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Why eating less meat is the best thing you can do for the planet in 2020

Meat is an undeniable dish for any special occasion. Hell, it’s an undeniable dish period. And it’s not hard to see why. Meat entrances our taste buds in a way no other food item can. We also know that consumption of meat or let’s say, over consumption of meat has hazardous effects on our health. From obesity to heart attack and even cancer, meat is proving to be doing more harm than good these days.

What not many understand is the harmful effects of meat on our planet. It wasn’t this way all the time. But with changing times and demand for meat being at an all-time high, over consumption of meat is affecting our planet in a bad way. About 37% of methane emissions, and about 65% of nitrous oxide emissions, globally, is via the livestock sector. These are pretty staggering numbers that show us that rising demand for meat is becoming a reason for the earth’s deterioration. All these things point to one thing: That we must control our meat-eating instincts. Here are reasons Why eating less meat is the best thing you can do for the planet in 2020.

It Will Reduce Greenhouse Gasses

How many of you know that your consumption of meat directly contributes to the production of greenhouse gases? A report released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN suggests that the livestock industry is a heavy contributor of greenhouse gases, and is a leading contributor to water pollution. Big chunks of livestock greenhouse gas emissions are from the methane production during enteric fermentation in ruminants. More livestock means more amount of methane being produced. This elevated greenhouse gas emissions will increase air pollution and thus contributing towards increasing no of ill people. Respiratory diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD, pneumonia from bacterial infections, the list of pollution-inflicted diseases goes on. Thus, if we make our contribution and put control over our meat-eating habits, we can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emitted in the atmosphere.

Improve land Quality

The amount of feed required to produce a pound of beef is seven pounds. It’s just a little stat to show that animals needed to be fed well in order to get a sizable amount of meat from them. So, to feed large no of livestock, they are often sent to open land for grazing. This contributes to the decline in land quality, as these large herd of animals consuming their food will result in overgrazing. These animals remove nutrients from the soil by a simple act of feeding themselves. As a result, the land suffers from a decrease in soil quality; and eventually degrades through activities like soil erosion. Reduce the consumption of meat, improve the quality of the land.

Reduce Overutilization of Water

With an increase in population, the present trend in the food consumption point towards a rapid increase in animal products at the expense of crops in developing countries. This goes to show how much people are gravitating towards meat. Some of the raw data related to meat and water can be equally shocking. To produce one pound of beef, 1,799 gallons of water are required. To produce one pound of pork, 576 gallons of water are required. The immense scale at which meat is produced, these numbers are bound to increase. We live in a world where fresh water is becoming scarce day by day, and there is a shortage of water in general, with farmers unable to properly water their crops. Why should we be eating meat regularly when it threatens to destroy our water sources?

Save Aquatic Ecosystem

Meat productions over the past few years have intensified. Animals are living in super closed spaces without much hygiene. These animals are given artificial growth hormones and are injected with veterinary drugs to keep themselves immune from various diseases.

These drugs find their way to water sources through various waste disposal methods. It starts from small water sources, gradually making way to large rivers and oceans. They heavily contaminate the water bodies and have dangerous effects on aquatic animals. It destroys the aquatic ecosystem and can cause death to these aquatic creatures. With reducing our meat consumption, we are doing a lot in maintaining the balance of aquatic ecosystems.

Reduce Deforestation

The meat industry is one of the biggest drivers of deforestation. They take up vast areas of land for things like cattle ranching and soy cultivation. With the increased demands of meat and meat products, the industry is only looking for more lands, and this ultimately leads to deforestation. Deforestation is one of the major contributors to global climate change. If we wish that our planet’s climate change doesn’t go off the rails, we must put a check on our meat usage.


The appeal of meat is indisputable. Therefore, the idea of reducing/stopping its consumption may seem a bit too much for some of you. But the Data’s show the truth. Our planet is in danger and the meat industry— is in many ways— responsible for it. Things definitely will not change overnight, but all big things have small beginnings.

We can start by switching our diet to vegetarian. They may not have the unique taste of meat, but they are pretty tasty and very healthy food items. It will help bring a proper balance in the world. And slowly but steadily improve the earth’s climate. You don’t have to completely ignore meat though. Just reduce its consumption.

Tanvi Sharma

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