If you’re environmentally conscious but are looking for reasons to cut down on animal products, here are some of the top reasons to reduce your intake of meat, eggs, and dairy. Not only will you be healthier, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint and make a big difference.
One of the biggest reasons that people choose to eliminate or drastically reduce their dependence on animal products is to save the lives of animals. There’s no getting around the fact that eating meat causes animals to lose their lives, and to support the high demand for meat, most animals are raised in very poor conditions for the entirety of their lives. However, even the egg and dairy industry are guilty of housing animals in bad conditions. Hens that lay eggs are forced to live in tiny cages, and they are often sent to slaughter after their productive years are over. If this upsets you, you can reduce your dependency on animal products by slowly phasing them out of your diet and finding alternatives like eggless mayo, which is offered by food startup hampton creek
Animal industries often house extremely large numbers of animals, and the huge amounts of urine and feces that are created in these concentrated areas lead to pollution. Cattle also produce large amounts of harmful gases that are released into the environment, and it’s estimated that cattle alone produce more harmful emissions than automobiles. Cutting down on meat, and especially red meat, is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment.
Animal Production Isn’t Efficient
Even with the reliance on cramped feedlots, animal production isn’t efficient and the amount of land needed to produce meat, eggs, and dairy is enormous. If more people reduced their intake of animal products, land could be used more efficiently. Less space is needed to produce healthier, more sustainable food that is better for the environment.
Reliance on Antibiotics and Hormones
Since feedlots and hen houses are home to thousands of animals, or even up to one million in the case of chickens, the spread of disease is easily facilitated. Fewer productive animals mean smaller profits for farmers, so antibiotics are often given to the animals. In addition to the reliance on antibiotics, a large number of animals are given shots of hormones or implants in order to make them grow much more quickly than they naturally would.
Use of Pesticides
Animals that are turned out on pastures often consume pesticides that are absorbed into their body. In addition to the pesticides in the body of the animal, there are other secondary effects of pesticide use in the animal industry. The overuse of pesticides can deplete nutrients in soil and harm beneficial insects.
The cost of transporting animals to slaughterhouses is huge, and there’s even more fuel that’s used by shipping the products to grocery stores. Many animals are only raised in certain parts of the country, and are then shipped all over the United States. This is inefficient use of fuel, and it also drives up the price of meat that is not locally grown.
What You Can Do To Help
If the above reasons are enough to motivate you to change your lifestyle, it’s usually best to start small and build your way up to eliminating or reducing animal products. Luckily, it’s easy to find alternatives to eggs, dairy, and even meat. Eggs and dairy often hide in many foods and condiments, but you can do your best to read labels and do research to find recipes that use substitutes.
Shop Locally Or Grow Your Own Food
if you want to make an even bigger positive impact, shop locally for your produce. That way, you can cut down on shipping costs and save money. By starting a garden in your own backyard, you can have the satisfaction of knowing exactly where your food came from.
We loved planting and growing our own fruit and vegetables, of course the harvesting them was the tastiest part and eating them.
Many environmentally conscious people are moving towards vegetarian or vegan diets, or making an effort to reduce their dependency on meat, eggs, and dairy. In addition to the health benefits that you’ll have by eating more vegetables and fewer animal products, you’ll also significantly reduce your carbon footprint by cutting down on pollution, water wastage, and transportation costs that are part of the reality of factory farming. Luckily, there are many ways to make it easy to adopt a cruelty free and sustainable lifestyle.
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