Want to Save 1/2 Gallon of Gas a Day? Eat Vegetarian!

Audubon magazine ran a lengthy article on one of my favorite topics, how being vegetarian can help save the environment and reduce climate change more than other energy-reducing efforts.

raising beef, pigs, sheep, chicken, and eggs is very, very energy intensive. More than half of all the grains grown in America actually go to feed animals, not people, says the World Resources Institute. That means a huge fraction of the petroleum-based herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers applied to grains, plus staggering percentages of all agricultural land and water use, are put in the service of livestock. Stop eating animals and you use dramatically less fossil fuels, as much as 250 gallons less oil per year for vegans, says Cornell University’s David Pimentel, and 160 gallons less for egg-and-cheese-eating vegetarians…

livestock production worldwide is responsible for a whopping 18 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gases, reports the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. That’s more than the emissions of all the world’s cars, buses, planes, and trains combined.

So why do we so rarely talk about meat consumption when discussing global warming in America?

Just a reminder that you don’t need to become a fastidious vegetarian or vegan to make a difference. You can help even if you take much smaller steps, like changing your lunch.