Lauren’s 2nd Blog:9/22

23 09 2008

A environmental issue that I am very interested in is inefficient consumption of meat in our diets.

It is well known that  North Americans consume much more energy than the rest of the world. As this consciousness grows many attempts are being made to conserve more energy. Everything from switching to low flow toilets, to hybrid cars, to energy efficient heating and cooling systems are being used throughout the world. However although these are all great strategies to conserve our energy. Our diets, the food we consume has been completely overlooked when considering our energy consumption. “Eating meat is the most inefficient and resource-intensive thing we do “(GoVeg.com). This is due to all of the energy intensive stages in the production of animals to meat. 

 In this production grain has to be grown in large quantities for animal feed. This grain has to be then transported to feed farms. The feed is then transported to factory farms, where the animals are fed. At this point animals are then transported to to be slaughterhouses. The meat then is transported to a meat processing plant. After the meat processing the meat is finally transported to grocery stores where it is refrigerated until sold to you and I. All of these stages from the operating of these plants, to the irrigation of the crops, to the transportation to and from locations require massive amounts of energy. [goveg.com]

When looking into this practice of meat consumption, it starts to become clear that may of the pressing issues facing the environment right now have strong connections to the consumption of meat in our diet. In addition to massive amounts of energy consumed in the many stages of meat production.  It also has strong links to other issues facing the environment, for example global warming. In  “2006 (the) United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.”In addition to meats contribution to energy consumption and global warming, meat production is also linked to greatly depleting our water resources. ” Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food”(GoVeg.com)

It is terribly important that in addition thinking about the energy consumption of our utilitiesand means of transportation, that we too start considering the energy used to produce the food we consume.

We need to start asking ourselves where our food is coming from, and the effects the production of these foods have on our resources and environments. Perhaps a consciousness of the foods we eat is a way in which we can really start making waves in reducing our consumption of energy.

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