In response to my previous post entitled 10 way to reduce food miles, Mary commented that:

We’re so focused on food miles, which is important, but also another important way to make your diet more climate friendly is to significantly reduce meat and dairy consumption. That’s why I was disappointed that this list mentioned the butcher and fishmonger.

Mary went on to cite research conducted by the University of Chicago on the impact of our diets on global warming.

A 2005 study by University of Chicago researchers found that eating vegetarian fare is more effective in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions than replacing a gas-guzzler with a hybrid car.

Being Vegetarian Week this week, what more appropriate time to look at how we can make a huge difference in our carbon footprints by going veggie?

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock industry emits more greenhouse gases, mostly methane and nitrous oxide from when the cows “break wind”, than the entire transportation sector. So I think encouraging eating lower on the food chain has more of an impact on climate change than does the whole “Food Miles” effort, which I do think is worthy, I’m just pointing out that we should be focusing resources on the actions that have the biggest impact and eating meat is one of the most climate-unfriendly practices there is, even if it is local. A cow still emits methane, whether she is from your county or another country.

Good point, Mary. I agree completely with your sentiment. Even if we don’t completely give up eating meat, we should cut back consumption considerably, both for the health of our planet, and that of ourselves. Mary recommends the website www.HumaneEating.org for those wishing to find out more about how to save the planet by eating a plant-based diet. Here are some other resources:

Wannaveg.com – go vegetarian one day a week
The Power of Going Vegetarian – squidoo lens
Veggie for a Week – TerraBlog
Take the VegPledge
GoVeg.com – fight global warming by going vegetarian

Many thanks to Mary for her poignant comment.

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