Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

To honor the day, I thought I would offer ten reasons to either go vegetarian or re-frame meat as a side dish eaten only occasionally. Check 'em out:

1.) 20:1 20 vegetarians can live off the land required by one meat eater. One acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots or just 250 pounds of beef.
2.) Wheat versus Meat It takes 25 gallons of water to produce 1lb of wheat and 2500 gallons to produce 1lb of meat.
3.) Greenhouse Gases The 1,300,000,000 cattle in the world emit 60,000,000 tons of methane per year.
4.) Nitrous Oxide Fertilizer used to grow crops to feed to animals releases nitrous oxide - thought to account for 6% of the greenhouse effect.
5.) Endangered Forests Burning of forests, grasslands & agricultural waste associated with animal farming releases 50-100,000,000 tons of methane per year.
6.) Cow versus Car A family of four eating beef for a year uses enough gas to run a car for 6 months (obviously depending on how far you drive!)
7.) Steak versus Starvation 72 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. It takes 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if the grain were given directly to people, there would be enough food to feed the entire planet.
8.) Not a Coincidence Meat is full of traces of antibiotics, hormones, toxins produced by stress and pesticide residues that become concentrated from all the crops the animals have eaten. Women who eat red meat are four times more likely than vegetarian women to develop breast cancer.
9.) $ave Money Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.
10.) Slim Down On average, vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters, and when dieting, they keep the weight off up to seven years longer. Diets that are higher in vegetable proteins are much lower in fat and calories.

And if you need a few more reasons, here are some alarming statistics:

- Each day, 22 million animals are slaughtered to support the American appetite for meat.
- The United States spends between $60 billion to $120 billion annually to treat the heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning that are byproducts of a diet heavy on animal products.
- 25 percent of all chicken sold in the United States carries salmonella bacteria and, the CDC estimates, 70 percent to 90 percent of chickens contain the bacteria campy-lobacter.
- Approximately 5 percent of cows carry the lethal strain of E. coli O157:H7 and 30 percent of pigs slaughtered each year for food are infected with toxoplasmosis.

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