Eat Less Meat:  Less Climate Change (more):

Meat production creates ~15% of the global carbon footprint – more than cars and trucks combined.  Beef has 4 times more greenhouse gas emissions than chicken, 10 times more than tofu and 25 times more than lentils.     

Most U.S. livestock is fattened on grains that require large quantities of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides, water and land.  The fertilizer applied to soil generates nitrous oxide (N20) and animal manure produces both methane and nitrous oxide.  Methane is 80 times and nitrous oxide is 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. 

To give up meat  one day a week for a whole year saves ~700 lbs a year of carbon.  To be vegetarian saves ~4,900 lbs a year of carbon, which is about the same as giving up driving a gasoline-powered vehicle.  

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Eat Less Meat:  Other Benefits (more):  

Meat also has a large water footprint.  Reducing our meat consumption will help conserve water.

Eating less meat and more of a plant-based diet will allow us to better feed the world’s growing population.   

Eating less meat globally will reduce deforestation.

Pesticides and fertilizer often end up in run-off that pollutes our rivers, lakes, groundwater and oceans. 

Less meat in the diet is heart-healthy, reduces the risk for some cancers and is associated with less obesity. 

Less dietary meat means less exposure to meat-born illnesses (e.g. mad cow disease, E. coli O157:H7 …). 

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Ways to Eat Less Meat (more):

We all need protein. Eat more plant protein and less meat and cheese.  As you make diet changes, please make sure that you’re getting adequate protein and other essential nutrients. Vegetarian and vegan diets can be very healthy but must be planned carefully; consider taking a multivitamin-mineral supplement.   

Eat Meat with Lower GHG Emissions - e.g. Chicken & Pork Than Beef & Lamb.

Eat Less Meat. Less Dairy & More Plant-Based Proteins. 

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Policy Advocacy to Reduce GHGs from Meat (more):

Provide Subsidies for More Fruits & Vegetables

Reduce Subsidies to Industrial Agriculture & CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations)

Incentivize More Sustainable Agricultural Practices by Farmers

Increase Publicly Funded Research to Improve & Expand Sustainable Farming Practices


Eating For a Healthy Planet 2016