Donít reset your browser. I said that. I really did. Deal with it. Now are you ready for the next sentence? Meat is bad. OMG did I say that? I friggin love meat, how can I say that? Well, Iíve been reading, and Iím not too thrilled with the livestock industry after finding out some pretty horrendous things.
Now, first of all I ainít gonna pretend that I donít eat meat. I eat burgers like a good American. I eat chicken and pork too.. I do. So now you know. I admit it. But I am honestly scared. The livestock industry has been buying politicians for so long that it is by far one of the most unwatched industries, and, BTW, the largest contributor to global warming. Why? Cows fart dude. Straight up. Figure every cow farts a dozen or so times a day, times that by 1000ís of cows and thatís an ass load of methane. (get it?)
Not too mention all the poo.
Seriously though. The livestock rearing industry contributes to global warming annually more than twice as much as the next culprit. Transportation. Thatís right. We need Hybrid Cows now too!! The main reason for this is that the livestock industry creates a great deal of Nitrous Oxide and Methane (from the farts) which are all stronger greenhouse gasses than carbon. Donít believe me? Ever stand in the middle of a bunch of cows? Breathe in? You get the point. On top of that livestock contribute 64 of the earthís total surface area for grazing. Let that sink in. Picture almost 1/3 of America as grazing area. Thatís a lot of land. Thatís not even touching the amount of land needed to raise crops for feeding livestock. And when you add that to the fact that the land they graze on gets severely degraded after they graze that most of the time they become fallow. Leading to desertification in many places like Africa and the American West. 70% of rainforest destruction is so livestock can be reared. Add that together and the livestock industry has had and continues to have an extreme effect on Global warming.
How has this happened? The automotive industry is regulated more and more (as they should be) every year. Every industry now is under the magnifying glass. We have finally gotten to a point where industry is being held accountable for their pollution and what not. How has the worldís biggest environmental problem gone unnoticed all this time? It would seem to me that BIG CATTLE is paying our politicians more money than even BIG OIL. That can be the only answer. Even now, recently the government decided it would be a good idea to open up previously protected rangeland for grazing because the ranchers arenít making enough money because food is expensive for livestock. Talk about fighting fire with fire. Thatís the most ridiculous thing Iíve heard and if I were to be in a room with whoever signed that agreementÖÖwell letís just say Iíd probably go to jail for what I would do to them.
All thisÖ.and waitÖ..thereís more!!! Oh yes!! Guess what else the livestock industry is doing? They are pumping us full of chemicals, and hormones and antibiotics with every bite of that porterhouse. The living conditions on most meat processing facilities are so bad that to keep the cows from getting sick they feed them steady and continuous doses of antibiotics. The same antibiotics we might need when we are sick. But they wonít get us better because our bodies build immunities to them and we are eating them every day in our whoppers. Along with growth hormones and other chemicals that probably cause cancer since everything causes cancer. And we worry so much about getting people to quit smokingÖ..probably save more lives if we all stopped eating meat and bought us some lucky strikes.
If youíre anything like me at this point your not just surprised. Youíre pissed off. I was. I couldnít believe the things I was reading about how things are done and what we are ingesting. The groundwater pollution alone could get us all very sick. If youíre anything like me youíre also sayingÖ."Dave, I hear ya, but I canít stop eating meat." Yeah, me neither. I am far too skinny already to be able to cut out meatÖ.plusÖ.Iím sorryÖ.I like it. But now, with every burger I eat, I am scared at what Iím eating and how badly I am contributing to this little problem we have with destroying the earth.
There are some things we can do and some things others are doing to help. There is a plant in Michigan that is making cattle feed out of soybean mash. Thatís a relatively low impact crop as compared to grains and corn. In lay mans terms you get more in smaller areas of cropland. Thatís a step in the right direction. There is another facility in Kansas I think that takes waste from a chicken ranch and processing facility and turns it into fuel that they sell back to the processing facility. Thatís a great step. But perhaps the biggest steps need to be taken by us. You and I. Well, hopefully more than that but you get the idea. Itís not about eliminating meat from your lives because for many that might not be possible or healthy. Itís about reducing it a bit for sure. But itís more about education. Know where your meat is coming from and choose wisely. There are ranchers that do things the right way. For the most part buying organically raised meat can be an improvement. Anything that is given the "organic" tag is at least run in a sustainable environment so that can go a ways in reducing the impact your steak has. Also, look into other sources of meats like the Buffalo. There are a few buffalo ranches in the US that provide very good meat with less environmental damage being done because of the nature of the Buffalo and what they eat in comparison to what other livestock eat. Many people just think buying local will help, but it wonít help much if your local rancher sucks so you need to look into the local livestock scene first.
One thing that I can do and have done that was very easy was to eliminate almost entirely fast food meats from my life. You can be sure that the meat you get at places like that is not coming from responsibly run ranches. Itís pumped full of hormones and sugars that donít belong in meat and itís worse for you than just about anything else you could eat. I have all but eliminated from my diet and if and when I do have to, I usually feel like crap afterwards. Proof positive that there is something in the meat that isnít good. For anyone or anything.
In closing, I would like to really thank all the vegetarians out there. I wish I could do it. I really think that if we all were vegetarians that it would be a great way to improve our planetís health and put a halt to global warming. One thing that really needs to happen is that we all let our politicians know that we know what they know about the livestock industry and that we are pissed off. We need as much regulation or more than the automotive industry is getting. How the few that control what we eat have gotten away with so much I donít know. But now that we do know, we need to do something about it. Tell your friends, and family. Write to your congressman, write to your local ranchers, and tell them to clean up their act or your going all broccoli on their ass. Reduce you meat consumption, eat only organic raised meats, never, ever again go to McDonalds, and tell someone else to do the same. Reduce the demand reduce the problem.