Linking global problems with individual habits
Recently, as part of an assignment for the BTH Introduction to Sustainable Development course I'm taking, I came across an interesting piece of data: 60% of deforestation in the Amazon forest in 200-2005 was due to cattle ranches.
It can be even more alarming if we cross that with other facts:
- we need 20 kilograms of feed to make a kilogram of beef
- China's per capita intake of poultry, pork, fish and beef has more than tripled since 1970 and keeps on rising (remember that China has 1.6 billion inhabitants)
- 15 of the 24 ecosystems vital for life on Earth have been seriously degraded or used unsustainably
It seems to me it would be smart to reduce or even stop eating meat. Therefore we could keep eating our veggies, eat a portion of the food that is currently directed to cattle raising to compensate the lack of meat, fight poverty and still transform all the cattle raising areas into environmental recovering reserves, at the same time we prevent further degradation of the soil and more deforestation.
Facing such scenario, I've started doing my part by reducing significantly my meat consumption and therefore my individual contribution to the problem.
Data sources: http://www.mongabay.com, http://www.seedmagazine.com/news/2008/05/carnivores_like_us.php, http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/index.aspx