Beyond the Body: How Meat Affects the Environment

meat affects environment


You’ve probably heard arguments on both sides of the fence about how eating meat affects the environment and your health. While minimal and responsible meat consumption may not necessarily be terrible for your health, the problem lies in both quantity and quality. Conventional meat farming in America is disastrous to animals and to your body.  But have you ever widened the lens beyond yourself to examine the consequences of low quality/high quantity meat consumption on the environment and the world? The Center for Investigative Reporting has. Here are a few startling facts about the damage overzealous meat-eating (what we’ve come to define as everyday quantities) has done to the environment:

  • Americans eat about 48 billion burgers every year. And that’s just talking about ground beef patties. Not to mention strip steak, chicken wings, sausage links, bacon…the list goes on.
  • Worldwide, we use 8 times as much land to feed cows (just cows) than to feed humans. (Imagine how much world hunger could be eliminated if we grew grains and vegetables for human consumption on that land.)
  • It takes about 1800 gallons of water to make a single pound of grain-fed beef.
  • Methane (which cows produce) has 21 times more climate-changing power than carbon dioxide. In America, this translates to more greenhouse gas from America’s cows each year than from 22 million cars.
  • One conventionally produced burger patty can contain the DNA of more than 1000 cows.
  • By the end of its production, a single quarter-pounder has created 6.5 pounds of greenhouse gases.

Watch the full video below and tell us what you think. What should be done to reduce our obsessive and harmful meat consumption?