Why You Should Stop Eating Beef

Do Yourself A Favor And Stop Eating Beef

But I get it- they're so cute you want to eat them.


Cattle continue to be one of the United States food supply chain's largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Cows emit methane from digestive processes, which contributes to the growing amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, in addition to the emissions resulting from deforestation required to clear grazing areas for livestock and producing cattle feed. Additionally, emission result from the manufacturing and storage processes. Implementing dietary changes to substitute beef for beans, a high source of protein and a low source of greenhouse gases could cut the number of emissions enough to meet the U.S.' 2020 reduction target. While the research is informative and convincing, presenting it to the general public could be a challenge as Americans' food preferences are closely intertwined with socialized gender roles and culture.

A 2017 study headed by Helen Harwatt studied the environmental impacts and implications of Americans' cow-fueled diets, finding that substituting beans for beef would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 334 mmt and would prove to be an adequate protein source. Although the implications and findings of the study are significant, convincing Americans to substitute beans for beef would prove to be a challenge. The dietary choices of Americans are closely tied to their cultural, social, and economic attitudes, as well as the nutritional value of the food. These factors vary across populations and are also influenced by social stereotypes and marketing initiatives that either work to break these stereotypes or perpetuate them. Beans are far more affordable and provide just as much protein and even more dietary fiber than beef, however, meat is a staple of the American diet.

The average American will consume 71 pounds of red meat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 56 percent of Americans consumed meat at least once per week in 2012. National Public Radio in partnership with Truven polled 3,000 Americans in 2015 and found there has been no significant change in how Americans consume meat, however, more Americans have expressed wanting to consume less meat for the health benefits and savings. This appears promising, however, in January 2018 the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service reported that Americans were expected to consume record amounts of livestock and dairy products throughout 2018.

Many people who consume red meat know the adverse health impacts that are associated with its consumption, however, many people continue to consume it and will continue to do so. A report from the Seattle Times found that despite growth in the plant, insect or cultured meat consumption, animal-product sales are predicted to outpace those products. In order to decrease the consumption of cattle, and meat in general, social marketing strategies with the aim of changing behaviors and perceptions are required. By looking at popular culture, it is not surprising that meat consumption is heavily intertwined with the social construction of masculinity, and in the media, the strongest men have been portrayed as lovers of meat, such as Ron Swanson in Parks and Rec. This linkage of meat consumption and masculinity has become so pervasive that an op-ed was written in The Guardian to empower men to choose vegetarian options at restaurants. According to the Huffington Post, 79 percent of vegans and 59 percent of vegetarians are women. Men comprise 41 percent of vegetarians. By analyzing why more women forego meat, these conclusions could be tailored to apply to the population as a whole, in addition to efforts promoting affordable and appetizing meatless products.

Popular Right Now

Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.


Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

A Glimpse Of My Adventure In Germany & Poland

This why everyone should study abroad.


Two days ago, I arrived back in the States from a two-week study abroad trip to Germany and Poland. This trip was entitled Experiences in International Justice. On this trip, we studied the Holocaust and its consequences through the lens of criminal justice. This trip changed my life in so many ways.

Firs, I really connected with all the other students on my trip, so I know that I can find friendship and understanding in them because we shared this experience.

Secondly, I discovered a newfound respect for life and need to work towards a more just world through learning more about Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and the Holocaust. We visited three infamous concentration camps: Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. I don't know if I can explain to you the emotions I experienced, but I would like to try since I think it is very important to share my experience with others. It was so surreal to be in a place where millions of innocent lives were taken away. Seeing where the many Jews, Roma, and many other groups slept, worked, suffered, and died really put my life into perspective.

It got me reflecting on what I have to be thankful for, and the problems that I feel are a too big deal to handle. Nothing I could ever go through can be compared to what those poor people went through. Because of this realization, I have become empowered to do what I can to help those who are suffering and who do not have anyone to stand up for them. I know I can't effect change all over the world, but I want to help others in any way I can, in my community and in my future career as a Forensic Psychologist, as well as with my friends and family.

I also have been inspired to be a torch-bearer for the memory of the victims as well as the Holocaust itself, so that something like it never happens again. Knowledge is power, and so being educated about what happened and how it happened can help us take a stand for what's right. Because not everyone has the privilege to travel to the concentration camps as I have so I have an obligation to share my experiences there with the world. I do not want the victims to disappear, from the Holocaust or any tragedy. From a criminal justice perspective, it was also very interesting to read more about the perpetrators, how normal people can be so violent and destroy fellow humans without remorse. I think it is beneficial to study them because it shows that anyone can become overwhelmed with power and let it go to their heads.

My trip to Germany and Poland was an amazing experience that expanded my mind and my world, inspired me to continue down my chosen career path, and gave me great friends. I hope that everyone has a chance to study abroad and always be curious and open-minded because it will do so much good for you.


Related Content

Facebook Comments