Submitted by: Lauren Watt
“Animals are friends, not food” is a phrase that many people have used or heard at some point in their lives. However, even after hearing this phrase, most people still continue to eat meat. A study by Vegetarian Times shows that in America, only 3.2% of adults are vegetarian, of which around 0.5% are vegan. What may have been a cause of these people turning into vegetarians or vegans?
Animal agriculture is said to be the main cause for many environmental problems including deforestation, water consumption, pollution, and more. Many of us believe that turning off the faucet while brushing teeth/biking instead of driving makes a big impact on solving these problems. Although conserving water and energy does help, we should also start to realize the main cause of environmental problems: animal products.
For instance, Dr. Georg Borgstrom of Michigan State University elaborates that on average, it takes around 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. In comparison, turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth saves about 200 gallons of water. Hence, this clearly shows the greater impact animal agriculture has.
All in all, producing and eating animal products impacts the environment through many aspects. Vegans and vegetarians are still able to receive major components of their diet in a different way while also playing a part to solve many environmental problems.
It’s difficult to completely cut meat out of your life, and I’m not encouraging you to become vegetarian or vegan, but next time you want to eat animal products like meat, think about the cost behind the food.