Meatless Monday: A Guest Post

*DISCLAIMER: I won’t blame you for skipping this and getting to the meat of my post. I have never considered myself a writer, and have really never written much other than what has been required of me. I have turned Baylee down for weeks about making a “guest post” as she likes to call it, but today I found myself with a light work load (I am working on my Master’s) and the sound of writing something without a word requirement and meticulous use of footnotes sounded nice. So just to be clear this in no way reflects Baylee and her writing skills, and just a warning that we have very different writing styles. I like to go on rants and tangents quite often, which drivers her crazy when she edits my work. If you completely hate my post I will not be offended just don’t take it out on Baylee or her blog. Thanks!*

As I mentioned above (in case you skipped it) I am working on my Master’s, what I did not mention is that it is in Environmental Law and Policy. In the past few months I have learned quite a bit about law (don’t worry I won’t bore you with that; sometimes Baylee cries when I read to her from my text books) and the environment (I will be talking about this). I have come to find out that we have done quite a number on our planet (and I am really struggling to give that sentence the emphasis it deserves without swearing, so lets just leave it at that). From climate change, (the preferred term over global warming; some fancy terminology to drop on you from my studies) to plastics in our Oceans (this may be the topic of my next “guest post” if I am invited back), to the ridiculous amount of waste produced by agriculture (and I mean literal food waste and what is needed to produce the food we see in the super market). Out of all the things I have learned in the past few months (and will learn for that matter) what I am about to share is the most important: we can do something about it. WE CAN do something about it! By the time I am supposed to be having my mid-life crisis, I will be too busy dealing with my house being under water and my retirement running out (did I mention I was a business major too?). But now all those things are no longer inevitable (well maybe not retirement running out…), we can make an actual difference.

How you ask? One way is to participate in Meatless Monday. As you might have gathered that means going vegetarian for one day a week, or vegan if you are really ambitious. Why Monday? Because who doesn’t like alliteration? But seriously, here are some facts you may not know about meat production:

  • The meat industry is responsible for about a fifth of man-made greenhouse gases. (Courtesy of University of Southern Mississippi)
  • 1,800 – 2,500 gallons of water is used in producing ONE pound of beef, to compare, your 10-minute shower uses about 4 gallons, and that is with an outdated showerhead. (Courtesy of GOOD Magazine)
  • If your four-person family skips steak once a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for nearly three months. (Factiod courtesy of Environmental Working Group)

So basically, (I am going to focus on the water aspect because I am from California) you could take one years worth of showers with the amount of water it takes to produce a single pound of beef (this is my rough math, 365X4, and using the scenario above). Okay not everyone takes a 10-minute shower, so let’s be generous and say 6 months of showering. That is still a ridiculous amount of water!

Now, I love meat! I could eat a cheeseburger for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of my life and die a happy woman. This is why I am a fan of Meatless Mondays, it is one day a week to make a conscious effort to change the world, it is not asking you to completely change your lifestyle. Also, Paul McCartney (click on his name to learn more) is a supporter and who doesn’t like the Beatles? All in all, giving up one day of meat is only helping the environment, your health, your wallet, and creating a positive habit. Thanks for listening (well reading), see you next time (hopefully)!

By Jackie Perez

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