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Meatless Mondays

How Meatless Mondays Can Help the Planet

There are many ways to go about reducing your carbon footprint, but one of the easiest ways is to participate in Meatless Mondays.

Although forgoing meat also helps fight world hunger (and the issue of obesity), it's also proven to be kinder to Mother Earth, even if you're just skipping out on animal protein one day each week. To learn a few of the environmental benefits of going meat-free once a week, keep reading.

  • Going meatless helps reduce your carbon footprint. As demand for meat continues to grow globally, so do greenhouse gas emissions: the meat industry generates almost 20 percent of the man-made gas emissions that are accelerating climate change. That's even more than transportation.
  • Meat-free Mondays help minimize our water crisis. In California, soy-based tofu requires 220 gallons of water per pound. Compare this to a single pound of beef, which requires an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water. That's eight to 11 times as much H20!
  • Skipping animal protein helps reduce our fossil fuel dependence. Controlling our consumption of meat helps cut fossil fuel demand: on average, 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feedlot beef. In contrast, 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy go into one calorie of plant-based protein.
  • Eating less livestock is good for our aquatic systems. In America, 80 percent of the aquatic habitats in streams have been negatively impacted by the grazing of livestock, whether it's due to waste release from animal farms or reduced species diversity.

How often, if ever, do you take part in Meatless Mondays?

NYFarmer NYFarmer 5 years
People need to Know Their Farmer locally.  Here in NY, the vast grasslands of our state are well-watered with natural rainfall and are integral to the grassland ecosystems of our state.  Here we have a state with primarily small scale family sized dairy farms, the average herd size in the northeast (Federal Milk Marketing Order Number One) is 100 cows.   Please drive out into the countryside, take a look at the farms and patterns of subdivision and land use.  In many areas, it is the livestock farms that serve as the last bastions against subdivision.  Audubon has documented in great detail the loss of grassland bird species as the dairy farmers are driven out of NY.  Farms' grasslands in NY are serving as biodiversity centers where as habitats are lost, they become even more important.   It would be ecological disaster to plow up some of the beautiful farms to grow soy (in some parts of our state).  Key watershed areas of the state have purposely chosen to work to KEEP farms in their regions, rather than subdivisions.  Carbon Sequestration is another topic.  We are seeing research that physical processes related to grass and grazing actually mean that grazing farms sequester carbon. (New England Farms Union is developing a program for Northeast livestock farmers to sell carbon credits).  Its so easy to go with big time social media memes, but I urge Syracuse University students to actually talk with the people who farm the land to know more of what is going on.  
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