Thursday, April 02, 2009

Next Time Someone Asks Me Why I'm a Vegetarian . . .

. . . I might point them to this piece by Kathy Freston at Huffington Post. I am not entirely sure where all of these numbers come from and therefore cannot be entirely sure if they are accurate, but I feel safe saying that my being a vegetarian makes up for my using the dryer to unwrinkle my pants this morning:

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would save:

  • 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the homes in New England for almost 4 months;

  • 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a year; . . .

If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. would prevent:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France;

  • 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in resulting economic damages;

The article has many more numbers and factoids that paint vegetarianism as a green diet. (I'm still not entirely sure what happens to all the cows after we decide to stop eating them. It seems like we'll have to get through a couple generations of uneaten cows with longer-than-normal lifespans before we see the real benefits of the no-burgers-for-the-planet's-sake movement.)


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