An Overview of Eating Meat
Once I was talking to some farmers, and they made a joke about how many bushels of corn a person eats in a day. At first, I did not understand. I thought to myself, “Maybe I eat an ear of corn a day on average.” So, I prodded them further about what they meant.
“Hogs love corn, and it is their major food. One of the old ways of harvesting corn was to hog it, that is to let hogs in a field of ripe corn to help themselves.” — J. B. Calvert, University Of Denver
It takes about nine bushels of corn to bring a hog to market.
A cow eats 25 pounds of corn a day.
For every pound of beef you avoid, you also save 3,000 to 5,000 gallons of water.
A bushel of corn weighs 56 pounds. One bushel of corn converts to about 5.6 pounds of retail beef, 13 pounds of retail pork, 28 pounds of catfish, or 32 pounds of chicken.
Eating ocean bred fish is not a good solution, either. Not only does commercial fishing contribute to global warming, overfishing has caused severe damage to our ecosystem. Besides, pollution has made many fish toxic for humans to eat.
“Certain carnivorous fish such as shark, barracuda, gar and grouper can concentrate heavy metals such as mercury in their flesh. This can be very harmful to humans.” — U.S. Army Medical Department, Office of the Surgeon General
“Do not eat Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, or Tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury.” “Another commonly eaten fish, albacore (”white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna.” — 2004 EPA and FDA Advice For: Women Who Might Become Pregnant, Women Who are Pregnant, Nursing Mothers, Young Children,
Global Warming and Eating Meat
Greenhouse Gases Emitted by Humans to Produce Meat
Operating farm equipment, such as tractors, irrigation pumps, grain elevators and climate control of animal shelters emits a huge amount of CO2 into the atmosphere. Fertilizer is also a major contributor to global warming. The transportation of meat to market is another factor adding to the problem. Cold storage refrigeration has had multiple negative impacts on the environment. Freon is thought to be the main cause of the ozone hole (see The Ozone Know Zone.) The energy needed to keep meat from spoiling is also significant.
In 2008, an average cow took 284 gallons of oil to bring to market. Holy cow!
Greenhouse Gases Emitted by Livestock
If that’s not enough to give you indigestion, consider the gas that comes out of a pig. I’m not talking about a human that burps, and you call a pig. I mean animal flatulence. Sheep and hogs give off a lot of gas. Cows spend much of there lives burping. New Zealand and other countries have imposed taxes on animal flatulence. Holy crap!
No. I haven’t even started talking crap, yet. Here’s the poop on crap. Chicken sh#*! Chicken manure produces a crap load of methane. Methane is a leading greenhouse gas.
“Animal manure is a source of methane gas produced through anaerobic digestion. A variety of policy instruments could be used to implement this greenhouse gas mitigation program.” — Manure Management, Climate Change What You Can Do, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
All kidding aside, we have a serious problem. Meat is an important part of a human’s diet. However, eating less meat and changing the way we produce meat could do a lot of good for the environment.