Vegetarianism and Climate Change
As you may or may not know, my wife and I are vegetarians. While I'm an animal lover, I mostly made the choice because of my passion for protecting the environment. Even if you're not prepared to embrace vegetarianism or veganism, simply reducing your meat consumption (think Meatless Monday) could help make a difference.
The BBC states (Henriques & Gorvett 2022) that more than 1/2 of Americans think it's important to eat sustainably. But sometimes, we have trouble agreeing on what counts as sustainability.
According to Time's article (Worland 2016), "Livestock alone account for more than 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions," but a vegetarian diet could reduce those emissions by ~63%. Farmers can help reduce these emissions as well. For example, "Feeding one type of seaweed at 3% of the diet has resulted in up to 80% reduction in methane emissions from cattle. Fats and oils show the most potential for practical application to farming systems and have shown methane emission reductions of 15–20%" (Curnow 2022). Amazingly, the seaweed helps to reduce the methane created by their burps, but doesn't seem to change the taste of the beef or the milk they produce.
Again, the change in your life doesn't have to be as drastic as a full overhaul of how you eat. Doing a Meatless Monday can have the following benefits (Conzachi 2021):
Save 133 gallons of water with each meatless meal!
Reduce your carbon footprint by 8 pounds each Meatless Monday you participate in.
If you commit to participating in Meatless Monday every Monday, that is equivalent to skipping one serving of beef a week for a year would save the same amount of emissions as driving 348 miles in a car.
Here is a simple smoothie recipe that makes a great quick lunch or snack.
2 cups of alternative milk (we prefer cashew)
1 scoop of Vega Protein & Greens
1 frozen banana, or 4 frozen strawberries, or 1/4 cup of frozen blueberries (or all three, but add more milk)
1/2 cup of coconut milk yogurt (optional)
1/4 cup of Ripple half & half (optional)
Put 1 cup of alternative milk in the blender. Add Vega, fruit, yogurt, and half & half. Pour additional 1 cup of alternative milk on top. Blend and enjoy!
We are committed to our environment and making positive changes. Because of that, we make investing in environmentally conscious companies and organizations a top priority here at Ella Financial Advising. We know there are a lot of social justice causes to defend that are also extremely important, but for us, the environment rises to the very top. Without a healthy environment, we might not be around to address the other issues.
At Ella Financial Advising, we offer:
Financial Empowerment, Clarity, and Education
Financial Security, Thriving Communities, and a Healthy Planet
If you want to make a difference for the planet and ultimately your community, I'd love to talk. We're all on this beautiful planet together, and we have a responsibility to take care of it.
Worland, Justin (2016 March 21). How a Vegetarian Diet Could Help Save the Planet. Time. https://time.com/4266874/vegetarian-diet-climate-change/
Henriques, Martha and Gorvett, Zaria. (2022 May 1). The climate benefits of veganism and vegetarianism. BBC. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20220429-the-climate-benefits-of-veganism-and-vegetarianism
Curnow, Mandy. (2022 February 1). Carbon farming: reducing methane emissions from cattle using feed additives. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development's Agriculture and Food. https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-change/carbon-farming-reducing-methane-emissions-cattle-using-feed-additives
Conzachi, Karlie. (2021 March 18). Meatless Mondays: “Less Meat, Less Heat!” University of Colorado Environmental Center. https://www.colorado.edu/ecenter/2021/03/18/meatless-mondays-less-meat-less-heat