Simple Ways to Save Your Health, Money, and Planet: Tip 7

January 30, 2017
Claudia Sisomphou

Part 7 of a 10 Part Series See Tip 12345 and 6.

I think we have all heard our fair share of news about the massive and devastating impact the meat industry has had on our planet, but I won't deny that it is hard to decide what action to take or what to do since meat has become such a normalized part of our diets. Yes, we know that too much meat can negatively affect our health and yes, we know that everyday the meat industry is causing harm to our environment, but what is it going to take for you as an individual to think and choose differently when it comes to the meat that you eat? There are some very disturbing facts about the meat industry that have been kept a secret or perhaps been ignored because of our relentless love for meat. You don't need to throw away the hamburger you're eating, immediately become a hardcore vegan, or even vow to never eat meat again. However what you should do is know where the meat you eat comes from because every time you buy meat, you support everything that goes along with getting that meat to your table.

Tip 7 inforgraphic

Why eat less meat?

  • American animals raised for meat consume more than 30 million pounds of antibiotics a year.

  • Transportation, feed, drinking water, cleaning, processing, and packaging all contribute to meat's huge water and fuel footprints.

  • John Hopkins University found traces of antidepressants, painkillers, and allergy medication in feathers of slaughterhouse chickens.

  • Livestock production accounts for 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

  • More than two-thirds of all agricultural land is devoted to growing feed for livestock, while only 8% is used to grow food for direct human consumption.


What can YOU do?

  • Look for: The American Grassfed Association label, Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Humane labels.

  • Buy from local farmers and meat shops.

  • Cut down your consumption.

  • Try vegetarian options.

Reducing the meat industry's impact on the Earth does not mean you have to stop eating meat completely. However if every one of us made an effort to eat less meat it would make a huge difference! The unsettling practices of the industry such as using medication and antibiotics, the living conditions and treatment of animals, the nutrition-deficiency of factory farmed meat, and the tremendous amount of land being used for both housing and feeding the animals, will not change unless we insist on it. Today, our excessive demand for meat simply outweighs any of the pressure on the meat industry to be ethically or environmentally responsible. By reclaiming control of our diets, and being mindful of the quality and quantity of the meat we buy individually, we can all play a part in lessening the repercussions our love for meat has had on our health and on the environment.