We all want to do good for the environment. With stuff like climate change and the pretty dire warnings coming out of the scientific community because of it, a lot of us are left wondering what the world is going to look like in 20 or 30 years. And what that might mean for our kids — and their kids.
Now, you might think, “well, I’m only one person and there’s not much I can do”, but I’ve always been of the mind that change starts with a few good people doing something different. Which is why a recent Economist article gave me a little bit of hope.
In it, a study by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization looked at the effect that our meat-heavy diets have on the environment and found that a lot of emissions come from our livestock — as in 8 to 18 percent of all emissions. Crazy, huh? The reasons for this is that livestock has a tendency to produce a lot of methane and more meat purchases means more demand which means more livestock.
The bright side of all this is getting a little more green in your diet can help keep the planet, well, greener. You see, veggies produce a lot less emissions. In fact, the National Academy of Sciences found that a modest meat diet was modeled to increase emissions by only 7% by 2050 — compared to a 51% increase if we kept the status quo. A big switch to vegan or vegetarian diets? — that would actually start curbing our emissions in the ballpark of 60 to 70 percent.
Now, I think it’s pretty understandable that nobody expects the world to become a majority vegan or vegetarian place in the next few years. But I think the point is that eating a little less meat can make you a little more conscientious of a consumer. Or, if you have to, maybe picking a greener protein like chicken over beef or pork.
At the end of the day, it might be something that not only helps out the planet but your health.