Opinion: Eat less meat

By Bridget Donnelly | December 7, 2016 7:38pm

Bear with me, here. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll want to skim over this title and turn a blind eye to its message:

Eat less meat.

The three words may ring in your ears like the tinny music that bleeps out of your iPhone’s measly speaker. However, apart from the strange sounds that you are now trying to imagine in your head, I am not asking very much of you.

Eat less meat.

Only 2.5% of the water on Earth is fresh, drinkable water. And only 1% of that is easily accessible (not trapped in glaciers and the like). In other words, we do not have enough water, especially if we continue to live the way we do. You may tell me that you take super short showers and turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth, but I will tell you that not eating meat one day of the week saves as much water as not showering for a month would save. Raising animals for meat takes up so much water that not eating meat – only once a week – could be your greatest effort to protect the environment yet.

In addition, raising animals for meat is detrimental to our atmosphere – that which protects our earth (and us) from being literally scalded alive. Animal agriculture causes significantly higher emission of greenhouse gases than exhaust from transportation.

Not convinced? In order to raise animals, a farmer needs land. This leads to deforestation, which, among other things, means no more adorable and defenseless jungle and forest creatures.

Consider this: you could be the environment’s Superman. Your task?

Eat less meat.

Bridget Donnelly is a freshman in the UP Honors Program and can be reached at donnelly20@up.edu.