Monday, March 23, 2009

'Meat' the Environment

‘Meat’ the Environment
Chef Wendell

Clearly, personal and environmental stewardship is subjective. The Queen of England has “dominion” over her subjects, but that doesn’t mean she can eat them, but I digress.
As a proud Ambassador for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, I look to Director, Dr. Neal Bernard for guidance. His philosophy along with heart disease experts Pritikin and Dean Ornish, urge total abstinence from all animal foods in order to ‘steer’ clear of premature heart-related bereavement.

Population studies illuminate that death due to atherosclerosis is absolutely connected to red meat consumption. Atherosclerosis is the buildup of deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances (plaque) in the inner lining of an artery.
One study showed that mortality due to coronary heart disease was 50% lower among those who consumed an average of 30 grams of fish per day compared with those who ate meat daily. Meat eaters in this study had a mind-blowing 300% increase in their risk of coronary heart disease. I lovingly remind my evolving friends that there is no fiber in red meat, potatoes, white bread, booze and cigarettes.

Heart disease authorities suggest in preventing Atherosclerosis humans must ditch meat and dairy then embrace gifts of the sea. Pass the blubber, please! The Mayo Clinic says that the omega-3 fatty acids in nuts and fish are excellent heart food.

Atherosclerosis is the process in which deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. It’s a widespread disease where plaque loiters inside your arteries; blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other vital parts of your body.

Even though my cherished carnivorous friends are always grasping for reasons to carry on with their Midwestern habits of eating, they respect my personal decision to avoid animal products; live and let live.

Even though they’re aware of the ‘unhappy ending’ linked with eating dead animals, my friends struggle switching to a new lifestyle lacking the ubiquitous dinner table icon. They’d be perfectly content to eat meat three times a day, 7-days a week.

It required me smooching the Grim Reaper square on the lips in 1988 before my mind opened. I also grew aware that there was much more to add to the equation. I was clueless in Indianapolis until I researched the dire environmental consequences of over-the-top meat consumption that results in major, worldwide environmental and humanitarian issues.

A summary report from the LEAD (Livestock, Environment and Development Initiative) which is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations states:
Livestock account for 9% of all human activity related to carbon dioxide emissions.
From local to global, the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems.

It roughly takes 60, 108, 168 and 229 pounds of water to produce a ‘pound’ of potatoes, wheat, corn and rice respectively. Beef however, requires 12,000 gallons of water per pound. Yikes!
80% of heavenly streams and rippling riparian habitats in the western US have been negatively impacted by livestock grazing.

Farm raised catfish, salmon and shrimp are contaminated by concentrations of their own excrement, farm chemical runoff, manufacturing waste and delicious heavy metals.
A 2006 study at the
University of Chicago concluded that a person switching from a typical American diet to a plant-based, whole foods diet with the same number of calories would prevent the emission of 1485 kg of carbon dioxide, which exceeds that of you switching from a Toyota Camry to the hybrid Toyota Prius. That’s encouraging news!

There is nothing in the Bible that justifies destruction of our earthly environment and entire species of wildlife and torment and kills billions of animals every year.

The generous Cosmos imparts a reverence for life. The loving Creator could not help but be appalled by the way our animal buddies are treated today. We can do better.


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