The Environmental Hoofprint

Should we be eating less Beef?


Roman Sorrels, Staff Writer

Today, we are faced with various environmental issues; Deforestation, Desertification, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Well, what if I told you that not only is there one industry that causes all three of these, but there is a simple solution that every person can do. The livestock industry, one of the largest and fastest growing is being linked to major detrimental impacts on the environment. Which is why I’m here to convince you to eat less, still some, just less than you most likely are now.

Livestock is a massive industry, worldwide we have 1.7 Billion animals, mostly made up of cattle, occupying ⅓ of the Earth’s land, as recorded by EPA. This land is used for both the actual cattle, and the grain to feed them. In both cases, forests are cut down in order to make room, and the overgrazing and farming of the land leads to desertification. Therefore not only are forests being cut down for arable farmland, but then the farmland is also being destroyed. Meanwhile, according to Stanford University; cattle are emitting about 18% of Greenhouse gases worldwide, specifically they are releasing Methane. Gases that are trapped within the atmosphere gradually heat, to add to that Methane heats 20% faster than Carbon Dioxide. To top it off the transportation of livestock takes up 9% of all CO2 emissions. So, it’s fair to say that the livestock industry is taking a incredible toll on the environment.

There is a simple solution however, that I believe can not only be accomplished but also be effective. Eat Less Meat, everything comes down to the individual consumer, meaning that if you choose to eat less meat, that is one less cow, chicken, or pig that is adding to the ever increasing environmental hoof-print. It is estimated that the average person eats 120 grams more than the recommended amount. If the average intake were to be lowered by simply eating less, and finding other sources of protein, the amount of trees cut down, farm land deserted, and methane released into the atmosphere would lower in return.

So, if you want to allow trees, cows, and yourself live a longer and healthier life, eat less beef, still some, just the recommended amount (80-120 grams). Click HERE for more information dealing with appropriate serving sizes of beef and protein.