Meat consumption hugely impacts our health and the environment. Here are some facts I was reminded of this week that I find pretty mind boggling. Did you know that…
– To produce 2 steaks you need 15000 litres of water (source: United Nations)
– It takes 65 sq ft (6 m2) of land to produce a normal sized burger (a quarter pounder). McDonald’s alone sell 75 burgers per second. That is a lot of burgers, and a lot of land. Add to that all other restaurant chains and other burgers eaten across the world…… As I said – mind boggling. Information retrieved here and here.
– Meat production emits significantly more greenhouse gas than all transportation grouped together – that’s all cars, air planes, trucks, trains and boats. (Source: UN)
– 80% of all antibiotics in the world is not consumed (directly) by humans, but by animals raised for meat, milk and eggs. (Source WorldWatch Institute). Antibiotics makes the animals grow faster, and help protect them from disease they otherwise likely would catch in the over crowded and often unhygienic places where they live their short lives. Antibiotics resistance – largely caused by over-use – is recognised by most governments in the world as one of the future’s major health threats. Antibiotics loosing its power basically means you could die from simple infections that have been treatable for decades (source here).
– The World Health Organization has determined that dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Westerns countries (read more here). On the Mayo Clinic webpage, you can read of a National Cancer Institute study of 500,000 people which found that those who ate the most red meat daily were 30 percent more likely to die of any cause during a 10-year period than were those who ate the least amount of red meat.
This list could easily be much longer – the evidence that meat, milk and eggs (especially when consumed in plenty) are bad for our health and the environment is crystal clear. The challenge now is to figure out how to encourage more people to begin changing their eating habits.