Have you seen the ACE Assembly? What was the most memorable part of it for you? Was it the farting cows? (For those of you haven't had the chance to watch our award-winning assembly, we recommend that you change that, ASAP). Okay, back to the farting cows. In our assembly, we explain that cows are one of the biggest producers of methane, because every time they fart, burp, or let out any other sort of bodily excrement they let both methane and nitrous oxide out. In fact, some scientists say that the average cow produces 23 to 53 gallons of methane per day. Totally gross!
As a developed nation, we eat a lot meat. According to the U.S Census Bureau, the average American eats close to 100 pounds of meat per year. That's a lot of meat coming from a lot of farting cows. Eric Davidson, senior scientist and executive director at Woods Hole Research Center has been researching how exactly eating all of that meet harms the planet. While you may think he wants everybody to stop eating meat, he actually says that meat eaters in developed nations should eat 50% less meat to help curb the effects of climate change. Read on for more.
I'm sure you've heard at least one vegetarian make the argument that they don't eat meat because of the environment. Eating meat is way more of an agricultural production than eating, say, grains or vegetables. This is because we have to grow and fertilize the grains that the animals eat, and fertilizing also produces methane. Davidson sums it up like this: "The more we eat, the more fertilizer we need, the more manure that's produced, and the more of this gas is produced." Nitrous oxide is vital for food production, but it's also the third-biggest cause of climate change. What's really scary is that's man made, making it the biggest man-made ozone depleting substance.
So cutting down on our meat consumption will cut down on the amount of both methane and N2O we produce. But what are some ways to do that? We like Meatless Mondays, which is when you vow to go meatless every Monday. We also like subsisting hamburgers for veggie or portobello burgers. To really cut down on the amount of meat you eat, try packing a meat-free lunch or only eating red meat once a week. You'll feel great knowing that you're doing even more to help the environment!
What are some ways that you cut down on eating meat? Tell us! Post a comment below or post it on our Facebook.