Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Ecological Impact of Hybrid Automobiles

While to many it may seem obvious that hybrids make less of an impact on the environment than other automobiles, it is actually far less clear cut. While hybrids might have better fuel economy, they prove to be more expensive to produce and more damaging to the environment to manufacture. What do you get for all this effort? Some hybrids can get drastically better gas mileage than their gasoline equivalent, but many (such as SUVs) get equivalent or even worse mileage (carseek.com).

For example, take the production of the most famous hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius. The Prius uses a battery which contains nickel. The nickel for these batteries is mined in Ontario, Canada (from a mine nicknamed “The Super Stack” due to its pollution output). After the nickel has been mined it travels (via massive container ships) to Europe for refinement, then to China to be made into a “nickel foam”, then to Japan to be assembled as part of the battery. After all this shipping, the car is then sent (again, via container ship) to the United States for sale. All told, the estimated expenditure of energy to produce a Prius is 113,000,000 BTUs, the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of gasoline (wired.com). If you think of this as a gasoline debt, then you must drive your Prius for 46,000 miles before you’re even.

What’s a simple way to help save the environment? Buy a used car. The damage of producing the car has already been made, and often times many used cars have MPG ratings at or near some of the more fuel-efficient hybrids. The frequently ridiculed Geo Metro XFI is rated by the EPA at 46 miles per gallon, the same as the Toyota Prius, and can often be found for a fraction of the cost. A plethora of these cars exist – such as the Ford Festiva, Dodge Colt, and Mazda Protégé – and you’ll save the planet from the damage of producing another car.

Hybrids are touted by many as being a major step in saving the environment, and they certainly are a step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet. If you choose to ignore the damage on the environment and energy costs of production, the hybrid vehicle seems superior. However, upon closer investigation, the perceived benefit of a hybrid vehicle doesn’t withstand the scrutiny of empirical evidence.

-Andrew Diamond

Why be a Vegetarian? To save the world

1. Deforestation:

One of the main reasons that are affecting the environment is cutting trees in all around the world. Being vegetarian will help in solve this problem.

“In order to make room for the vast amount of grassland needed to support cattle, forests are clearcut throughout the world. In South America, home of the widest variety of species, 40% of the total amount of rain forests have been cleared in the last fifty years. In another fifty there will be no amazon rain forest. Not only will thousands of species go extinct, with their possible cures to disease, but all the oxygen produced by the Amazon literally regulates oxygen levels in the atmosphere. We could all suffocate ourselves slowly”

2. Water Use

One of the most pressing environmental issues around the world is fresh water. Currently humans have appropriated about half the available fresh water on the planet. Much of this water will be renewed each year because of adequate rainfall. But humans live in such a variety of climates that, in many areas, water is becoming more scarce. The amount of water used every day to sustain a vegetarian diet is 300 gallons/day and for a meat-based diet is 4,000 gallons/day.

3. River pollution from waste

Cattle produce 130 times more waste than the entire human population. This is too much waste for the earth to absorb, and therefore it is more often washed away, over top the clearcut fields, and into the rivers. This changes the chemistry of the rivers, affecting nitrate/oxygen levels. It is estimated that over 27,000 miles of river ways have been polluted due to animal waste alone

4. Disease

In history, most of the worst epidemics to the human population can be directly traced back to the meat industry. The unsanitary conditions these animals are raised in can harbor new diseases, which can spread to the human population quickly.
Also, the amount of hormones and chemicals injected into the animals to keep them healthy raise the question of what kinds of chemicals are we now ingesting? The hormones in mild have been connected to girls getting their periods earlier, cancer, allergies, and more



http://hubpages.com/hub/whyvegie


By Dhiya Alsuliman

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Vegetarian Is the New Prius

By: Essam Almajid

In the article Vegetarian is the New Prius, the author looks at how the emissions
from livestock is similar to the toxins spewed out by automobiles. He reinforces his analysis by comparing the change from gas to electric to that of converting to vegetarianism, because it eliminates harmful ozone depleting gases. Most of the meat that people eat, while it is in the form of a living creature, expels many tons of greenhouse gases, which are incredibly harmful to the environment. The author likens this to the impact that conventional vehicles have on our environment.

The author expands on the fact that “animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet”. This is an alarming statistic, because it reflects our dependence on meat products. It is a similar predicament that we have with automobiles and gasoline. He also discusses how it is amazing that an animal as small as a chicken can have such an impact on our environment. He concludes by saying that it is amazing that by eating greener, everyone can help the planet. The same holds true for driving greener.

In my mind, I feel that we will gradually work away from gasoline and also meat products. In fact feel that being a vegetarian might be as hip as driving a hybrid car someday.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Vegeterian diet over hybrid cars

