Don’t Have a Cow

While brainstorming about what to focus on in my blog this week, I came across the Meatless Monday campaign, which I thought fit in perfectly with our discussion on deforestation.  I had always assumed that logging was the primary cause of deforestation and was surprised that on average throughout the world, cattle ranching is a bigger cause than logging and large-scale agriculture and ranked second to small-holder agriculture.  In the world, cattle ranching is the cause of 20-25% of deforestation.  In Brazil, the country with the highest rate of deforestation in the world, cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation- contributing to 80% of all loss.  Cattle ranching has other environmental effects besides deforestation, such as an estimated contribution of 20% of manufactured greenhouse gas emissions.  It also uses up large amounts of water and fossil fuels.  The Meatless Monday campaign encourages people to help reduce the effects of cattle ranching on the environment and improve their physical wellbeing at the same time by avoiding meat on Mondays.  Several chain restaurants, such as Moe’s Southwest Grill, are participating in the campaign.  Closer to home for us as UMW students is Sodexo’s recent pledge to offer Meatless Monday option, which according to their recent news release will officially begin in the colleges they serve during the Fall 2011 semester.  After looking at the vast effects of deforestation including floods and mudslides, habitat fragmentation, and water pollution to name a few, I decided that giving up meat for one day is definitely worth it when it not only helps the environment, but also improves my health.  You too, can take the pledge here.



7 Responses to “Don’t Have a Cow”

  1. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays

  2. Dr. Szulczewski says:

    Great post- when we start talking about agriculture and watch “Food Inc”, definitely bring up some of this research you did. Small changes really will make a difference.

  3. scorron says:

    I am a big fan of meatless Monday’s. Eco club has been participating and promoting them for awhile now. I am intrigued by Sodexo’s pledge to start meatless Monday’s. I don’t really see what they plan to do differently. We already have vegetarian entree options. Will there be more?

  4. marleyh11 says:

    I think Meatless Monday is a fantastic idea. I am so glad to hear that the college is going to adopt this. I am usually quite critical of Sodexo, this is a nice change of pace for them. It is difficult to ask people to cut out meat consumption entirely for the environment, so cutting down on consumption is more doable step in the right direction.

  5. isikora says:

    Thank you for posting that! I am actually going to adopt meatless Monday in my home. Even eating smaller portions of meat on “meat -days” might prolong meat supply in our freezers and be easier on the wallets…

  6. kbrown says:

    Thanks, I haven’t read that, but it definitely sounds interesting! I’ll have to look into it.

  7. Amber says:

    That’s a really great idea :). Have you ever read the Omnivores Dilemma? If you’re interested, it discusses the benefits of grass-fed beef (among other food sources) and touches on how it is not only healthier but has economic and environmental benefits as well.