Reducing Your Footprint Through Veganism

I was fascinated by this recent article about Richard Branson investing in a new “meat company.”

I completely expected it to be some synthetic meat manufacturer (in a way, they are). The key differentiation is that they create realistic veggie patties.

This company, called “Memphis Meats” is one of a handle of companies leading the charge towards a meatless society.

The idea is that these meat substitutes will allow our society to enjoy the health benefits of avoiding red meat while also preventing the health and environmental side effects.

The Environmental Devastation Of Cattle Farming

The movie Okja  isn’t designed so much to turn you into a vegan as it is to help challenge the assumptions we have about our meat production.

We’ve all seen the cattle yards where animals are herded together before they are slaughtered. What most of us likely don’t realize is that this same scene is also being played out in the fragile rainforests of Brazil.

Hundreds of thousands of acres of this critical CO2 sink are burned off to make way for the new herds as these operations expand. Their meat is shipped off to the remotest locations of the globe.

Cattle are known to produce methane gas which, in turn, depletes the ozone layer.

This is further exacerbated by the lack of rainforest that contributes to healthy, clean ai

Reducing our dependence on Animal meat can help reverse this damage and restore the ozone and reduce the impact of the greenhouse effect on our society.

Memphis Meats hopes to be at the forefront of this trend with a system that requires 1% of the land and water to produce the same pound of meat as a cow would.

Production capacity is the current hangup. Richard Branson is investing heavily in this company to the tune of $17 million. Rumor is, he is a major fan of this product and how realistic it tastes.

In the meantime, reducing your meat intake can not only greatly reduce your impact on the globe, but it can also help improve your health. Sure, you might not want to eat veggie burgers all the time, but substituting them out 50/50 can do a lot to move the cause forward.

Richar Branson is bullish on this idea with predictions that we will be a meatless society by as early as 2030. While I don’t think we will ever become a purely meatless society, I can envision a scenario where all fast food and most restaurant food are created out of a vegetarian product.

As this progresses, it will require a certain level of food savviness to navigate. For health reason, you can’t assume that a vegetarian burger is the healthiest option. There will need to be a more significant differentiation between “organic” and “non-organic” food options.

Something few people know is that livestock production uses 1/3 or the world’s fresh water.

In a world where 4 million people die  every year from a lack of clean water, it pays to pay close attention to these statistics. What is one person’s nightmare today could become a global nightmare if we don’t aggressively protect these resources and plan for a sustainable future.

One that our kids can count on.

Meat is a delicacy that many humans have enjoyed. With the over-eating of western society and the spreading global population, it is important that we begin examining how our life choices fit into the puzzle of environmental sustainability.