Not only has the meat production industry historically exhibited its self as a system that incurs ample costs and environmental damage; contemporarily, with an exponential demand for meat, it demonstrates these practices have not ceased, are only on the rise, and coming with more costs to environmental health, economic health, and human health than in previous decades. While most individuals who are conscious of the environment are aware of the concerns surrounding fossil fuels, oil may not be the only commodity soon topping the charts of environmental blasphemists; the meat production industry is coming up quickly behind, if not already taking a place on par with black gold; and the scariest factor in this dilemma is the fact that while there are alternatives to fossil fuels, there are few, if any, alternatives to producing meat.
One solution offered and supported, now by globally recognized organizations such as the United Nations, not only by subcultures, is a movement in dietary trends away from meat and dairy products; towards a vegetarian lifestyle. While meat does provide individuals with nutrition, and the remains can be used in leather production, ect. The meat industry has, and continues to, pollute the world at rates similar to that of the automobile industry, and unlike the automobile industry, meat is consumed by almost everyone. The meat production industry comes with three primary consequences that are beginning to outweigh any potential benefit yielded in their business; environmental pollution, especially in regards to green house gases, environmental deforestation and destruction of natural resources, and lastly, damage to human health. These are the three main topics I will analyze in this blog; but it is obvious if this topic is analyzed critically, one can realize how the repercussions of the meat production industry stretch out to just about every corner of our environmental and economic concerns.
Human health is negatively impacted primarily by the methods by which meat is produced. Here in the United States, we use a feedlot system, where animals are strictly confined, and quickly raised and slaughtered. This method of raising animals was thought to have been an eco-improvement from the previously used method, the pasture system; where animals are raised longer before slaughter and have free mobility (still used in many African countries and around the globe). However, it has failed “the African pasture system produces more methane than the feedlot system due to the much longer life of the animals when incorporating indirect greenhouse gas production from fossil fuels used in production the feedlot produces nearly twice the greenhouse gases at 14.8 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of beef, compared to 8.1 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of beef in the African pasture system”(Fiala, 2008). Due to the demand for meat and the desire for profit, the feedlot method of raising animals has been adopted by westernized nations and used to produce the most amount of meat for the cheapest cost to production owners; regardless of the cost to human, or environmental health.
While feedlots are able to crank out more meat each day, they are doing so with a deadly trick. Feedlots thrive off of quick turn around; they want the animals, whether they be cows, pigs, or chickens, in, grown, slaughtered, and sold as fast as possible, and as cheaply as possible. To accomplish this, farmers use hormones as the primary accelerant for raising animals, and these hormones pass through from the animal which ingested them, into the human who is ingesting the meat they have purchased.
The hormones and chemicals used in the feed of animals, and in accelerating the growth of animals, are having a horrifically negative impact onto the human population. As a result of farmers wanting to make a bigger buck, and really having to keep up with such an escalating demand, people are experiencing a higher prevalence of cancers and other diseases that can be attributed to the hormones and chemicals used in the meat production industry. Everything from the feed that is used to raise the animals to the supplements given to increase the size of the animals on these feedlots are contributing to the rise in human health deficiencies, early menstruation in girls, and early development in boys. This process also makes the animals very sick, resulting in farms being isolated away from the general population, and requiring ample regulation just to safely function “In order to get a large amount of meat from feedlot cattle, which live around a fourth as long as some pastoral cattle, hormones are used to speed up growth. This often leads to the animals becoming very sick, meaning they must be isolated from people and other animals”(Fiala, 2008).
Additionally, the sanitary conditions of many meat producing farms are poor to under par; it is an irrefutable truth that each year toxic, if not deadly, contaminants from these farms come in contact with our food, and not only with meat products; killing people each year directly, and making thousands ill as a result of poor sanitary conditions. A current topic of further inquiry that is becoming poplar in regards to the meat industry is worker health. It is estimated that workers on these feedlots have significantly poorer health than workers in other jobs, and these findings are being related back to the chemicals used in meat production, and the unsanitary working conditions which are common place on feedlots.
While people who consider their selves to be environmentally conscious are aware of, and probably on top of, the crisis surrounding fossil fuels, many individuals have not even been educated into how detrimental the meat production industry is onto our planet. According to a report published this year by the United Nations Environment Program, the agriculture industry in the United States was on a par with the transportation industry in regards to fossil fuel consumption. While the primary image individuals have in their heads of the meat industry may not be animals driving cars, the amount of fossil fuels consumed in transporting both live and processed animals is ample; as is the amount of fuel needed to run the farms and grow/transport feed/water for the animals. It was estimated in 2008 that “to produce 1 kg of beef in a US feedlot requires the equivalent of 14.8 kg of CO2. As a comparison, 1 gallon of gasoline emits approximately 2.4 kg of CO2. Producing 1 kg of beef thus has a similar impact on the environment as 6.2 gallons of gasoline, or driving 160 miles in the average American mid-size car” (Fiala, 2008).
On the topic of gases, the meat production industry is a leading contributor to green house gases; directly contributing between 4.6 and 7.1 billion tons of green house gases, roughly 15-24% of all green house gas emissions in the United States, annually (Fiala, 2008). Indirectly, an uncalculated value of gases and toxins can be attributed to the meat industry, when other factors such as deforestation and other business practices which collude with the meat industry are taken into consideration.
Meat production plants and farms, like all businesses, do not appear over night or with out making substantial arrangements for their arrival. Unlike cars, which not everyone owns or uses, almost every person consumes meat or dairy products, and the demand for meat and dairy products has been escalating in the past decades, and continues to, at an exponential rate. Keeping up with this demand has lead to larger farms and more farms; and to accommodate for the farms and production plantations, a serious amount of land must be cleared to the ground to make way. This step in meat production is often not taken into consideration, nor is the amount of land that is cleared for animal grazing.
As published in the New York Times, and supplemented by a United Nations report, Brazil stopped the further clearing of their rainforests for crop and grazing land for the meat industry after it had consumed 1,250 square miles of land in five months. Additionally, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, an estimated thirty percent of earth’s ice free land is directly or indirectly used for livestock production, and generates more than a fifth of the world’s green house gases, more than transportation. It is obvious an ample amount of land and resources are used for the production and transportation of meat and dairy, and despite the fact that these are precious commodities to some, and a source of nutrition, the meat industry also stands in the way of solving the global hunger crisis.
Roughly 800 million people world wide suffer from hunger (as of 2008), but majority of the corn and soy grown in the world goes to feeding pigs, cows, and chickens, as reported by Rosamond Naylor, associate professor of economics at Stanford University. While it is arguably a large request for individuals to convert to a vegetarian lifestyle, it would not only be a lifestyle that would allow for environmental restoration to some degree, but also for a solution to the global hunger crisis. With the land that is used to produce meat and feed for that meat, crops of all sorts could be grown and produced in vast quantities arguably large enough to feed the growing population. With populations expanding globally, our diets must undergo a change; as nations develop economically and begin to afford meat in larger quantities, the meat industry is expanding faster and faster, and in many nations that do not have regulations on business practices. China and other Asian countries are leading this expansion, and if other means are not sought to supplement this behavior, the meat industry will expand to unforeseen proportions, raising the amount of gases and toxins put into our earth and bodies, as well as the many resources needed to produce, transport and sustain the meat industry.
Meat is definitely a sought after commodity, however, so is water, food, land, fuel, labor, and health. Converting to a vegetarian lifestyle would be a difficult step to make; however, when pitted between that and converting to hybrid vehicles, I find it impossible to say the latter would yield more of a benefit in regards to restoring the environment. As we face finding a solution to the devastation we have caused unto our planet, we will not find an easy one. Converting to a vegetarian lifestyle would however help the environment amply, gosh, removing it alone could reduce annual green house gas emissions by twenty four percent; not to mind the conversion could allow for solutions to come to other prevalent problems, such as fossil fuel consumption, deforestation, hunger, and contamination of our global resources.

