If you care about helping the environment during an administration that seems to be shaping up to do everything in its power to roll back climate measures, one of the best things that you can do is to eat less meat. You could also give up meat altogether, but that’s not realistic for everyone, and even cutting back can make a huge dent.
This NPR article does a great job at visualizing how many resources go into making a hamburger patty, as well as showing how much meat Americans eat per year, on average. If you’re too lazy to click the link, spoiler, it’s a LOT.
Average annual meat consumption per American, by type of meat:
This article from the Guardian says eliminating beef consumption would do more to reduce carbon footprint than eliminating cars. Beef is definitely the top meat to cut back on or eliminate from your diet, but cutting back on meat across the board is even better. If you’re not ready to make a huge plunge, starting with things like meatless Mondays and then ramping up as you get used to less meat in your diet. Bonus: it’s usually a lot cheaper to not eat meat! And also generally healthier for you, too.
If you need more convincing, this statistic from another Guardian article is pretty powerful:
The research, led by scientists at the Oxford Martin School, found that shifting to a mostly vegetarian diet, or even simply cutting down meat consumption to within accepted health guidelines, would make a large dent in greenhouse gases.
Adhering to health guidelines on meat consumption could cut global food-related emissions by nearly a third by 2050, the study found, while widespread adoption of a vegetarian diet would bring down emissions by 63%.
If you’re scratching your head on where to get started, here’s some great recipe ideas from one of my favorite recipe sites that won’t have you missing meat at all: