Lately for family home evening we've been pulling a picture out of the Gospel Art Picture Kit & reading the back of it. Quick. Easy. Just long enough for Sadie. Last week we pulled out this picture of the earth & read the following:
"Because this world was created for our benefit, we enjoy many things on it, but we also have a responsibility to care for the earth and the people who live here with us. The Lord has taught us that 'the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare.' Our earthly blessings are great, but we all have stewardships that we will be held accountable for."
In caring for the earth, I have made a decision about what my next lifestyle change to help the environment will be.
Dylan & I have decided to eat less meat. Specifically red meat. We initially started this with the new year for health reasons alone. After reading up on it, I was really quite shocked at just how much our consumption of meat does play a part in the world around us.
The CIWF website is a great source of information. Very eye opening. A few points that stood out to me:
Human health: Alongside the increased consumption of animal fats are disturbing rates of obesity, heart disease and adult-onset diabetes. In order to reduce the risk from these diseases, all informed opinion now stresses the desirability of reduced consumption of animal products and increased intake of fresh fruit, vegetables and fibre-rich carbohydrates.
Environmental impact: The unsustainably large livestock population is having a devastating effect on our environment. A major contributor to global warming, livestock herds account for 10% of all greenhouse gases, including 25% of all methane emissions. In addition, the sheer volume of waste generated by the farm animal population, together with the excessive use of fertilisers to grow their feed, causes high levels of ammonia and nitrate pollution of land, water and air.
Global food security: Much of the earth’s arable land is now being used to grow feed crops for intensively farmed animals rather than for people.
Placing animal products at the centre of food policy greatly diminishes the possibility of feeding the world’s human population. Rather than using vast areas of land to grow crops for animal feed, more food can be obtained by using land to grow crops for direct human consumption.
eatlessmeat.org is also a great resource. The plan in our home is to eat red meat only once a week, and to try to have as many meatless meals as possible. So tonight's dinner of grilled cheese & tomato soup was a good choice!
If you have any good recipes that will support our new choice, feel free to send them along. We'd love the help.