SOURCES USED:
• Fiala, N. (2008). Meeting the demand: an estimation of potential future greenhouse gas emissions from meat production. Ecological Economics, 3(4), Retrieved from http://csaweb110v.csa.com.proxy.lib.pdx.edu/ids70/view_record.php?id=3&recnum=7&log=from_res&SID=5ora4suedcuk78g91nmpm49e61&mark_id=search%3A3%3A24%2C0%2C25
• Carus, F. (2010, June 2). Un urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet. The Guardian, Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jun/02/un-report-meat-free-diet
• Bittman, M. (2008, January 27). Rethinking the meat-guzzler. New York Times, Retrieved from http://openwetware.org/images/e/e8/MeatGuzzler_NYT_012808.pdf

by Belal Albar

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Vegetarian and Hybrid Countries

Vegetarian and Hybrid Countries
By Kyle Knuth

In the future America might want to take a page out of Britain’s book who consumes half as much meat a year. To make the world a more sustainable place we all need to make adjustments and follow the examples, and theories other countries have already made. Grain and bean based foods are becoming more popular making food more sustainable and saving us all money. Britain is doing a good job not wasting all of their grain by feeding it to livestock; or gathering many livestock together creating a giant source of methane gas destroying the environment. So why doesn’t America become more vegetarian? Well it is probably because meat tastes good, this does not however mean Americans should cut out red meat entirely. If we could all just cut back a little, switching to more vegetarian friendly foods we could create a better world. China, India, France, and many other countries are currently trying to become more vegetarian in nature. If America is trying to become more sustainable they should focus more on a vegetarian friendly lifestyle.
America should also look at Japan when it comes to Hybrid vehicles. Japan buys many of the hybrid cars although America is doing well to try and keep up. I think that becoming a vegetarian is still more beneficial to the environment than a hybrid car but this does not mean that we should not still buy them. We like Japan should do more research to make the hybrid car even more sustainable. Creating a better process for manufacturing the battery and car may be one way to help the environment. Also, using different or more sustainable materials could help make the cost of a hybrid less expensive. The Japanese cars like Toyota and Honda are currently leading the new wave of hybrid cars. I think that the U.S. should start to create their own hybrid cars. If everyone worked on creating a more sustainable car then the prices would be reduced as well as toxic waste emissions.


http://www.cashforclunkersfacts.com/2009/06/page/2/
http://www.vegetarianguides.co.uk/samples/VegetarianHeaven.shtml
http://www.satyamag.com/feb07/eshel.html

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bacon Sizzles on a Hot Prius

I used a plastic bag yesterday at the grocery store. I know … I know … I’m a terrible person. It is a rare occurrence that I forget my reusable grocery bag. The guilty looks from my fellow shoppers were enough for me to just leave all my groceries behind and run away. Last year (though it feels more like last month) I wouldn’t have even thought about the bag. Times are changing, and they’re changing fast. It seems, now, it’s just not enough to walk or ride a bike to work and school, conserve water & electricity, recycle, never litter, plant trees and use reusable grocery bags. There is constant social demand for me to do more; do better. I have to stop and ask myself, “What is the acceptable level of my carbon footprint?”



Over the last few years our society has been placing pressure on every individual to do what they can (and then some) to make our world a more sustainable place to live. It seems the pressure mounts daily. In 2008 Popular Science voted Portland, OR, my hometown, the greenest city in the country. Coming up next month, on August 1, one of our favorite stores, Fred Meyer, will be trying out the “no plastic bag” concept by issuing only paper bags that day. It’s a great attempt to encourage others to do the right thing. Of course, there is little doubt this act will encourage shoppers to buy some of their handy-dandy re-usable shopping bags, like I have. Regardless of the motives, I absolutely love this city and I’m especially proud of all the efforts that are made here on a daily basis to ensure a green environment. I enjoy living here and am proud to contribute to the general effort to ensure we stay on top. But how much is enough? Which efforts are most efficient? What will do the most good for the least cost and sacrifice?



Is it better to drive a hybrid, or eat vegetarian?



There’s been a lot of research around the benefits of owning a hybrid car. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “highway vehicles account for 26 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States and 51 percent of the emissions for a typical American household.” I do grasp how the gas is always greener on the hybrid side and, therefore, better for our planet. So, choosing to drive a hybrid is one way to reduce impact on the environment without sacrificing the advantages of owning a vehicle. But, hybrids are also quite a bit more expensive to purchase, come with their own set of environmental hazards (like battery disposal), and the jury is still out over the extent of their true impact on the environment. So just how green is it to drive a hybrid car? Is it worth it? Is it … “enough?”



Perhaps becoming a vegetarian is a financially more viable option for most people. Although folks will often spout the benefits of being a vegetarian (mostly vegetarians), humans are historically natural omnivores. Also, several studies’ results caution against the difficulties of achieving a balanced yet all-vegetable diet and question the health benefits of vegetarianism. On the flip side, according to Environmental Defense, “if every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.” So maybe it’s better to eat our way to a greener planet? Is that the best option? Can I still have bacon??



Our study, pitting the Toyota Prius against vegetarianism in a battle for superior environmental sustainability, seeks to answer these and more questions. As the hybrid-powered bolts of superhero energy and methane-piercing spears of asparagus subside, the dust settles, and our victorious green gladiator emerges, we can all rest assured that more challenges await us at the front lines of environmental protection. Onward and green-word.



It’s no secret that the more people are willing to do to save the environment today, the more it will help our future generations. People are generally good and will do their part to help others and themselves. Ideally, if we all stopped consuming meat and owned hybrids, we would make huge steps towards conserving our planet. That is not an entirely realistic goal, but a good direction to work toward nonetheless. The truth of the matter is that every step counts – even the small ones. One day we will probably have cost-efficient edible vehicles made of vegan granola that run on water and emit lavender-scented oxygen. Until that day comes, we have the option of choice, which is one of the beautiful benefits of living in the US, today. There is no doubt that there is room for improvements in my life to be more environmentally responsible. Indeed, I should turn off my lights more when I’m not using them and reduce the temperature on my water heater. But, sometimes, only a hot shower will do. My choice is to take small steps and work my way toward bigger ones. Though I don’t see Prius-ownership in my immediate future, I won’t be buying a Hummer, either. Perhaps I’ll throw a salad or some tofu in my reusable grocery bag tonight, but tomorrow … it’s all bacon, baby!



