Meat Consumption

Could this statement be true?

The most environmental action one can take on a daily basis is to reduce and/or eliminate the consumption of meat in one’s life.

Any decision around food consumption is personal, and our philosophy at mothering Mother® acknowledges each individual’s journey toward awareness. We believe each of us can be open to changes, but only at each individual’s own pace. Vegetarians and meat eaters can cohabitate, and successfully coexist.

For that reason, we have decided to compile and share information to bring awareness to the issue, doing our best to present the relevant facts. Below are some quotes from trusted sources on the subject.

There is a daunting amount of damage done to our environment in the energy-intensive process of raising livestock…More than 30 percent of the earth’s usable land is involved in the production of animals for food.
– The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization

None of the waste is treated and vast amounts of manure nationwide pollute rivers, lakes and groundwater. The EPA estimates that almost thirty thousand miles of American waterways are dead, or close to dead, due to this pollution.”
– Spring 2010, Integral Yoga Magazine

It is estimated that livestock production accounts for 70 per cent of all agricultural land and 26 per cent of the land surface of the planet. Because of their sheer numbers, livestock account for a large share of greenhouse gases (such as methane) that contribute to climate change.

Issues surrounding meat production include increased water consumption, improper handling of fecal matter leading to infection, and increased greenhouse gases from the methane in the feces, in addition to rainforest deforestation (to clear land for cattle farming) and the use of energy to produce and ship the grains as well as the energy to package and ship the processed product to the retailers.

Consider the estimate that twelve pounds of grain produces one pound of beef – think of how many meals can be made from that amount of grain.  To sum it up, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), in their “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report (2006)  stated that meat production “is responsible for land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, species extinction, loss of biodiversity and climate change” (Integral Yoga Magazine, Spring 2009).

The cost is staggering, yet little has been publicized connecting meat consumption to the environment. A great deal of attention has been given to fuel consumption of personal vehicles; John Robbins, author of The Food Revolution, provides some context: “the meat eating Prius driver has a bigger carbon footprint than the vegan Hummer driver.” “Vegetarian is the new Prius” is a developing catch phrase.

Michael Pollan has written excellent books on these topics. The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food are filled with facts and anecdotes on our broken food system.

Issues around pesticides, antibiotics, world hunger, factory farming and health are part of this spectrum, and we encourage you to seek information from reliable resources.


Making a Personal Decision and a Commitment

The decision to give up meat is a deeply personal one. In our Western culture it involves an extra level of commitment as the majority of individuals (95%), and as a result the majority of restaurants, follow a meat-eating agenda. It is a strong current to swim against! Switch your thinking and energize yourself by affirming that it is an important agenda that is worthy of your time and effort.

Are you willing to begin a habit of creating one vegetarian day of the week? Welcome to “Meatless Monday”. The mothering Mother blog features a new recipe every Monday, to aid and inspire this habit. This can be a wonderful starting point for those new to this way of eating. Not sure how to chop and dice? Unsure of how to cook grains, beans, and tofu? View the mothering Mother ‘How To’ series on this website. We want to make it possible for you to step into a plant based whole foods diet. Recipes featured on the blog are of a vegetarian/vegan nature.

There is growing passionate support for this lifestyle. More and more people are turning away from flesh foods for varying reasons. It is happening, one meal at a time!

Be a part of the change. Find a reason and start the shift.

For further reading and information the following sites are recommended sources: