The Cost of Eating Meat

Here’s the thing:  June 24-30 is animal abuse awareness week. I did not know this and therefore am unprepared, content wise, emotionally and mentally. I’ve been thinking about covering this topic for a while, but haven’t really known where to start or how to get across everything that I want to. Since there is no time like the present, I will try to do my best to get some decent posts out about this subject.  I’m not vegetarian and I am certainly not vegan. I wish I could be. If no one cooked for me or if only I cooked for myself then I could do it no problem. Yeah, sometimes I would crave it, but I’ve craved donuts for years now and will power is an amazing thing. I can’t force the people I live with to rearrange their lives around mine. At restaurants there are very, very few options for vegetarians and no options for vegans. My favorite dishes I can no longer eat, but I can’t replace it with anything that is hardly considered a meal. If I’m lucky I can find a boring quesadilla. Sometimes I’m lucky and I can just get my favorite salad with an interesting dressing and just ask for no meat, but sometimes that even goes wrong and I find little bits of chicken from where they forgot and at the last second picked the pieces out.

I think people who eat meat are selfish. No matter what the reason is. I’m selfish. And I hate it. I hate being selfish, but as long as I choose to pick people’s feelings over lives then I guess that is a hate I’ll have to try not to choke myself with.

With that being said I’m not going to be your traditional vegetarian/vegan. I’d like to be, but A) that would make me a hypocrite because I eat meat and B) it’s highly unrealistic for me to expect that no matter what logic I try to show you or pictures I show you, you will decide to never touch another animal product as long as you should live. Instead, I’m going to beg you to give me just a few more minutes of your time, so that I can share with you some reasons that you should just eat LESS meat if not give it up entirely.

Money Cost. There is different variations to these experiments. What city you’re shopping in, how much you eat, etc. I didn’t use any pro-vegetarian sites for this argument because I figure they have a reason to be biased. Some said you could save money and some said it was more expensive. I think the deciding factor is exactly what you’re buying. That fake meat stuff, or dairy substitutes I think are what make a vegetarian diet more expensive. Also, if you think of how much money you could end up spending on hospital bills due to unhealthy habits then there really is no comparison.

When comparing just fruits, vegetables, and nuts to meat, the savings are pretty noticeable.

Cost/lb Corn- .043

Soybeans-.093

Wheat-.086

Peanuts-.021

Pork-.069

Beef-1.228

Broilers-.471

Milk-.206

http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/bitstream/55529/2/lusk%20-%20current.pdf

http://20somethingfinance.com/cost-of-vegetarian-diet/

Humanitarian Cost.

Twenty million people will die this year as a result of malnutrition. If Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%, 100 million more people could be fed by the land that was freed. Only 20% of the corn grown in the U.S. is eaten by people. The other 80% is fed to livestock. Ninety-five percent of the oats grown in the U.S. is fed to livestock. By cycling grain through livestock, 90% of protein is wasted. Forty thousand  pounds of potatoes can be grown on one acre, but only 250 pounds of beef can be produced on that same acre and fifty-six percent of our land is devoted to beef production. Sixteen pounds of grain and soybeans are needed to produce one pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef.  Just to point out, grass-fed beef still takes land to grow, but they feed off the land that they are on instead of needing additional land to grow grain.

Percentage of US farmland devoted to beef production: 56
http://www.consumercide.com/js/index.php/food-supply/39-necessarily-vegetarian/379-how-to-win-an-argument-with-a-meat-eater

Health Costs

Vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease heart disease, colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers, diabetes, obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure). This could be attributed to the fact that the vegetarian diet usually involves a diet low in fat and high in fiber. These affects could be negated when their diet is high in fat or includes excessive amounts of fatty snack foods or fried foods.

There are many benefits of eating meat. It does have things that we need, but these aren’t things that can’t be found non-meat food.  For the most part, these things include protein, zinc, and B vitamins. All of which can be found in several different kinds of vegetables.

Calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies can arise in a vegan diet, but surprisingly study participants did not suffer from osteoporosis which typically related to inadequate intakes of these micro-nutrients.

Not only are vegetables healthier in way of nutrients, but they also don’t require waste or antibiotics to be streamed into our water supply. Which can then lead to our food supply. Ever hear of a recall of produce because E. Coli? You can thank the meat industry. Because the animals are always crammed together, diseases run rampant throughout the feedlots. Antibiotics are used. Those antibiotics are in our food and water supply and are now contributing to antibiotic resistant strings of bacteria.

Environmental Costs.

Worldwide, over 284 million tons of meat was consumed. As Americans, we eat 8 ounces a day which is twice the global average. As Americans, we also represent about 5% of the world population, but as we process and consume 10 billion animals a year, we are representing about 15% of the meat consumption.

About 30% of the ice-free land is dedicated to the meat industry and gives off 1/5 of the greenhouse gases which is more than transportation.

Or, you could also say 2.2 pounds of beef is responsible for the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the average European car every 155 miles, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days.

Farm animals produce 16.6 billion tons of excrement per year. That is more than a million pounds per second (that’s 60 times as much as is produced by the world’s human population.) For the UN, animal agriculture is a leading case of water pollution.

Farm animals and water needed to irrigate the crops to feed them are responsible for consuming 240 trillion gallons per year or 7.5 million gallons per second.

It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein as it does to make one calorie of plant protein.

The meat industry is also responsible for soil erosion, 40 billion tons per year to be exact.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/137737/13_breathtaking_effects_of_cutting_back_on_meat/

All is not lost though. Click here for some solutions.

Holidays

I wrote something similar to this for my other blog, but I feel writing another one again because it’s just still on my mind.

Yesterday was Father’s Day. Hopefully, I’m not the first to tell you this and I hope you had a good one. I have a good dad. A unique one, a respectable one, one to be admired. I don’t mind buying him a gift to celebrate the fact that he is my dad, in fact I like it. I like to buy people things when I know it will make them happy because it’s something they’ve been really wanting or I know they would really like it. I like people to be happy, but this Father’s Day brought some rather negative thoughts this year.

Really it all started a couple of Christmases ago. There was this sickening sight of greed and the smell of just pure ridiculousness in the air. It was sickening, all of the commercials, all of the comments that were being heard down the store aisles. Black Friday is the worst part. Seriously people, if you ever buy me a present, please don’t go through that kind of trouble or cause those kinds of problem for it. It’s just not worth it.  Christmas is supposed to be about how God sent his son to Earth so that he could later die for our sins. It was the ultimate gift. That’s the religious version of it anyway. Even if you don’t believe in that,  it is still supposed to be about giving. Ironically, it still is. It’s not like we’re carrying on like that just for our own selves those presents, but it’s just unreasonably avaricious which I think makes it even worse.

I don’t remember being particularly disturbed by the rest of the holidays the next year, but every day life, seeing everyone always off to do whatever they could to be first or hoard the most is extremely hard for me to stand. And the worst part to stomach is that some people don’t see anything wrong with what they’re doing. I don’t know how people can fix that.

The next Christmas, this last Christmas, was about ten times worse. The commercials, the news, the crowds, all of it. I’m surprised I could even make it out of bed, it was so depressing. It’s not so much the idea of Black Friday that bothers me, although thinking about it from the corporation’s point of view makes it a little more bothersome, but it’s just the way they act. Uncivilized, uncompassionate, rude. Those same people are the same people who do other ridiculous things and I think I’ve made a habit of not associating myself with them, so I’m constantly wondering what in the heck is going through their minds to make them act like a bunch of two-year olds. I also wonder if I could understand people like that would it make the situation any less sickening.

I think it’s a combination of experiences that lead me to this kind of disgust. Just by studying how much we waste and the effects it has on the environment has opened my eyes about a lot of different things. But even before I knew that kind of stuff, I always thought that it was sad that the world has lost so much compassion. I’m not the nicest person in the world. Far from it. Often my opinions are hypercritical, judgmental, a little harsh, I take my anger out on others who don’t deserve it, and people as a general rule make me kind of cranky, but I have always tried to stay compassionate. I still care about people and I want to help them because it’s not the individual people I dislike, it’s their attitudes. And if I wasn’t compassionate then I would be part of the problem and I would have to hate myself that much more.

New Year’s wasn’t that wasn’t so bad. Just the usual partying commercials. Valentine’s Day though was a little hard to stomach. I think the commercials I’ve been listening to on the radio are the difference. The one I listen to has new ones and some of them are just awful about objectifying women. And it’s not even for a strip club or something, it’s only men’s hair cutting place. Anyway, all the commercials were like: “Come and buy your girl this super expensive ring and you can probably buy her right along with it”. This isn’t exactly what they said and they may not mean to say it like that, but that’s what they’re implying. That particular jewelry store still has commercials and every few months it just gets a little worse. But I even remember seeing a more subtle version on TV. I was repulsed.

Next was Easter which had the usual candy selling extravaganza. Maybe it bothers me so much because the kid’s are getting more and more bratty. I can see the future effects of it and it’s not a pretty picture. Remember those kids are going to be taking care of us in nursing homes. Is that really what you want. People there now aren’t even being taken care of, how do you expect we’ll be treated?

Then there was Mother’s Day which seemed much more reasonable, but maybe that’s because I was still in shock by Valentine’s Day and Easter. It was more like: “Hey, give some appreciation for the woman who raised you with this nice day at the spa.” Maybe it’s because mother’s are just more reasonable and the marketing people know they won’t be swayed by the ridiculousness.

