October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, or, How What You Eat Can Help the Environment
October 1 is World Vegetarian Day! The Pink Goes Green Blog has blogged about the benefits to the environment of Eating Green , but we thought we'd let you know about this day as a gentle reminder that eating a vegetarian meal, even once a day or once a week, is a good way to help Mother Earth.
Vegetarians and interested individuals from around the globe will be joining the North American Vegetarian Society on October 1 for the annual celebration of World Vegetarian Day. Since its inception in 1977, the event has commemorated the health-supporting and life-affirming benefits of vegetarianism. World Vegetarian Day is the annual kick-off of Vegetarian Awareness Month. There are many reasons people choose a vegetarian diet. It has proven health benefits, saves animals' lives and helps to preserve the Earth.
In a Gallup® poll conducted in 2012, 5 percent of U.S. adults indicated that they considered themselves as vegetarian. Two percent said they never eat dairy, eggs, and honey, and were classified as vegan.
There are lots of reasons to eat vegetarian, especially for the environment:
Vegetarian Food is More Economical
Livestock animals are mostly feed on grain, soybeans, oats, and corn. The world's cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people-more than the entire human population on Earth. As Mark Gold and Jonathon Porrit point out in "The Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat.", it takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of animal flesh.
Vegetarianism Saves Energy
More than one-third of all fossil fuels produced in the United States are used to raise animals for food. Energy is used to grow, process and transport animal feed; to operate farms and slaughterhouses and to refrigerate and transport the meat.
Vegetarianism Saves Water
The meat industry not only needs drinking water for the billions of animals raised for slaughter, but also for watering crops for animal feed and for cleaning away the filth in factory farms and slaughterhouses. According to Robbins, "The Food Revolution", page 238, nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.
Vegetarianism Protects the Rain Forest
According to the 2006 Greenpeace report "Eating Up the Amazon", more than 2.9 million acres of rainforest were destroyed in the 2004-2005 crop season in order to grow crops used to feed factory farm animals.
Source: Vegetarianism and the Environment
So for World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Awareness Month in October, try to eat at least one meatless meal a day if you can. Even one meal a week will help the environment. Switching to a vegetarian diet reduces your "ecological footprint," allowing you to tread lightly on the planet and be compassionate to its inhabitants. With so many great vegetarian options, eating green has never been more delicious. Whether you go vegetarian for the environment, for your health, or for animals, you have the power to change the world -- simply by changing what's on your plate.
Update: A new study says that factory farms produce 100 times more waste than all people In the US combined. Read the article here.
Sources: World Vegetarian Day
5 Things That Happen to Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat
and 7 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate World Vegetarian Day