21/05/13 10.31Bruce Friedrich: Eating As Though the Environment MatteredPagina 1 di 3http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bruce-friedrich/meat-consumption-impact-environment_b_3274251.html
Eating As Though the Environment Mattered
Imagine taking 6-20 plates of food and dumping them in the trash, perfectly freshand edible. Off they go to the landfill. Obviously, none of us would behave sowastefully.And yet that's precisely the effect each time any of us consumes meat, since the vastmajority of the calories consumed by a chicken, pig, or other animal goes into keep-ing that animal alive (or into producing bones, blood, and other parts humans don'tconsume). Only a small fraction of those calories is turned into flesh.And that's just the pure "calories in, calories out" equation. When you factor in all theextra stages of production that are required for meat relative to grains and legumes,the anti-environmental nature of meat consumption becomes even more stark: First,you have to grow many times more corn, grain, and soy (with all the required tilling,irrigation, crop dusters, poisons, and so on), than would be required if we ate theplants directly. Then you have to transport all that grain and soy to feedmanufacturers, in gas-guzzling, pollution-spewing 18-wheelers. Then you have tooperate the feed mill (again, using massive amounts of resources), truck the feed tothe factory farms, operate the factory farms, truck the animals many miles toslaughterhouses, operate the slaughterhouses, truck the meat to processing plants,operate the meat processing plants, truck the meat to grocery stores (in refrigeratedtrucks), and keep the meat in refrigerators or freezers at the stores.With every stage comes significant additional energy needs, and with that energy usecomes air and water pollution, and massive greenhouse gas production. Of course,grains and legumes require some of these stages too, but they cut out the pollutionspewing factory farms and slaughterhouses, as well as multiple stages of heavily pol-luting tractor-trailer trucks. And as was already noted, they also require a fraction of the calories (and tillers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.) from crops, since those crops areturned directly into food rather than funneled through animals first.The vast inefficiency of funneling crops through animals means that eating meat is --according to the United Nations-- "one of the major causes of the world's most press-ing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air andwater pollution, and loss of biodiversity."
For space, I'll look briefly at just two of those issues: