Americans consume a huge amount of meat. So much so that livestock is now one of the leading contributors to global warming, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions as measured in a carbon dioxide equivalent.
A recent United Nations report concluded that the meat industry causes almost 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation systems—that means all of the globe’s cars, trucks, planes and ships combined.
Kathy Preston poses an important question for meat-eating Americans concerned about the effects of global warming: what are the effects of going vegetarian for just one day? Here are her astounding statistics about how going vegetarian for a single day can help prevent global warming:
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:
100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;
1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year;
70 million gallons of gas—enough to fuel all the cars of Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare;
3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the size of Delaware;
33 tons of antibiotics.
If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:
Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;
3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;
4.5 million tons of animal excrement;
Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air pollutant.
It is undoubtedly clear that human activity causes increased global warming, and America’s dangerous over-consumption of meat is a major contributor to climate change. Adopting a vegetarian diet is an important step towards preventing global warming. And as these alarming statistics suggest, simply decreasing the amount of meat in your diet can have a major impact.
For more information about how going vegetarian can help prevent global warming, check out the original article.
(See also: Humans’ beef with livestock: a warmer planet)