Hamburgers, steak, pepperoni, bacon, they sure are some of the tastiest meat delicacies we have ever eaten. However, they are some of the most environmentally damaging meat products. This article is not meant to shame people who consume meat, but it is meant to call attention to the fact that what you are eating, does affect the environment. Eating a juicy burger from In-N-Out or a steak from Morton's Steakhouse, and then eating bacon on the side of your eggs for breakfast every other day, takes a serious toll on the environment.
The environmental effects that occur because of our meat consumption includes deforestation, loss of precious water and soil, and release of harmful chemicals and pesticides into our water from the production to distribution process, as well as green house gasses being emitted into our atmosphere. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, meat-eating is the second-biggest environmental hazard facing the Earth, right after number one being fossil-fuel vehicles.
Environmental impacts our meat eating habit includes, drying up our freshwater reservoirs and aquifers, degradation of use of soil, deforestation which is directly related to the amount of cropland used for growing the animals as well as the food for them to consume, water pollution due to pesticides, fertilizers, and animal waste, and high emission of greenhouse gases.
Eating too much meat has consequences for our bodies as well, and can lead to increasing rates of heart disease, obesity, and cancer. As the world population continues to increase, more people means more meat. According to researchers, meat production will double by 2050 to about 1.2 trillion pounds a year, which will cause detrimental effects on the environment and people's health.
The choices we make as individuals are incredibly important, especially when we are living in a generation where environmental issues are effecting our planet. Avoiding or at least limiting meat products in your diet, is one of the single biggest ways to reduce your ecological footprint on the planet. It is important to be conscientious of what we consume, for it has everlasting harmful impacts, on our precious, fragile planet.