Eating more meat hurts the earth's environment. Go vegetarian
- Eating more meat hurts the earth's environment. Go vegetarian
Oct 19, 2006 The Straits Times Forum OnlineI refer to the article "Golden Age is fast wilting" by Gwynne Dyer (ST, Oct 13).
The author notes the great inefficiency of meat production. She states that between 11 and 17 calories of food (mostly plant food, such as grain) must be fed to chickens, cows and other animals to produce just one calorie of meat.
Ms Dyer points out that meat's inefficiency threatens our ability to feed humans.
Not only does our rising meat consumption mean less food for humans at a time when hundreds of millions of people don't have enough to eat, meat's inefficiency also damages the environment in at least two ways.
First, more forests are cut or burned down to clear land for growing the extra food needed to feed the animals we eat.
Second, the animals produce a huge amount of waste, more than the 6.5 billion humans combined. This waste contains methane, a greenhouse gas that's many times more potent than carbon dioxide.
The inefficiency of meat offers each of us a small yet easy way to increase the earth's food supply and decrease the threat of global warming. When we choose plant foods instead of meat for every meal we have, we do our bit to step lightly on our path through life.
Dr George Jacobs
President, Vegetarian Society (Singapore)