-- David Campbell, ecopol project

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Economics of Vegetarianism

On this blog we have explored the impacts that vegetarianism may have on the environment and health of the individual, but what of the economic and ecological costs? How much of an impact does a meat-oriented diet make on the world and one’s wallet?

Many studies have been done about the impact made on nature by human’s consumption of meat. In the book Diet for a Small Planet author Frances Moore Lappe makes the argument that to produce one eight-ounce steak takes the equivalent of 45-50 cups of grain, enough to feed far more than one person. In the United States the average person consumes roughly 2,000 pounds of grain a year compared to 400 pounds per person in underdeveloped countries. This disparity is because almost 90% of grain in this country is fed to animals first, whereas underdeveloped countries eat grain directly. It’s of no doubt that this system is horrendously inefficient, taking thousands of pounds of grain and water to produce one pound of meat.

The economic costs of vegetarianism prove to be beneficial, as well. In the average store a pound of the cheapest cuts of meat (ground round beef and boneless chicken breasts) costs between $3.00 and $3.50, yet a pound of lentils, beans or rice can generally be found for under $1. It takes little mathematics to prove that the average vegetarian meal can be produced at far less cost than one containing meat, and the benefits don’t end when the bill comes. Though the lifespan of vegetarians is comparable to that of meat-eaters, the likelihood of suffering from medical complications is greater. According to numerous studies of life-long vegetarians (most notably the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Health study) they suffer from significantly lower rates of obesity, coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, diet-related cancers, and gall stones. From an economic standpoint these diseases are expensive to treat and live with. For instance, a bypass surgery or angioplasty can cost in excess of $60,000 dollars.

It’s clear that the economic, health, and ecological impact of vegetarianism are great. The Western lifestyle that is geared towards large consumption of meat is both damaging to the environment that raises the meat as well as the people who consume it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Blog 2 ‘Hybrid vs. Vegetarian, a study’

Blog 2 by Kyle Knuth

‘Hybrid vs. Vegetarian, a study’

Hybrid cars are a way to make the world slightly more sustainable. The problem with hybrid cars is their battery. Although hybrid car batteries are becoming more recyclable creating a more sustainable car their production is quite expensive. The amount of production and manufacturing of this nickel based battery makes the hybrid car become more expensive then it ought to be. If we could create a battery cheaper and more efficiently than hybrid cars would be sold more helping the environment. These batteries are very expensive ranging close to $7,500 for some batteries. Part of this reason is over manufacturing and throwing away batteries instead of fixing them.
Hybrid car batteries are generally just thrown away when they die, or in some cases recycled. This problem could be solved by just fixing the battery. “It is not a problem with the nickel metal hydride cells, but a corroded connection. This is common with any electrical connector on any part of any car. The dealerships don’t fix the connections. They replace the entire hybrid battery (Craig 1)”. This is a great discovery considering even if the battery is expensive to initially buy a person would only have to spend roughly 1 to 2 thousand dollars to have it fixed. This would make these cars more sustainable and save on gas/oil.
By saving oil with these hybrid cars are economy would increase and create a more sustainable world without the pollution of a battery and the savings on oil that would emit less pollution. Becoming vegetarian also saves the environment “It's better for the planet, reducing water usage and global-warming gases. And it certainly improves the health of the cow or pig you would have devoured.” Many countries already have a near vegetarian diet with all the rice, beans, and corn that they eat. If we all started eating less red meat or becoming vegetarian the world would become more sustainable and we would all save more money. Meat substitutes are the only real expensive cost for vegetarians. By going vegetarian you are more likely to live a longer healthier life which is also clearly more sustainable for us. These health issues are lower heart disease rates, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc.
If we start trying to cut down the costs of hybrid cars and their batteries, the world will become more sustainable. This is done through the use of fixing batteries instead of throwing them away making the batteries and hybrid cars a good deal. They will save gas money, make the world less dependent on oil, and emit fewer toxins into the air saving the environment. Also, by becoming vegetarian the planet will save water, and create less global warming. It will create longer and healthier lives and make us more sustainable.







http://www.hybridcars.com/economics/hidden-costs.html

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SavingandDebt/SaveMoney/GoVegetarianToSaveMoney.aspx?page=2

Saturday, July 17, 2010

What option is best?

There is plenty of info and scientific studies on the merits of eating vegetarian/vegan vs driving a Hybrid. My first impression is that changing your eating habits is going to be more beneficial to the environment vs driving a Hybrid. This seems to be backed up by multiple articles I have read and the examples posted on this blog by other writers in the group.
Here is a quote from one article that I liked
With the energy needed to produce a single hamburger, you could drive a small car twenty miles. Next time you’re craving a burger, think about the fabulous road trip you could take!"



The thing that gets me the most about this discussion is not even a matter of what lifestyle option is more effective, but which option is easiest for the majority of people to partake in. If being a vegan or vegetarian and driving a hybrid had the same effect on the environment, which option would be the easiest to implement into the average persons life?

From my point of view, as a student driving a 9 year old honda accord, its not looking like I will be in the financial position to purchase a hybrid anytime soon, my car cost me $4,000 and is going to run for another 150,000 miles. Im going to drive it until the wheels fall off and save money that I would've spent on a nicer car, for a house. I don't want to spend any money on a car cause the economy is bad, and especially am not going to be able to come up with the extra money for a hybrid, even though there are studies that show paying the extra money for a hybrid upfront can save you money in the long run. For me if all environmental benefits are equal, going vegetarian is the easier lifestyle choice to implement for the average person.

The auto industries struggles are not coming just because people suddenly decided that driving cars is bad for the environment. Its struggling because fuel prices are high, american cars are costly to maintain, and the economy is all around bad. Having good options for a nice hybrid car may be high on some people's list, and you can even market the gas saving a hybrid does, but few people have the money to shell out for that item based on the idea that it is saving the environment. At this time in our society it is a way better option for consumers to go vegetarian than put up the money to buy a hybrid.

So the benefits of a hybrid include reducing emissions, eventually saving money on gas, and maybe feeling trendy in your new car. (there are others of course but this is about as deep as an average consumer is going to go)
Benefits of going Vegetarian are; reducing emissions, saving money not eating out as much, feeling healthier, feeling trendy in your new lifestyle ;), and it does not come with some huge investment and a monthly payment, parking tickets, and insurance.

