution--and waste(of all manner)-- on this planet, than ANYthing else?
To put it simply, here's my slogan:
Even if you don't think you can go completely vegan(I'm not), or even vegetarian(for the most part, I am), you can REDUCE the animal products you consume, and have an immediate impact.

According to the U.N. itself--Al Gore’s partner in winning the Peace Prize-- raising animals for food generates almost 40 percent more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.

Consider Ariana Huffington--and these facts, from The Huffington Post, June 23rd of this year:

Now that George Bush has finally acknowledged that global warming is a reality, perhaps he could follow his vegetarian niece, Lauren Bush -- and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton -- in adopting a vegetarian diet. I'm not going to hold my breath until this happens, but it would be gratifying for representatives of the U.S. government to acknowledge the absolute fact that what people eat is more important than what they drive.

Carbon dioxide emissions aren't our only environmental concern, of course. There's deforestation, water and air pollution, world hunger, and more. According to Greenpeace, chickens raised for KFC and other companies that "produce" chicken flesh are fed crops that are grown in the Amazon rain forest. And according to the U.N. report, raising animals for food is "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."

To whit, more than 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to create cropland to grow grain to feed farmed animals; farmed animals are fed more than 70 percent of the corn, wheat, and other grains grown in the U.S.; and almost half of the water and 80 percent of the agricultural land in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food.

There is also the unappetizing synopsis by Scripps Howard of a Senate Agricultural Committee report on animal waste and the environment:

"[I]t's untreated and unsanitary, bubbling with chemicals and diseased. ... It goes onto the soil and into the water that many people will, ultimately, bathe in and wash their clothes with and drink. It is poisoning rivers and killing fish and making people sick. ... Catastrophic cases of pollution, sickness, and death are occurring in areas where livestock operations are concentrated. ... Every place where the animal factories have located, neighbors have complained of falling sick."

Please refer to my "Sus Scrofa" poem,for a look at the factory-"farming" of pigs...
You will also find it in the Poet of the Week Archives, under my name, at:

For more information on adopting healthier eating--for THE PLANET, AND FOR YOU---click here,
for a free guide to beginning to eat more healthy(look for:"FREE VEGETARIAN STARTER KIT).
Try a meat-free meal, twice a week or more.Or be more ambitious-- Go Veg-- for just 30 days. I bet you'll feel terrific--more energy, and you'll know you're helping to save the planet--and reduce the suffering of the animals, too!

Peace, kids.


jay said...

While it is true that methane gases produced by livestock of all varieties has a huge impact on the environment and the ozone layer, it's also a fact that most factories produce more harmful chemicals that are dumped directly into our water table, than those waste factors produced by animal waste that slowly engage our environment. Isn't animal waste supposed to become fertilization as it decomposes? Also, you have to remember the impact of any factory or farm equipment to raise livestock, veggies or produce "goods" has an impact. I don't see John Deer making hybrid tractors in my lifetime.You really have to look at the Global picture and work together. You can't just pick one or two industries and point the finger as the guilty party. Everything pollutes somewhere in the chain of progress. We really have to recalculate (correctly this time) how we measure the impact of everything from global warming to Ethanol. Well, there's my two cents. Happy Blogging!

Lisa Allender said...

It's true that ALL industries must be accountable.
I chose to focus on food choices because it's seldom mentioned, and it's a choice we can EASILY make when wanting to have a direct impact on the situation. And I did not even mention the HUGE health benefits to us humans!
Which might just set us up for energy-savings of another kind, too.

Your point about animal waste being used for fertilizer is valid, but unfortunately, FACTORY farming has little productive use for waste--precisely BECAUSE it's a FACTORY. Since there is little ground to fertilize, the waste is deliberately SPARYED INTO THE AIR
(check out what's happening in North Carolina's pig-FACTORIES. Many people have complained--and filed suit, because of-- repiratory illness from all the waste-products' ammonia-smells...)

Their whole miserable lives--the animals are cruelly confined, deprived of any fresh air or sunlight,able to do NOTHING natural to the pigs you may eat that have been "raised"
(they are not so much raised, as confined, and "grown") in this fashion? Industry sources said over HALF are stricken with PNEUMONIA, and other diseases at the time of slaughter, due to exposure to contaminated sheds-- sitting in their own waste for months, bleeding throats, and long-term illness...
Antibiotics are routinely given, which then causes us humans(those who eat pigs) to develop resistasnt strains of bacteria.So then, when WE get ill, antibiotics are no longer useful. At all.