GOING GREEN ON YOUR DIET THIS XMAS? CUT DOWN ON THAT MOUTH WATERING STEAK!
But this goodwill may not be extended to Mother nature according to our prefered Xmas diets that are flush with meats,eggs in cakes and cream or cheese in the puddings.
I don't intend to be a spoiler of your palate whims in this festivities but before you chomp into that mouth watering Xmas Turkey or red welldone steak think about our Mother earth and the environment.
It is true that a plate of steamed vegs is not as inviting as that saucy steak but we tend to overdo it when it comes to our consumption of animal based proteins in comparison with our daily nutrient requirements of these kind of foods.
But to get to the crux of the matter,the green house gases emitted by animals in order to provide for our daily consumption of meat, milk and eggs constitutes 18% of all green house gases.
This makes the amount of green house gases produced by our automobiles pale in comparison.
This is made worse by industrialization of animal production into feedlots that make an equivalent of small animal-cities that harbour a vast number of animals in small areas and thereby leading to high accumulation of animal waste that does not seem to draw the same attention from waste disposal enforcing authorities like the rest of the industrial waste.
The difference between production of animals and crops and their contribution to greenhouse gases is that plants take in a lot of carbon dioxide from the environment during their photosynthesis process while animals keep on burping out more of these gases into the environment during their digestion process.
But the main idea here is not to compel everyone of us to be a vegeterian as such,but to be sensible in our animal products consumption as per our dietary requirements as opposed to satisfying the whims of our greedy palate for that saucy steak or cream whipped pudding.
The world governments should also look into the sensibility of subsidising confined animal lots that only help aggravate the green house gas problem as these animal are fed with a lot of grain based rations that result in high production of methane gas during their digestion.
Diversion of grains that can go into processing of human food into these food lots will in the end agravate the food shortage problem facing the world as as result of Biofuel hype that has also diverted a lot of food crops into its production.
I'd prefer the harnessing of Solar energy and windpower( or even Biogas) that are naturally occuring than starve half of the world in order to produce biofuels.
The fallacy that the world population will be malnourished if they had less meat and other animal products in their diets is just that;a fallacy!
It is better to have a few number of livestock that are raised in a way that does not harm the environment and endanger human health than to worry that the world is going suffer from shortage of meat and other animal food products. Gold is a precious metal because it is not very common and that is how meat should be in our diets.
Making meat available in our diets at a price that dictates its judicious use at minimum required dietary amounts might just save our environment and allow us to live more days to enjoy a fleeting luxury of welldone steak every day at no big cost to mother earth.
What is also more worrying about the industrialisation of animal production is the high levels of antibiotics that are incorporated in the livestock feeds as prophylactics against disease epidemics in these congested industrial farms.
This has led to emergence of drug resistant bugs that are exerting a heavy toll on the health care systems in many countries as human and animals use quite a number of similar antibiotic types in their disease treatment and control.
Hence,indiscriminate use of these antibiotics as prophylactics in animal feeds has a direct implication on human health care system if drug resistant bugs develop as a result.
The pasture and paddock system has one advantage over these livestock industrial farms;as the animals bump out the green house gases,the pasture crops readily take it up immediatelly to make up the next meal for the grazing animal thus cutting down on its excessive emission into the wider environment.
That is how the nature intended it to be in the first place and that is the sustainable way to produce animals and take care of the environment. The dung in the pasture fields is also readily recycled by the pasture plants into more harmless form as opposed to mountains of farm manure common in the animal industrial farms.
For this Xmas,cut down on your welldone steak and save our environment.
Have a GREEN XMAS CAKE and my best wishes!
(The author is an Organic Livestock Consultant and hence the bias for natural animal rearing methods)