Okay, this might not be good news for a lot of you turkey-lovers out there, but sometimes the truth hurts: meat, poultry, and seafood production are, in general, bad for the planet.
Let’s take beef. Vast amounts of grain must be fed to cattle to produce even a small amount of animal protein for human consumption. According to the Worldwatch Institute, the total amount of soy and grain fed to livestock in the U.S. each year could feed everyone on the planet approximately five times over.
And cattle cultivation doesn’t just waste food: it wastes land, too. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock production now accounts for an astonishing 30 percent of the planet’s surface area (including both grazing areas and arable land to grow crops for feed).
Then there’s the issue of meat and climate change. Researchers at the University of Chicago calculated that if an average, meat-eating American switched to a plant-based diet, they would eliminate approximately 1.5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
Now let’s look at seafood. Industrial fishing methods can be notoriously destructive, destroying deep-ocean ecosystems and depleting fisheries at lightning pace. Luckily, SeaChoice has put together a fantastic downloadable seafood shopping guide for Canadian fish lovers.
Bottom line: if you’re up for it, plan at least one plant-based holiday meal. Visit how to go vegan for recipes and resources.