Saturday, May 17, 2008

Vegetarian Week

I have just learned that May 19 - 25 is World Vegetarian Week.

Here's something from a little article by Thich Nhat Hanh:

If we look deeply, we will see that eating can be extremely violent. UNESCO tells us that every day, forty thousand children in the world die because of a lack of nutrition, of food. Every day, forty thousand children. And the amount of grain that we grow in the West is mostly used to feed our cattle. Eighty percent of the corn grown in this country is to feed the cattle to make meat. Ninety-five percent of the oats produced in this country is not for us to eat, but for the animals raised for food. According to this recent report that we received of all the agricultural land in the US, eighty-seven percent is used to raise animals for food. That is forty-five percent of the total land mass in the US.

More than half of all the water consumed in the US whole purpose is to raise animals for food. It takes 2500 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat, but only 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. A totally vegetarian diet requires 300 gallons of water per day, while a meat-eating diet requires more than 4000 gallons of water per day.

Raising animals for food causes more water pollution than any other industry in the US because animals raised for food produce one hundred thirty times the excrement of the entire human population. It means 87,000 pounds per second. Much of the waste from factory farms and slaughter houses flows into streams and rivers, contaminating water sources.

Each vegetarian can save one acre of trees per year. More than 260 million acres of US forests have been cleared to grow crops to feed animals raised for meat. And another acre of trees disappears every eight seconds. The tropical rain forests are also being destroyed to create grazing land for cattle.

If becoming a vegetarian seems too hard, try keeping one vegetarian day a week. After you've done that for a while, try two. Even if you stop right there, you'll be benefitting yourself, the animals and the earth. But perhaps by then, you'll be inspired to keep going.

1 comment:

  1. Ellie, thank you for this. I've thought I should be a vegetarian, but am not, esp. living in TX. However, I can try ONE day a week, at least!


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