Vegetarian diet friendly to environment

Vegetarian diet friendly to environment of the world's agricultural land has been converted from growing food grains for human consumption to growing feed grain for cattle and other livestock. Cattle production is now the most energy-consuming agricultural activity in the world. It takes the equivalent of a gallon of gasoline to produce a pound of grain-fed beef in the U.S. To sustain the yearly beef requirements of an average family of four people requires the consumption of more than 260 gallons of fossil fuel. When that fuel is burned, it releases 2.5 tons of additional CO2 into the atmosphere--as much CO2 as the average car emits in six months of normal operation.

If well-off consumers in the West and elsewhere were willing to forego a heavy meat diet and eat farther down on the food chain with a largely vegetarian diet, precious farmland could be freed up to grow food for millions of people. But a change in food habits in the West would have to be accompanied by land reform and other structural changes n the Southern Hemisphere so that the poor could regain access to the land to grow food grain for their families and communities.

The Hydrogen Economy, Jeremy Rifkin

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