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Go Green means helping to create an inheritable environment by using sustainable agricultural techniques, natural resource use, manufacturing processes, recycling and energy generation and use.
Sustainable in this context means employing methods of production, generation and use that do not permanently harm the environment or deplete all of a natural resource.
Your Carbon Footprint is how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere to support all your daily activities and consumption.
How would eating Vegan (no animal products) help you be Green and reduce your carbon responsibility?
Consider the following:
The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million. Current US population is 307 million.
Animal protein production requires more than eight times as much fossil fuel energy than production of plant protein while yielding protein that is only 1.4 times more nutritious than the comparable amount of plant protein.
On average, animal protein production in the U.S. requires 28 kilocalories (kcal) for every kcal of protein produced for human consumption. Beef and lamb are the most costly, in terms of fossil fuel energy input to protein output at 54:1 and 50:1, respectively. Turkey and chicken meat production are the most efficient (13:1 and 4:1, respectively). Grain production, on average, requires 3.3 kcal of fossil fuel for every kcal of protein produced.
U.S. agriculture accounts for 87 percent of all the fresh water consumed each year. Livestock directly use only 1.3 percent of that water. But when the water required for forage and grain production is included, livestock's water usage rises dramatically. Every kilogram of beef produced takes 100,000 liters of water. Some 900 liters of water go into producing a kilogram of wheat. Potatoes are even less "thirsty," at 500 liters per kilogram.
The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic (human caused) user of land. Grazing occupies 26 percent of the Earth's terrestrial surface, while feed crop production requires about a third of all arable land. Expansion of grazing land for livestock is a key factor in deforestation.
Considering the entire commodity chain it is estimated that livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of motor vehicles. It accounts for nine percent of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, most of it due to expansion of pastures and arable land for feed crops. It generates even bigger shares of emissions of other gases with greater potential to warm the atmosphere: as much as 37 percent of anthropogenic (human caused) methane, mostly from enteric (intestinal) fermentation by livestock, and 65 percent of anthropogenic (human caused) nitrous oxide, mostly from manure.
Livestock herds cause wide-scale land degradation, with about 20 percent of pastures considered as degraded through overgrazing, compaction and erosion. This figure is even higher in the dry lands where inappropriate policies and inadequate livestock management contribute to advancing desertification.
A new report from the UN says livestock production is one of the major causes of the world's most pressing environmental problems, including global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.