By Alana Bray Barrey What we eat doesn't only effect our health, but it effects the health of our planet as well. The typical "Western diet" depends largely on meat, and it is taking a big toll on the environment. While raising animals for food is a main contributor to pollution of rivers and streams, C02 emissions, deforestation, and the extinction of various species of plants and animals, I am mainly concerned about the tremendous waste of water involved with eating animals. I live in California, and the drought is becoming a palpable, scary reality in my everyday life. Choosing to be mindful of how I use water isn't just about turning the faucet on and off, it also has to do with what I consume.
Today, raising animals for food is the topic. Raising animals for food is inefficient because animals eat large quantities of grain, and only produce comparatively small amounts of meat, dairy or eggs in return. Between watering crops for feed, drinking water or cleaning the filth, the high demand of our carnivorous diet is a strain on our water supply. Here are some mind blowing facts to put things in perspective.
- HALF of the water in the US is going to raising animals for food (www.peta.org)
- It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for 6 months. (www.peta.org)
- The water footprint of any animal product is larger than the water footprint of a wisely chosen crop product with equivalent nutritional value (www.waterfootprint.org)
- meat eaters consume the equivalent of about 5,000 litres (1,100 gallons) of water a day compared with 1,000-2,000 litres used by people on vegetarian diets. (www.theguardian.com)
It is understandable to feel helpless in the face of these complex realities, but in this case, there is a clear and accessible action that us as citizens can take. According to the New York Times, "Changing one's diet to replace 50% of animal products with edible plants results in a 30% reduction in an individuals food-related water footprint. Going vegetarian, a better option in many respects, reduces that water footprint by almost 60%."
Clearly, this is not an all or nothing approach. The first step is to be mindful of your meat and dairy intake. How many times a day or week do you eat animal products? Even reducing that amount by half will have a drastic impact on your water footprint. Remember, when you reduce one pound of meat out of your diet, you are saving 2,400 gallons of water! It is understandable that considering changing your diet is a big transition, and we are here to help. We have designed the beLiving Well Program, a complete 12-day detox program, to help you learn how to nourish yourself without meat. Even 12 days of no animal products will save thousands of gallons of water, and learning how to live like this as home base is a substantial action you can take to be the change.
This is a scary time, but it calls for ACTION! From one of my favorite "creating awareness for change" instagram accounts @theglobalmovement: "Massive movements about health, nutrition, activism, on many levels are blooming. The world is changing. The darkness is growing just as fast- but that does not mean we stray from doing our part or getting down in our hearts- we are a human family. We are in this together. We can change the world. First we must question our thoughts 24/7 contemplation and an end to impulsive lower mind living...There's always enough time for the important things in life. Open the eyes, feel the heart, and do good. Be light."
Our beLiving Well Program will have a huge impact on your personal health and the health of your environment. This will lift your vibration, your awareness and your contribution to the positive change that is happening in this world. You can do our program from near and far, with 3 different program options customized to what will help you succeed! Join us this Spring! April 13-24. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.