Sir Paul McCartney recently launched the concept of Meat Free Mondays in the UK and he issued this personal note to subscribers of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP newsletter. And all those stars (Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Kelly Osbourne, Kate Bosworth....) to the left, showed their support.
Meat Free Mondays were created in response to concern that the presence of Methane from Livestock are causing climatic degredation. Of course it is implied that the growing demand for Livestock for human consumption is the cause of this. In addition to the environmental dangers of Methane, Livestock are also responsible depleting our global supply of fresh water. McCartney points out that it takes "634 gallons of fresh water required to produce one 5.2 ounce (150g) Beef Burger". Above this, Livestock waste also accounts for water pollution as a result of the antibiotics and hormones these animals are given.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm by no means an Environmentalist nor am I a Tree Hugger, but I do recognize that we don't give much thought to how we hurt the world we live in. I'm not telling you to quit meat altogether because God only knows how much I love a nice rare Steak, but it is important that we have some degree of awareness to how simple things like eating a Burger are impacting the environment. If every one of us reduced our meat consumption by just one day a week, this in itself will undoubtedly have a long-term impact and perhaps force the Livestock industry to re-examine their business practices for the better.
And by going "meatless" for a day I don't mean just eating a Four-Cheese Lasagna or an Omelette instead of Pot Roast or Pork Chops. We have to be cognizant of the fact that the production of eggs and dairy go hand-in-hand with the same dangers of Livestock production. The same cows that we eat in our burgers are used also for providing that milk in your Lattes.
Also, if you make the choice to consume Soy products instead of meat, it is important to be aware of whether or not we are eating genetically modified Soybeans. Monsanto controls at least 70% of the Soy products that we eat today with derivatives of their beans being used in pretty much everything from Soy Milk to Breakfast Bars to Salad Dressing. Their corporate bullying tactics in having patented the genetic code to these modified beans have ousted many smaller Soy producers into bankruptcy. And let's not even get started about the amount of pesticides used in cultivating these Soybeans. This is no word of a lie and if you want to learn more about this, you need to watch the outstanding Food, Inc. which just got nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary.
I won't bore you with any more details, but always be smart about what you eat. When you can afford it, buy ethically raised meats/seafood, locally-grown and/or organic produce when possible. And give McCartney's idea of Meatless Mondays a thought at least. Your grandkids will thank you for it.