Go green.

Commercials on television for automobiles boast this slogan while claiming their vehicles are the most green in the nation. Common household appliances are now being made more energy efficient, helping to reduce the amount of electricity or water it uses. Household cleaning supply companies are using more natural ingredients to make their cleaning solutions friendlier to the environment. In the quest to save the world, a wealth of information is being thrown at us at lightning speeds. Amidst the barrage of recycling, eco-friendly household items, and hybrid vehicles information, there is one way we can conserve water that is not popular. Isn't it funny that vegetarianism is such an unpopular thing??

In 1981, Dr. Georg Borgstrom, a renowned scientist, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that approximately 2,500 gallons are used to produce a single pound of beef. He’s not the only one who thinks that. 2,500 may seem like an outrageous number, but it’s easy to see how that much water can go into producing that little amount of food. From the time a calf is born until it is killed at the slaughterhouse, it is obviously fed water everyday to keep it alive. A typical cow consumes about 50 gallons of water per day, 18,250 gallons per year. A beef cow is usually slaughtered when it is 3 to 5 years of age. A 7 to 9-year-old dairy cow is sent to slaughter when its milk production drops off. That 2,500-gallon figure does not seem so big anymore.

Can you believe that it takes up to 15 times more water to grow one pound of animal protein than it takes to grow one pound of plant-based protein? Can you believe that it takes up to 10 pounds of plant protein to produce a single pound of beef? With the numbers I mentioned above, you can see why eating meat is incredibly wasteful to our precious resources.

The underground aquifers that run across the United States are being exhausted by a staggering 13 trillion gallons every year. In addition, more than 70 percent of the grains grown on land in the United States are used to feed farmed animals. It is estimated that the cattle that exist worldwide alone consumes the caloric needs of more than 8 billion people. If grains were grown strictly to supply food for everyone on this planet, there would be no starvation. No one would go hungry. Of course, I think hunger would still exist even if there were enough grain to feed all the inhabitants of this world due to corporatism, greed, and a hunger for money - but that's another story...

Modern factory farms are polluting the environment with the incredible amount of waste that is being disposed from them. The pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals raised, grown, and slaughtered on these farms are producing more than 130 times the amount of waste that people do. Very few people are aware that 7,000 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico are a dead zone because of the toxic waste that is being emitted from these farms.

For some, the thought of changing an omnivorous diet to that of a completely vegetarian diet is unthinkable. After all, we’ve been eating meat our whole life and can’t imagine eating a pot pie without chicken or a stew without beef, but there are more important things to consider than the happiness of our taste buds. Even making the transition from eating meat three times per day, which is very common in the American diet, to just twice a day will make a difference. We can adjust to trying new foods, but the planet cannot. It cannot take anymore abuse.