Friday, January 30, 2015

Is Eating Meat bad for the Environment?

Friday Eco Facts
And... A very LARGE disclaimer!

I do not, in anyway, endorse, promote or work for any of the organizations mentioned in this post. I eat meat. I have no hidden agenda and I do not secretly work for Peta.

That being said.

I report and share Eco facts because, I truly believe that many people do harmful things to our planet, due to lack of environmental knowledge. 

I also believe that alone we are a tiny drop of water, but together we are a mighty ocean. Many educated people in one group, can make positive change. 

Instead of going into this long and lengthy report, I prefer to list many FACTS about the meat industry and how our meat is produced, what eating meat does to the planet and what you can do to help.

This post is specifically about the harm to our environment, but I must stress that if you were to take the time to research CAFO's, you would see the most disturbing, horrible and tortured conditions for these animals.You don't have to be an animal rights activist, to understand, it's just wrong.

These studies, reports and findings are from reputable sources such as BBC News, The Guardian, The University of Cambridge and Aberdeen, as well as The Scientific American.

  • Most packaged meat comes from factory style meat production -- Referred to as CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations)
  • The quantity of urine and feces that comes from even a very small CAFO is the same as roughly 16,000 humans.
  • The total waste from American CAFO's produce three times as much waste as the entire human population in the United States.
  • The urine and feces from CAFO's become a major health and environmental threat as these large concentrations of waste seep into surrounding water, air and soil.
  • The surrounding areas become full of parasites, bacteria, viruses, pesticides, antibiotics, microbes (e-coli), antibiotic-resistant pathogens, nitrates and hormone infested manure.
  • CAFO's are very modern practices of cramming hundreds of animals together and feeding them on a diet of grain, usually imported.

  • An estimated 70 percent of the antibiotic consumption in the United States is fed to non-diseased live stock to promote growth and counter health risks of being an animal in a CAFO factory.
  • The widespread and large amounts of antibiotics used in CAFO factories has led to an increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  • Because of the lives that the animals lead, if the animals aren't dosed with high amounts of antibiotics, cows are unlikely to live long enough to make it to slaughter.

  • The majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds animals, not human beings. 
  • Raising animals for food consumes more than half of all water used in the United States.
  • It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat.
  • Of all agricultural land in the United States, 87 percent is used to raise animals for food.
  • The meat industry is directly responsible for 85 percent of all erosion in the U.S.
  • The amount of grain needed to produce just eight-ounces of steak will feed 45-50 people.
  • Beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy.
  • Livestock are typically fed corn, soybean meal and other grains which have to first be grown using large amounts of fertilizer, fuel, pesticides, water and land.
  • If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million.
  • There are roughly seven billion livestock in the United States that consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire U.S. population.
  • Good quality cropland is being used to grow animal feed rather than human food.

  • Four-fifths of the deforestation across the Amazon rainsforest can be linked to cattle ranching.
  • When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat and rice, the impact of beef requires 160 times more land and produces 11 times more greenhouse gasses.

CAFO's violate the Clean Water Act

But, all hope isn't lost.
There are changes you and your family can make, to help save the Environment.

...Have you considered...
Being a "Flexitarian"


Avoiding excessive meat consumption, especially beef.

If you can, buy and eat meat from a local sustainable farm.

Design your diet with it's environmental impact in mind.

There you have it.

I hope I have enlightened you, at least a little bit.

I eat many meatless meals every week, especially during lunch, and I have a few recipes that are vegetarian that my children also enjoy. 

I do eat meat, I am a Texan after all. We like our BBQ.
But I'm thinking environmentally about mine and my families diets now.
I hope you will too.

Have a wonderful weekend!
Tammy x

These are quoted facts from the following


  1. It's a really interesting thought though - are our eating habits changing our environment? It has to be a resounding yes!

  2. These kinds of reports are sickening, aren't they. We have become so careless and greedy. There was a time, and not that long ago, when the term 'animal husbandry' was used. It referred to the good stewardship of the animals that God placed on this planet for us to care for - and for our food. Abusing animals like this is never excusable.

  3. Wonderful post and one that should be shared and read. I have always been a vegetarian, although this year - as Luke and I want to make a family - I have started to eat chicken and beef only, in small quantities. I try not to think about it, else I wouldn't be eating it and I do feel right now that I need to. That said, I do try to buy from ethical sources and I don't eat meat at all apart from in the quantity I have allotted myself for health reasons.

  4. I love this post :) Thank you!

    Hope you have a great weekend xx

  5. Fascinating and thought-provoking. I won't say food for thought.

  6. Very interesting! Things I never knew or never thought of! Definitely some "food" for thought! ;) =P

  7. Hi Tammy, after your last blog ended, I lost you! Glad to hear things are on track to go to the UK soon. I like this post. My spouse and I went vegetarian about 3 years ago. For me, it is for environmental reasons. We can live lighter this way. We don't buy or prepare meat at home, but if we are offered a meal with meat at someone's home, we will eat it (because refusing food or having them make something else for us is not good for the environment!) So meat does come our way on various occasions but we don't seek it out. That is working for us (two adults).


Thank you for your positive comments!