One important part of sustainability that receives short shift is sustainability. That may sound odd, redundant, even down right stupid. Think about what the term means. At its most basic, it means “continued survival”. How can people survive longer? A healthy lifestyle, particularly with regards to diet and exercise, holds the key.
A new advertising campaign has begun advocating “Meatless Mondays“. The goals of Meatless Mondays is to “reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.” The initiative is a non-profit working with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
According to the movement’s website “Americans are always looking to get more for less, especially when it comes to food. Though we may think we’re getting a deal, this attitude has taken us down a road ridden with hidden costs, both fiscal and physical.” The health component comes as result of saturated fat found in meat, particularly beef. In addition, the methane produced by cattle is roughly twenty times more powerful at trapping heat in the atmosphere as compared to carbon dioxide.
Beyond the environmental concerns, which include the resources necessary to raise cattle in large scale operations (as compared to local, smaller operations mentioned in a recent post), the waste they produce, and antibiotics they are given, elevated levels of meat in our diets have been linked to increased incidence of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and certain types of cancer. Click here for Meatless Mondays’ health and environmental benefits.