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Op Ed: Giving Up Meat is the Right Thing to Do

By Claudia Garcia

You have zero excuse not to give up eating meat right now.  Especially if you live in a developed country like the US or somewhere in Europe, you have the means to stop eating all animal meat.

Livestock farming accounts for 18% of all human caused greenhouse emissions worldwide. That means that farming for meat causes more emissions than all modes of transportation combined including air, ground and sea. Results of a ten-year study by Food Research International from 2010 through 2020 show that 1 kg of protein from beef uses 18 times more land, 10 times more water, 9 times more fuel, 12 times more fertilizer, and 10 times more pesticides than the same amount of protein derived from kidney beans.

Not to mention the loss of biodiversity, acid rain, coral reef degradation and deforestation which only exacerbate climate change.

Perhaps you think that you’ll miss the flavor of meat. Here’s a wild thought: you like the flavors of spices, not the meat. Don’t believe me? Just ask Next Stop Vegan, a locally-owned small business in the Bronx. They have gained national fame for their flavorful yet completely vegan Dominican food. Next Stop Vegan is only one of many stores that create your favorite foods with the same flavors while skipping on the health complications that come with meat. With all things meat and dairy like eggs, cheese, hot dogs, and sausages now in vegan form at supermarkets, it is easy to “veganize” a recipe.

If you think eating meat is only a personal choice, think again: what meat does to our bodies is a growing worldwide problem. Because livestock farming is now industrialized, animals are clumped together in factories, injected with antibiotics to treat their illnesses and to “fatten them up.” This practice is not only inhumane to animals, but it means that our bodies are becoming resistant to life-saving antibiotics. In fact, the CDC reports that antibiotic-resistant bacteria and fungi cause 35,000 deaths in the US alone every year.

Consuming meat in large quantities is also linked to cardiovascular diseases and multiple cancers. The truth is that if you care even a little about your body and future generations on this planet, your best bet at doing something about it is giving up meat.

You don’t have to stop cold turkey (pun intended) today. Start by giving up red meat which has a stronger correlation to the above risks than poultry. Try making your favorite foods by swapping out meat for plant-based products. Eventually, you can stop all meat, without sacrificing taste while still reaping all the benefits. Your body and planet will thank you.

 

One Response to Op Ed: Giving Up Meat is the Right Thing to Do

  1. Blenlly Mena March 30, 2021 at 4:37 am

    Amazing article! Very informative.

    Reply

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