Last week during BU Dining’s Vegetarian Cooking Class, Sustainability Coordinator Sabrina Pashtan spoke about the benefits of vegetarianism. Here were some of the highlights:
Vegetarian diets help conserve water
It takes about 25 gallons of water to grow 1 pound of wheat, but it takes an astonishing 390 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef. Additionally, animal agriculture pollutes rivers and streams by contaminating water supplies with pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers used to grow food for the animals.
Vegetarian diets protect the land
Livestock grazing leads to desertification of the land by causing erosion of the topsoil and drying out of the land, preventing it from supporting the growth of plant life. Also, the amount of land resources needed to raise animals is greater than the amount needed to grow enough plant matter to feed the same number of people directly.
Vegetarian Diets Conserve Fossil Fuels
The production of meat, eggs, and dairy products utilizes a significant amount of fossil fuels to transport animal feed and animals, as well as, to run machinery on the factory farms where animals are raised.
Havala, Suzanne. Being Vegetarian for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc. Indianapolis, IN, 2001.
Image from: http://ridley-thomas.lacounty.gov/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Green-Energy-Environment.jpg