So for me, even though studies have show that going vegetarian may be the more effective way to reduce emissions, it is also a choice that is easiest to make for a much larger portion of our population and this is what will make it more beneficial for planet earth than driving a hybrid.

David Doyle

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hybrid Cars

I found some interesting information about Hybrid cars so I just quoted the article from the website:


Hybrid Car Emissions Information

Today's production hybrid cars are marketed by a singular benefit; increased fuel economy. Even though it is true that hybrid cars can save drivers a bundle on gasoline and even earn them a tax rebate (see hybrid car tax rebate) the much more important benefit is the very significant reduction in emissions. Generally, hybrid cars produce 80% less harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline cars. This translates to less airborne pollutants, and a cleaner earth.

The chart at left shows the emissions of greenhouse gases in tons from the most fuel efficient mid sized cars of 2004. Greenhouse gases are the gases which are thought to contribute to the greenhouse effect - the warming of the Earth's climate due to the major buildup of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and other gases in the atmosphere. These gases are released by the combustion of fossil fuel, primarily by cars and other methods of transportation.

The calculations for emissions in tons per year are based on 45% highway driving, 55% city driving, and 15,000 miles per year. For more information on the tests that produced these numbers, visit the GREET homepage.

Hybrid Car Emissions
(comparison of production hybrids)
Honda Civic
Honda Insight
Toyota Prius

City MPG 48 57 60
Highway MPG 47 56 51
Emissions 4.1 tons 3.5 tons 3.5 tons
Rating ULEV SULEV II SULEV II
Engine Size 1.3 1 1.5


Hybrid Cars and Pollution

It may seem excessive to spend so much time and money developing more economical cars as an alternative to gasoline automobiles, especially since the general population seems to be perfectly happy with current automotive technology, but hybrid cars offer another great advantage; far lower emissions.

When emissions or tailpipe emissions are mentioned in a discussion about cars, the terms refer to the gases released by the burning of gasoline that pollute the atmosphere. These gases are Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides, and Hydrocarbons. These gases, commonly referred to as greenhouse gases, are of particular concern, because of their effect on the earth's climate by trapping heat in the atmosphere that would normally be deflected back to space. The National Research Council performed a study in May 2001 on the effects of greenhouse gas.

http://www.hybrid-car.org/hybrid-car-emissions.html


By: Dhiya Al Suliman

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Save the Environment - Buy a Hybrid Car & Save Money as Well

By: Essam Almajid



Nowadays, with the high gas prices and the increasing of the pollution, people have been thinking to switch to hybrid cars since it is environmentally friendly and cost efficient.   Helping the environment is very necessarily for almost everyone since there are a lot of harmful toxic in our nature. Hybrid cars depend on two different engines to make the car moving. The first one is the gasoline engine, which is responsible for starting and stopping the car. The other one is the electrical engine, which is responsible for making the car moves. The use of hybrid cars can help the environment and the cost of gas since it mostly runs on electronic engine.
There are two kinds of hybrid cars that are available to buy. The first kind is called the Series hybrid car. The Series type has two engines. The gasoline is responsible for starting and stopping the car. The electrical engine is responsible for making the car move.
The other kind of hybrid is called Parallels. It is very similar to the Series but both engines can be used to start and stop the car.
The technique of using hybrid is to reduce the using of gas and relies on the electronic engine to minimize the pollution that cause by toxic gas.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Assessing the environmental impacts of consumption and production

     In regards to creating better sustainability, I would argue that converting to a vegetarian diet would yield the most prospering and influential impact in regards to fostering sustainability, compared to the conversion of automobiles to hybrid vehicles. First and foremost, as technology advances, other technologies aside from, and much more advanced and less toxic than, the hybrid will become available; however, there is no substitute or supplement for the production of meat, or the ample and vast resources it takes to procure and propagate that system. In addition to the steadfast and deadlock options agricultural producers face with the means of raising animals for food, meat production, and consumption, leads to the devastation and change of habitat, pollution, over exploitation of resources, introduction and impact of invasive species on habitats, climate change, and health issues; in summary, according to the United Nations, the production of meat leads to compromising the integrity of ecosystem health, human health, and resource availability.


     This argument is not to be presented with out acknowledging the paramount stride in progress the hybrid exemplifies with its conservative design compared to standard automobiles, nor the outrageous pollution the automobile industry procures; however, it is objective truth that the production of hybrid vehicles still produces ample waste, contributes to large amounts of pollution, and colludes with a system that is not sustainable in any fashion. The United Nations has weighed in on the topic of hybrid vehicles, and claims that the bulk of devastation brought on by the automobile industry lies in the production of the vehicle its self, not necessarily in the emissions produced in everyday use. Expanding on this statement and thinking critically, even with the implementation of, or conversion to, hybrid vehicles, there are still many systems and processes already in place in standard automobile production that would remain the same, the materials and chemicals used to produce and run the vehicles would still be highly toxic to the environment, the costs of producing, marketing and integrating the vehicles into mainstream society would be vast, recycling hybrid vehicles is not much less toxic unto the environment than standard automobiles, and lastly, doing away with standard automobiles would entail such a burden in regards to disposal of them and the resources needed to even embark on such a large project. In summary, hybrid technology is a step in the right direction; however it is still technology that is arguably comparable, in regards to negatively impacting the environment and sustainable practices, to the current automobile industry; and would require paramount funding for little progress, especially taking into consideration the pace of technologies advances.

     The pace of technological evolution may be swift, however, the only real evolution the meat industry has seen is demand and subsequent machinery designed to meet that demand regardless of environmental impact. There are little options left to agricultural workers in regards to raising eco-friendly meat. Meat production on land requires vast amount of land and resources, while emitting large amounts of greenhouse gasses and other toxins into the air; an estimated twenty six percent of earth’s terrestrial surface is used to support animals grazing, upwards of eighty percent of agricultural land fosters some type of raising animals, according to the United Nations; and meat production stemming off of aquatic animals comes with an equally high price as does terrestrial meat production.

