Diet for a small planet

Going without meat will make you healthier and reduce greenhouse gases

When it comes to climate change, there’s a lot of focus on transportation—and rightly so. But did you know livestock farming creates 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions? And believe it or not, that’s slightly more than the contribution transportation makes.

Livestock accounts for about 70 per cent of all agricultural land use and produces a huge volume of greenhouse gases (such as methane and nitrous oxide).

That means every time we eat meat, we’re contributing to climate change. And we’re eating it more and more. Total meat supply has quadrupled on the planet since 1961. Growing livestock for food is extremely inefficient: it takes five to seven kilograms of grain just to produce one kilogram of beef. We’d be better off using that land to grow more grain, fruits and vegetables, which are healthier and a more direct food source.

Consider going meatless one day a week; you’ll reduce your saturated fat by 15 per cent, a factor in heart disease, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (To put that in perspective, American scientists estimate that if everyone in that country cut their meat consumption by a modest 20 per cent, it would be as if everyone switched to driving Priuses!) For more info, go to www.meatlessmonday.ca.

For more information on Sooke Transition Town Initiative go to: www.sooketransition.org.