WannaVeg has taken a novel approach to the hot topic of food and environment. Their Meat Powered Bicycle article demonstrates how, by fueling the “engine” of a bicycle (i.e. the rider) with a meat-based diet, even the super-efficient bicycle starts to look a lot less green. In fact, according to Bicycling Wastes Gas by Michael Bluejay, meat eaters use twice as much fossil fuel to nourish themselves as vegetarians.
From Bicycling Wastes Gas:
It is actually quite astounding how much energy is wasted by the standard American diet-style. Even driving many gas-guzzling luxury cars can conserve energy over walking — that is, when the calories you burn walking come from the standard American diet! This is because the energy needed to produce the food you would burn in walking a given distance is greater than the energy needed to fuel your car to travel the same distance, assuming that the car gets 24 miles per gallon or better.
The environmental impact of people’s diets has been getting a ton of attention lately. “Food miles” is becoming a common term. Popular books like Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The Omnivore’s Dilemma take focused looks at this topic.
There’s even an upcoming cookbook with the environmental impact of food as its theme: Global Warming Diet book offers “cool recipes for a hot planet.” The book’s website makes the link between the Standard American Diet (SAD) and the environmental devastation that it causes.
The real fireworks on this front started with a recent report issued by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. The report states that the livestock industry creates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. PETA, the Humane Society of the
As WannaVeg says: “It’s actually better to be a vegetarian that drives a Chevy Tahoe, than to be a meat eater that bikes or walks everywhere.” Of course, the best solution is to reduce both meat consumption and car-usage.
Here at Carectomy, reducing global warming is one of several reasons we’re promoting a less car-heavy populace (better health, happier lives, etc.) But it’s important to look at the entire picture. If we strive to reduce global warming, adjusting our diets to be less meat centered will be a crucial component. Simply decreasing the animal content of your diet will have a significant impact, and will keep your “engine” green and well-tuned.