     In both terrestrial and aquatic meat production, entire ecosystems are compromised or eliminated in order to accommodate farms, or access animals, and this phenomena yields a plethora of drawbacks and deadlocks to the environment and sustainable practices. Habitat changes contribute further to the depletion of resources, over exploitation of certain species for harvest or production becomes a byproduct of both terrestrial and aquatic meat production, and extinction as well as sustainability of entire ecosystems at large become of concern. A paramount example that can be given of aquatic meat production jeopardizing ecosystems, species, and the health of the planet and people can be made of contemporary deep sea fishing and commercial fishing. Contemporarily the fishing industry is running its self dry by overfishing smaller fish that sustain ecosystems and support larger organisms in the oceans and seas. This is becoming detrimental to aquatic ecosystems at large, because due to the demand of aquatic meat, ecosystems are losing essential players, and larger predators are losing their resources for food. The combination of these two factors is leading to the endangered and extinct status of many aquatic fish, as well as mammals, and is a leading contribution to the extinction of reefs and other catalysts to ecosystems in the seas and oceans.

     Another byproduct of meat production, both terrestrial and aquatic, would be pollution. Methane and carbon dioxide gasses are the primary greenhouse gasses emitted in dangerous quantities from meat production, and they contribute to general pollution, as well as the depletion of the ozone layer and global climate instability. According to the United Nations, the meat industry produces more greenhouse gasses than all SUV’s, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. Not to slam on those arguing that hybrid vehicles would be more effective at creating sustainability, but this statement, which is arguably founded considering the institution who supports it, is of paramount importance and cannot be dismissed as statistically insignificant. Pollution is a main byproduct of the meat industry from the moment business begins. Clearing the land for the animals to be raised on produces pollution, the animals produce pollution, feeding the animals and the process of raising the feed for the animals produces pollution, the slaughter and process of the animals furthers the production of pollution, and even the subsequent marketing and transporting of meat produces pollution. At every step of the way, meat production produces pollution on a natural (in the case of animal wastes and gasses) and unnatural basis (chemicals and hormones used in production).

     Pollution leads to the last two main points I have for this blog, and they would be climate change and health drawbacks. The meat industry contributes an ample amount of pollution to the environment, and due to decades of these unsustainable practices, the ozone has began to deplete at a more rapid rate over terrestrial meat production areas, and the gasses being emitted from terrestrial and aquatic meat production and cultivation has contributed to the amount of gasses that exist in our atmosphere that are aiding in the instability of our global climate. The greenhouse gasses, methane and CO2, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, are aiding in the irregularity of our climates temperature, and phenomena such as hurricanes and extreme weather is being seen like it has previously never been seen before. The seas and oceans are experiencing what is called “bleaching”, where the UV intensity is so high that it literally burns corals to death, leaving coral reefs and algae fields looking baron, or white in appearance, bleached. The impact of global climate instability is furthering the severity of resource depletion, because at this point, the environment is destroying resources, or rendering them useless, at the same time we are continuing to destroy resources.

     Lastly consuming meat is arguably unhealthy. The meat industry produces meat that is tainted with hormones, antibiotics, and chemicals, lacing an already arguably unnecessary dietary choice with harmful substances that contribute to the rising health issues reported by people all over the world. It is not factual to argue that people cannot sustain proper or good nutrition with out meat; there are hundreds of millions of people who have mastered vegetarian or vegan lifestyles, often in turn for healthier bodies and lives than those who remain on a diet encompassing meat. Eating meat, especially meat treated with hormones and chemicals, leads to the increased risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and digestive problems, such as chrones disease and colitis, as well as ulcers. It is not to say that meat cannot be eaten in a healthy manner, but when comparing the devastating impact the hybrid poses to the world, versus the meat industry, the meat industry yields more paramount devastation in regards to ecosystem health, human health, and resource availability.

by Belal Albar

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Economics of Conservation.

     Conservation, once considered being the figment of liberal imagination and propaganda is steadfastly gaining recognition in the scientific and social world. There is currently concrete evidence that proves that the Earth cannot support society’s unabridged consumption of increasingly scarce resources. The nature of the problem is so relevant that numerous groups, despite conflicting ideologies have embraced conservationism as a movement. Fundamentally, the goal of the environmental conscientiousness movements seeks to lessen the impact of our presence on the planet.

      Since the advent of environmental conscientiousness, organizations have based their apprehension of the movement on the belief that it affects profit. Typically these programs are expensive to implement and often restrict lucrative business practices. Of the numerous movements, the two most common ones are the vegetarian debate and the eco-friendly debate. Granted that both of these movements have their merits, eventually the most reoccurring question remains is which of these movements will have a greater impact on scarce resources?


      Both groups answer this question from highly ideological standpoints. However, for the sake of this conversation, I would like to propose an alternative point of view in examining the debate on conservation: economics. Why economics you might ask? Well, because it propels, aids and hampers corporations and individuals in the decision making process. In order to determine which movement has a greater impact on the environment, it is necessary to ascribe economic values to the implementation of various practices and how this makes it more likely to be adopted by the general populace. Based on evidence that will be provided during the course of this discussion, we discover that vegetarianism is the economically sound movement and that it is one that can be implemented on a global scale.

 
 
By Khalaf Al Khalaf

Monday, July 5, 2010

Eat Green, Drive Green -- Ditch the Blues? (Part One)

For most people, the advantages of eating green are known, if only at the periphery of their lives. More often than not, the health, moral, and environmental aspects of vegetarianism are touted. From longevity, heart disease-risk reduction, fewer animal deaths, reduced environmental waste, etc. – there’s no doubt about it: greening the belly just makes sense. And when we hit the road, there’s nothing like a hybrid to compound our green efforts. For starters – and most prominently – hybrid autos emit less than their 100-percent gasoline counterparts. Too, hybrid automobiles typically require less components in their construction, making for lighter autos overall. Of course, how one drives a hybrid plays an important role in whether they’ll reap any of the pocketbook and environmental benefits associated with such vehicles. But in our minds, whatever our reasons for choosing to eat green or drive green, what are these lifestyles' associated internal, psychological benefits or drawbacks?

A 2007 study of 9,113 Australian women found that female vegetarians and semi-vegetarians, when compared to female non-vegetarians, had "poorer mental health." For years, this assertion has dominated both academic and vegetarian circles -- it seemed something was missing from the most common vegetarian diets, a magical ingredient our neurochemistry had become dependent on in its balanced day-to-day functioning. Turns out the missing ingredients -- at least primarily -- were fatty acids, vitamin B-12, calcium and iron, all of which are typically found in omnivore diets. Still, a more recent analysis of mood states of vegetarians asserts that what has traditionally been thought to cause mental health problems in vegetarians is somewhat overblown, and their statistical evidence -- based on self-reports -- does seem to conflict with other research, with the authors stating, "We found no evidence that the absence of direct intake of [important] fatty acids in vegetarians adversely affects mood state."

