One More Fart, We’ll All Be Dead.
According to PETA, a recent United Nations report quoted senior U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization official Henning Steinfeld saying that the meat industry is “one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems”. What are such problems you ask? Well one, quite a doozy, is the intensification of greenhouse effects. What this means is that more carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are being released into the air and blanketing the earth, trapping heat inside the atmosphere, which it is claimed to be a serious cause for global warming.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that the fossil fuels (more that 1/3 of all fossil fuels produced in the United States go towards animal agriculture) consumed by the factory farm industry is a major contributor to global warming, not to mention deforestation, and my favourite, animal flatulence responsible for an estimated 30 percent of the total human contribution (more than the transportation industry), making livestock production the main source of human-made methane emission. Let’s not even get started on the confined animal spaces, all the “testing,” the “shitty” food they’re fed, no sunlight, no fresh air, shit lagoons that run into nearby crop farms and into our local drinking water.
I’ve also read that governments around the world are sourcing all sorts of million-billion dollar grants to try and ‘fix’ the problem. That scientists are working hard to find ways to which they can reduce the amount of animal flatulence (and increase the amount of milk production as well as the meat to fart ratio). Does anyone really want to eat a scientifically-flatulence-modified cow? Is it even still a cow?
One more thing. A report in New Scientist estimated that driving a hybrid car versus the average fuel guzzler would conserve a little more than one ton of carbon dioxide per year. Another tidbit—a vegan diet does more to reduce emissions than driving a hybrid car! With the energy needed to produce just one hamburger, you could drive a small car twenty miles (Note: McDonald’s is the biggest buyer of factory farmed beef in the U.S.).
Anyways, if you’re up for it and aren’t stuck on a patty for breakfast, a burger for lunch and a steak dinner…you could consider cutting down on the whole farty meat thing and try the other dark meat: kale. (OMG, do you hate me or what right now?!)
What does all this have to do with kale? Well, let’s see how it compares to beef:
1. Calcium: According to Michigan State University, the US has one of the world’s highest rates of dairy milk consumption yet represents one of the highest rates of osteoporosis. One cup of of kale is equal to 179 mg of calcium. It’s also said to be easier to absorb by the body than milk. Beef is said to have 14.4 mg of calcium per 100g.
2. Inflammation: Among other processed things, dairy products, hot dogs, sausages and red meat all have been pinpointed by doctors to contributing causes for inflammation within the body. Inflammatory diseases include Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Kale is anti-inflammatory and packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants fight free radicals that can wreak havoc on our skin and other areas of the body.
3. Iron: You’ll get 21 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance of iron in 50 calories of kale. Lean beef has 16 percent in 240 calories. Are you anemic? Eat more kale.
4. Fiber: Beef contains no fiber and is on many lists for being a cause for constipation and bloating. One cup of kale, on the other hand, contains 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. Kale is also rich in Vitamins A and C and high in potassium.
5. Sustainable: Kale is resistant to most pests and diseases and can grow almost anywhere—it’s one of the most disease resistant vegetables around. All it requires is some earth, some water and can do well in most climates. Some sources claim that to produce one pound of beef it takes: 12 pounds of grain, 55 sq feet of rainforest, 2500 gallons of water. The result is a whole lot of farting.
Sleep better at night: avoid processed foods and those from industrialized factory farms, reduce food waste, buy organic, buy local and in season and eat more kale—it’s the new dark meat!
What did one cow say to the other cow? “Hey, have you heard about that mad cow disease?” The other answered, “No, I’m a helicopter.”
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