This just happened:
I throw out a plastic bag that, a few minutes ago, had been full of popcorn I saved from last night.
My roommate takes notice.
“You know you can wash those? That’s like, really bad for the environment.”
I looked disdainfully at the trashcan.
“Well, it’s in the trash now, so I’m not going to take it out.”
“That’s really bad of you.”
I thought to myself about how often I use Tupperware and not plastic bags. How I bring a reusable bag almost every time I go shopping. And then I got a bit miffed.
“You know what’s the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide emissions and methane gases?”
My roommate threw me a nasty look.
“Factory farming. Of animals.”
“Well I’m doing everything I can to help the environment,” she responded.
“So am I,” was my retort.
“If I went vegetarian, I wouldn’t be healthy. I get my protein and fiber from meat.”
And I went off some more.
“Meat doesn’t have any fiber in it. Most Americans get twice the protein they actually need, anyway.”
“I wouldn’t be a healthy vegetarian.”
We each put our headphones back into our ears.
From the book Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health by Gene Stone:
“The United Nations has determined that raising livestock for food purposes generates more climate-heating gases than do all carbon-dioxide-emitting vehicles combined—in other words, cows are worse than cars. Some startling figures: The livestock sector accounts for nearly 10 percent of human-induced carbon dioxide emissions, 37 percent of methane emissions (methane is about 23 times more powerful than CO2 as a greenhouse gas). It also produces 65 percent of nitrous oxide emissions (nitrous oxide is 296 times more powerful than CO2) and 64 percent of human-induced ammonia emissions, a significant contributor to acid rain.”
“A report in New Scientist estimated that driving a hybrid car could save about one ton of CO2 emissions per year but adopting a plant-based diet would save nearly one and a half tons over a comparable period.”
“According to a 2006 University of Chicago study, the average American diet derives 47 percent of its calories from animal products. This amounts to a carbon “footprint” (i.e., impact) of 2.52 tons of CO2 emissions per person per year.”
There are plenty of other great quotes, but I’ll leave it at that. I’m not frustrated with my roommate – I’m frustrated at the misinformation. Why would we think that meat contains fiber? I only know it doesn’t because of my research into vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. But what about everyone else?