What does this even mean, you might ask.

It seems the act of going green, with regard to the belly, carries an easy win -- the hopeful vegetarian (or even long-standing green-eaters) merely need keep in mind that their bodies (aside from any issues of individuality, politics or environmental awareness) are still hard-wired to operate most efficiently on certain inputs. A cave-dwelling vegetarian probably doesn't get enough Vitamin D, and so the smart hermit would probably plan ahead by purchasing a case of dietary supplements. Taken a step further, though, the informed, smart cave-dwelling vegetarian should probably diversify their collection of dietary supplements, else plan their meals to include all that nifty, healthy stuff that keeps us chugging along like good little choo-choo trains. And while researchers argue over whether green diets equal happy people, it's best to err on the side of caution by supplementing your diet with either variety or, if you're worried (and not prone to paying strict attention to the nutritional value of what's going down your gullet), a few vitamins. Still, it seems the only gains vegetarians make by keeping balance in mind is just that: a normal balance of mind.

So, is ignorance bliss? A non-vegetarian may never consider the implications of their diet, whether on the environment or their pocketbook, or even Wilbur, and so their intrapsychic life continues on: largely unaware, and probably just as variably moody as everyone else. In this, we find a trophy, though. Our emotional lives -- whether internal or expressed as self-reported mood states -- typically benefit from us making 'good choices.' We ace an exam, land a good job, enjoy and perform well in relationships, and those successes help us build confidence in ourselves, in our choices and beliefs. It's just a matter of reasoning, then, that while any one person has both countless opportunities throughout life from which to grow, lessons to be learned to influence their intrapsychic lives, vegetarians might just have a few more reasons to feel good simply because of their choice to eat green, less the contents of their diets.

Indeed, studies show vegetarians are more likely to have larger social circles and more group memberships than meat-eaters. Too, less conservative people -- be they from any age group, race, ethnic group, etc. -- are more likely to be vegetarian, as are people that demonstrate stronger degrees of altruism. And it's becoming more common for researchers to posit that smart children are more likely to become vegetarians. This doesn't mean socialites, radical liberals or Ainan Cawley, thought by many to be the world's smartest child, are happier than non-vegetarians. Socialites can be drama queens! Radical liberals can be annoying! And smart kids...well, they're just so pretentious. Right?

Kidding.

But it goes without saying that eating green gifts more than just external benefits -- feeling good about what you're doing, aside from knowing it's making a difference in the ether, definitely helps.

By Jason M. White

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Is hybrid worth your money?

Recently, people concerns about the state of the environment especially from cars. It is well known that every single car pumps carbon emissions to the environment every day which causes major harmful consequence overtime. This is where the hybrid cars come in handy and became more and more popular each year. Hybrid cars uses alternative fuel source such as electricity which can be refueled by charging up the batteries.

It is known that the hybrid cars cost more than the gasoline cars because of the cost of the rechargeable batteries. People believe that in the long term hybrid cars will cost less since they are depending on the other alternative fuel rather than using the gas and harm the environment.

There is, however, a tax deduction from several states and incentives for people who purchase hybrid cars. The tax deduction depends on the car model. Insurance companies give discounts for people who have hybrid cars because they have a lower risk of being involved in an accident. According to Edmunds.com site, the regular maintenance for hybrid cars does not require that much such as brake pads. Hybrid cars’ regenerative braking systems and their reduced heat means that their brake pads last longer than normal cars.

With all the cost benefits and the tax incentives, hybrid cars will attract more people to buy them and this will help the environment in the long term.


Abdulrahman Al-Homaid

Ecology vs. Economy

There is little doubt that driving hybrid vehicles is more ecologically sensible than their gas-burning counterparts. By being more fuel efficient through burning fewer fossil fuels on a per mile basis hybrids are responsible for the release of less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and therefore less impact on the environment. However, there is a drawback to hybrid vehicles: the price.

Oftentimes hybrid vehicles can be up to $10,000 more than their gasoline kin (Edmunds.com). Manufacturers argue that this money can be recouped through savings at the pump, frequently using the looming specter of $4.00 per gallon gasoline to convince consumers to purchase hybrids. However, an Edmunds.com study (found here) examined these claims and discovered discrepancies in the theoretical savings. For instance, to recoup the cost difference (between hybrid vs. gasoline vehicles) for the Ford Escape gasoline must cost $5.60 per gallon (assuming annual driving rate of 15,000 miles) or the annual mileage would need to exceed 30,000 miles. The only comparison where the hybrid comes close is a Toyota Prius vs. a Toyota Camry.

Many people would love to make the ecological and nature-friendly choice when it comes to their automobile, but economic factors frequently dictate reality. Though hybrid sales continue to increase, they still only account for 3.4% of retail sales (Hybridautoreview.net). Until they become economically more sound, the average American will still be unable to make the ecological choice.

-Andrew Diamond

Saturday, July 3, 2010

‘Hybrid vs. Vegetarian, a study’

Kyle Knuth

There are advantages and disadvantages to owning a Hybrid or being a vegetarian that can affect the environment. Sustainability is a huge deal right now and so all the factors for these issues are very important. “Sustainability means using natural resources in a responsible way that does not upset and ultimately destroy the earth’s delicate ecosystem” (Miller 1). First we will look at the advantage of being vegetarian and the disadvantages and then do the same with the hybrid cars. We will compare and contrast and try to get a little closer to finding which is more sustainable and why.
“A 2006 United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined. Eating 1 pound of meat emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses as driving an SUV 40 miles” (GoVeg.com). The prominent vegetarian advocacy group Go.Veg made this pretty bold statement basically saying that being vegetarian is more sustainable than driving a Hybrid. But, we need to look at all the factors and see if this is actually true. The University of Chicago also agrees that going vegan is 50% more effective than driving a Hybrid car. Raising animals in groups creates large amounts of methane and CO2. It looks like being vegetarian would help make the earth a lot more sustainable but methane would still be produced even if everyone went vegetarian. Going vegetarian can create problems for people in relation to their own personal health. It can be difficult to get the necessary nutrition like protein without eating meat however this does not hurt the environment. Going vegetarian is also an economical advantage as it takes more land to raise animals then to raise vegetables.

