The plain fact of the matter is, the omnivore diet is not healthy for humans, animals or the environment. It is becoming more and more evident that meat production in the US is not environmentally sustainable. Fortune Magazine, NPR, and others have reported on Bill Gates’ investment in Beyond Meat, a company creating a vegan meat substitute. The market apparently is attracting a lot of attention and investment, as the evidence in mounting that meat production is not environmentally sustainable.
Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the combined exhaust from all transportation. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
The water required for meat production is clearly unsustainable giving the water scarcity now being experienced globally. Growing feed crops for livestock consumes 56% of water in the US. 2,500 gallons of water are needed to produce 1 pound of beef. 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1lb. of eggs. Almost 900 gallons of water are needed for 1lb. of cheese. 1,000 gallons/liters of water are required to produce 1 gallon/liter of milk. This water usage is not an efficient use of our precious resources and is not sustainable.
Beyond Meat believes that they will succeed with a vegan chicken that costs less to produce than chicken, uses far less water, is less wasteful and more healthy than animal based proteins.
If you’re concerned about environmental sustainability, changing to a plant-based diet will do far more than driving a Prius. Want to learn more? Attend our upcoming workshop
Food as Medicine, April 25-26.