Father’s Day sure was a nice jerk back to reality though. Someone was telling me an article about how Father’s day gifts are becoming more personal. Instead of the gender oriented gifts like a tie, coffee mug or tool kit they’re getting gifts that are more tailored to the father’s personality. I was thinking that it was more along the lines that marketing campaigns are getting more aggressive and better at trying to sell us stuff. I thought this because of the radio commercials I had been hearing the day before about how I had to buy my dad I brand new $20,000 dollar car in order to tell him that I love him and I’m glad that he’s my dad. Or the thousands of other commercials I’ve heard over the last year about how  if I loved someone I would get them this or that.  The same as every other holiday.

Businesses have gotten better at convincing us that we need STUFF and telling us what STUFF we need or our loved ones NEED. I think it’s also been getting better at pinpointing our guilt. We feel guilty about the lack of time we spend with the kids so we buy them lots of toys. We feel guilty about not spending time with our wife so we buy her an expensive ring. That kind of thing. They seem to have convinced us that the more money we spend the more money we spend and it’s simply not true. I hope it gets better, but I fear it will not.

 

 

Morris Berman: “A Postmortem For a Dying Nation”

thebigpicturereport ™

Why the American Empire Was Destined to Collapse

Interview with author and social critic Morris Berman  who says the fact that we’re a nation of hustlers lies at the root of our decline.

by Nomi Prins/ AlterNet/ March 7, 2012

Several years after the Wall Street-ignited crisis began, the nation’s top bank CEOs (who far out-accumulated their European and other international counterparts) continue to hobnob with the president at campaign dinners where each plate costs more than one out of four US households make in a year. Financial bigwigs lead their affluent lives, unaffected, unremorseful, and unindicted for wreaking havoc on the nation. Why? Because they won. They hustled better. They are living the American Dream.

This is not the American Dream that says if you work hard you can be more comfortable than your parents; but rather, if you connive well, game the rules, and rule the…

View original post 1,686 more words

Banker’s Insulting Waitress Tip Incites Class Warfare Between the 1% and the 99%

Update: The restaurant confirmed that the receipt was altered.

I got this off Yahoo! It’s interesting to say the least.

Just when you may have thought the ongoing battle between the 99% and the 1% was dying down, it may have been reignited. A wealthy banker left a $1.33 tip on a $133 lunch at the True Food Kitchen restaurant in Newport Beach, California.

To add insult to injury the word “tip” was circled on the receipt, and the banker wrote “get a real job” on the bill. The picture of the receipt was taken and uploaded to the blog Future Ex-Banker by a person who was dining with the anonymous banker. As expected, the blog received a lot of attention and has now been taken down. The author of the blog wrote, “mention the 99% in my boss’ presence and feel his wrath. So proudly does he wear his 1% badge of honor that he tips exactly 1% every time he feels the server doesn’t sufficiently bow down to his holiness.”

People online who had a chance to see the blog post before it went offline and those who have been made aware of it on social media outlets are outraged. One person called the tip a “tale of greed and contempt,” and another referred to it as “arrogance personified.” The Web’s general reaction to this story is eerily similar to an almost identical 1% vs. 99% scenario that took place last fall. In Washington state, a waitress received a tip of no money and advice scrawled on the receipt that told her she could “stand to lose a few pounds.”

(Check out 99% vs. 1% for a little more update information and my opinion on the matter.)

Our next story is more of a battle between environmentalists and big oil companies.

Lucy Lawless, most famous for her leading role in “Xena: Warrior Princess” in the ’90s fantasy adventure series, was arrested over the weekend. Lawless had spent four days protesting on board a Shell oil ship with a group of six other environmental activists. The protest, organized by Greenpeace, was staged to raise awareness of oil drilling in the arctic. The global environmental organization opposes the drilling in New Zealand.

During the protest, Lawless live-tweeted what she was experiencing including, for example, “Seven of us came up the tower on Shell’s drillship, but 4 days later 130,000 will come down. In solidarity we can #savethearctic.” The protesters had to deal with the elements while atop the ship. The wind gusts proved difficult to withstand, but the activists held their ground. Chairman for Shell New Zealand, Rob Jager, said the protest had put people in danger. Jager also said he was disappointed that Greenpeace had not joined his company in a “productive conversation” about the drilling issue instead of protesting.

Lawless told the Associated Press that she got involved because she felt compelled to take a stand against oil drilling in the Arctic and global warming. However, the protest was brought to a halt when all of the activists were arrested and charged with burglary. Since then, more than 100,000 messages have been sent to Shell opposing its upcoming Arctic drilling plans. One supporter tweeted, “She may not be Xena in real life, but she is fighting for what she believes in.” Another person tweeted that Lawless is a “true warrior princess.”