Have you ever wondered what the link is between eco friendliness and vegetarianism? Many of us have heard that eating a diet with less meat in it is better for the planet, but we’re not always sure why.
Beef is probably the meat we could all do with eating a little less of if we really want to help the Earth. The problem is that cows, like other mammals, produce a gas called methane which has been shown to contribute towards global warming. But the issue isn’t just that cows produce this gas- it’s the volume of it they create. Breeding cows for meat means keeping them in large numbers, and large numbers of cows means an awful lot of methane gas.
The second issue with meat and the environment applies to other kinds of meat as well. Keeping livestock requires large areas of open, green space, and such areas are often created by cutting down trees, which as we know increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and decreases the amount of oxygen. Furthermore, large numbers of grazing livestock can cause a great deal of damage to the land.
There’s also the issue of how animals are treated – with people eating meat on a daily basis, demand for cheaper meat products has grown, which has led to intensive farming methods that often sacrifice the animals’ quality of life. Not only is this unpleasant for the animals, the fact that intensive farming methods often rely on heavy use of chemicals means it is also bad for us. By eating meat less often, we can afford to buy organic/free range products which have been produced in a way that is better for everyone.
So the answer doesn’t have to be cutting meat out of your diet entirely – simply going ‘meat free’ for a day or two a week can be enough to make a real difference. Why not check out our ‘Meatless Monday’ recipes for some veggie inspiration?