Meat industry is bad for the environment

In recent years, more and more people have become concerned about the environment. I would guess that a lot, if not most, people try to do basic things like conserving electricity, recycling, taking shorter showers, using cold water when washing clothes, etc.

This is great; however, there is another thing you can do to help the environment much more: reduce or eliminate your consumption of meat and dairy products.

We rarely hear how the meat and dairy industries impact the environment. It is estimated that it takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of hamburger. By comparison, a pound of brown rice takes about 250 gallons of water to produce. For another comparison, if you take a 10 minute shower every day, it will take you 72 days to use 2,500 gallons of water.

These industries also damage the environment through the greenhouse gases they emit. In 2005, there were 196 teragrams of carbon dioxide emitted from enteric fermentation and manure management. More than 95 percent of the methane emissions came from the beef cattle sector. Another way these industries damage the environment is water pollution. When livestock are given steroid hormones, these steroids can end up being released into fresh waters, which have been proven to affect fish reproduction.

So the next time you think about ways you can help the environment, think about your eating habits as well.