Hybrid cars promote the idea of sustainable mobility, which reduces transportation impacts and petroleum based fuels. Hybrid cars do not use much gas as they are electric. This helps the environment and the economy because cars will not be based solely on oil. This makes buying gas cheaper as well as emitting less toxic gas into the environment reducing greenhouse gasses. But, does a Hybrid actually help the environment in the long run? It is said that the Hybrid is actually bad for the environment but how can that be if they get better gas mileage? When considering the environment gas mileage is not the biggest factor. “It's actually the production of the car that matters. The raw materials' sources, the manufacturing effort, and the shipping costs all have an impact on the environment (Helena 1). The nickel that the hybrid is made out of is a heavy pollutant on the environment. After all the shipping and manufacturing from country to country the development of this nickel costs about $3.25 per mile. The hummer costs around $1.95 per mile in comparison. “Each Prius consumes the equivalent of 1,000 gallons of fuel before its odometer clicks to 1(Helena 1). After the car battery dies it is hard to recycle it creating even more damage. Toyota is improving their battery sustainability by trying to get people to send their batteries back to Toyota. Even California Air Resource Board (CARB) a prominent advocacy group for Hybrid cars is thinking about pulling the plug.
As far as sustainability goes I personally am leaning towards going vegetarian as being more beneficial then owning a hybrid car. It also seams economically more beneficial as it costs less to farm vegetation than animals and it costs a lot of money to create and manufacture a hybrid car. In the long term vegetarians waste fewer resources and use their resources well. The shipping and farming of vegetables is cheaper than that of animals although there is not the added bonus of the leather and other animal based products. This is still better though then the manufacturing of the hybrids and there is not much use that we can get out of an old battery. Obviously more research is needed to discover if vegetarianism is more beneficial than hybrid cars, however, vegetarianism has less known disadvantages that I have found than hybrid cars. I believe we should do more research and if vegetarian lifestyles are better than hybrid cars we should get the information out there and target local and federal news groups to promote the public.

If you want to quantify the environment impact of your diet...

While doing research as an effort to find more detailed scientific data that may help estimate exactly how much impact on environment there is for going hybrid and going veggie, I came across a good blog Vegans vs. Hybrids. Then it got me searching for the report Diet, Energy and Global Warming that it referenced to. That blog and the report are really good sources for me to understand the issue from a more quantitative perspective. However, as the report was written back in 2005, and the blog was posted in 2007. I decided to look for more recent data. Then I found the following article that  I would like to share with all of you. The paper was published more recently than the aforementioned two in May 2009 by American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and the title of the paper is Diet and the environment: does what you eat matter?

To be fair, I must say I have no idea about the reputation of this journal, but I do find this paper a very interesting read, and very easy to follow for anyone with little or no medical background. As I am seeking more scientific data on the issue of environmental impact from our diet habits, this paper provides the exact source of knowledge I am looking for. As stated in the abstract,

...The literature supported this notion. To accomplish this goal, dietary preferences were quantified with the Adventist Health Study, and California state agricultural data were collected and applied to state commodity production statistics. These data were used to calculate different dietary consumption patterns and indexes to compare the environmental effect associated with dietary preference. Results show that, for the combined differential production of 11 food items for which consumption differs among vegetarians and nonvegetarians, the nonvegetarian diet required 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more primary energy, 13 times more fertilizer, and 1.4 times more pesticides than did the vegetarian diet. The greatest contribution to the differences came from the consumption of beef in the diet. We found that a nonvegetarian diet exacts a higher cost on the environment relative to a vegetarian diet. From an environmental perspective, what a person chooses to eat makes a difference.

Note that, since the research work carried out by authors in this paper require a big enough sampling space to establish their findings as statistically true or convincing, with 34000 California Adventists participating, the data collected there may be 2 to 3 years old (I was looking for the age of the data in the paper but failed to find it, I probably have missed). However, I think the data there are still fresh enough to provide some guideline this this context. Note that this paper is based on the authors work limited only in California residents. It is important that, while data will vary drastically among different areas where the trend of the environmental impact is expected to remain the same.

Allow me to quote the following analysis from this paper to conclude my post,

As it is pointed in the paper,  "The outcome of our studies provided evidence for the much higher ecologic cost of an animal-based diet. The approximated effect ratios for water use efficiency, energy use efficiency, pesticide use efficiency, and fertilizer use efficiency are presented in Table 2. Our analysis further showed that these differences resulted primarily from the inclusion of beef in the diet of the nonvegetarian. This finding is similar to those published by groups in Europe (4, 19), Japan (51), the United States (27, 52), and Australia (6, 53).


Can Mao, CL/R, 07/03/2010

Vegetarian and some impacts

I just found an interesting article that presents information about being a vegetarian and what are the impacts of being vegetarian. In additions, the findings are by so far from credible resources. Here I took some information so you can take a look at it.




The U.N has published a report on livestock and its effect on the environment. They came up with an interesting finding which is: "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." Which means that raising animals for food is a major reason of land degradation, pollution, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and not least of all, and global warming.



“Last year researchers at the University of Chicago took the Prius down a peg when they turned their attention to another gas guzzling consumer purchase. They noted that feeding animals for meat, dairy, and egg production requires growing some ten times as much crops as we'd need if we just ate pasta primavera, faux chicken nuggets, and other plant foods. On top of that, we have to transport the animals to slaughterhouses, slaughter them, refrigerate their carcasses, and distribute their flesh all across the country. Producing a calorie of meat protein means burning more than ten times as much fossil fuels -- and spewing more than ten times as much heat-trapping carbon dioxide -- as does a calorie of plant protein. The researchers found that, when it's all added up, the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by going vegetarian than by switching to a Prius”



Which literally shows what are the impacts of raising animals for their meet.





“According to the UN report, it gets even worse when we include the vast quantities of land needed to give us our steak and pork chops. Animal agriculture takes up an incredible 70% of all agricultural land, and 30% of the total land surface of the planet. As a result, farmed animals are probably the biggest cause of slashing and burning the world's forests. Today, 70% of former Amazon rainforest is used for pastureland, and feed crops cover much of the remainder. These forests serve as "sinks," absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, and burning these forests releases all the stored carbon dioxide, quantities that exceed by far the fossil fuel emission of animal agriculture”





http://www.alternet.org/environment/47668





By; Dhiya Al Suliman