This past Friday, I wrote about Week Three of the Slate/Treehugger Green Challenge. In the previous two weeks, I spoke about transportation and heating the home while this week was about food.
I was checking my comments (I do love the comments! Keep them coming!) when I noticed this one from somone who selected not to leave their name or contact information. I really wish they had left their contact information or emailed me directly but alas they did not so I shall use the blog to comment on their comment.
"Eating meat doesnt cause problems toxins in the area its the stupid people who drive by themselves in cars in stop and go rush hour." -me | 11.11.06 - 7:22 pm | #
I agree that people driving alone in their cars in stop and go rush hour traffic do have a higher impact on the environment than meat eaters. The Slate/Treehugger Green Challenge specifically notes these facts in their weekly emails and I have found several other sources that agree with this fact.
Slate/Treehugger says that, "Transportation is one of the biggest culprits in human production of carbon dioxide—the source of about one-fifth of global-warming emissions worldwide. In the United States, two-thirds of the oil consumed goes toward powering vehicles. Passenger cars alone are responsible for 25 percent of the greenhouse gases we produce."
I am working to reduce my own contribution to this specific problem but often find that I do have to drive ALONE to work in stop and go traffic. I have pledged to start taking the bus at least one day a week to work but I must note here that in order for me to take the bus to work, I need to take two to three of them and spend about two hours on the bus each way. Unfortunately I do not often have four hours of commuting time in my daily life and so I am working to figure out the best way to deal with this problem while also working toward my own goal of reducing my footprint on the earth. Me, I wish I knew what you were doing to reduce your footprint.
Now as for food, Slate/Treehugger states, "It takes 17 percent of the fossil fuel consumed in the United States to produce the food we eat."
They also say, "Whether you're a carnivore or herbivore also has CO2 consequences. We don't blame you for enjoying the occasional filet mignon. But the average meat eater causes a ton and a half more carbon dioxide emissions for food production than the average vegetarian."
Raising cattle does cause more carbon dioxide emissions than raising vegetables. This is a fact. So again I am reducing the amount of beef in my diet because #1, my doctor has asked me to reduce the red meat I eat while increasing the amount of fish and vegetables I eat and #2, red meat has a higher impact on the environment than other kinds of foods.