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Top 17 Reasons to Eat Green on St. Patrick’s Day

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By Heather Moore

In the past, eating green foods for St. Patrick’s Day meant eating green-colored mashed potatoes and cabbage alongside a huge hunk of ham or corned beef—and a bottomless mug of green beer, of course. Now, there’s more to eating green than just using food coloring. If you really want to eat “green”—on St. Patty’s Day and all year round—you should choose vegan foods. I don’t just mean spinach, broccoli, and lima beans, either. I’m talking about veggie burgers, pasta primavera, hummus wraps, potato croquettes, vegetable curry, and other fabulous vegan foods. Not only are they humane and healthy, they’re also easier on the environment. Consider these 17 reasons to ditch the smoked neck and opt for smoky soy sausage instead:

1.   A U.N. report shows that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships, and planes in the world combined.

2.   The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook states that “refusing meat” is “the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.”

3.   A University of Chicago study explains that switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering climate change than switching from a standard American car to a Prius.

4.   Nearly half of all the water used in the U.S. is squandered on animal agriculture. A meat-based diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water a day, while a vegan diet requires only 300 gallons.

5.   John Robbins claims that you can save more water by not eating a pound of beef than you can save by not showering for an entire year.

6.   Animals raised for food produce 89,000 pounds of waste per second—that’s approximately 130 times as much excrement as the U.S. human population.

7.   According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined.

8.   The U.N. reports that the “expansion of livestock production is a key factor in deforestation, especially in Latin America where the greatest amount of deforestation is occurring.”

9.   Food for a vegan can be produced on only 1/6 acre of land, while it takes 3 1/4 acres of land to produce food for a meat-eater.

10. More than one-third of all the fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food.

11. Cows, chickens, pigs, and other farmed animals are fed more than 70 percent of the grains grown in the U.S.

12. Around 1.4 billion people could be fed with the grain and soybeans fed to U.S. cattle alone.

13. A Duke University Medical Center study showed that people living downwind of pig farms are more likely to suffer from mood disturbances, nausea, headaches, respiratory problems, and other health problems.

14. A Scripps Howard report included this warning about animal waste: “[I]t’s untreated and unsanitary, bubbling with chemicals and diseased. … Every place where the animal factories have located, neighbors have complained of falling sick.”

15. Chris Weber, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, states that when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint, “[y]ou can have a much bigger impact by shifting just one day a week from meat and dairy to anything else than going local every day of the year.” Image how much of an impact you’d have if you were to stop eating meat or dairy products altogether.  

16. The U.N. report concluded that the meat industry is “one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.”

17. All Earthlings deserve compassion and respect.

Have a happy and green St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!


Written by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

March 17, 2010 at 9:40 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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