I've heard a little about the benefits to the environment of being a vegetarian, but I wonder if anyone has any facts, or any recommended reading. Thanks!

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I read that a vegan who drives an SUV has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat-eater who rides a bicycle.
I would have to Google most of them, and I trust you are just as skilled with Google search. ;) But I will say, livestock is forcefully bred with makes livestock species populations artificially inflated based on market demands. This means, if there were no demand, there would be fewer of them. When you think of raising an animal, you know many resources go into raising it. For instance, picture of how many resources I would have to put into you to raise you from infanthood to a certain weight (let's say 175-200 lbs) for the purpose of eating you. It's obvious that it would take fewer resources if I would just consume the raw materials (water and plant materials) than I would if I were raising you to feed me, plus the water and plant materials I consume anyway. Likewise if you're maintaining a cow for milk, in the course of her lifetime she's going to require a lot of resources, because she will be consuming for her own body maintenance and for the extra energy to make milk. (Also consider the volume of wastes they create.) Factor in the fuel used to transport grains and hay to the animals, and transport the animals from breeder to dairy or feedlot, then to the packing house to the grocery store... it's an energy intensive enterprise.  Instead of shipping the grain from the field to the elevator to the feedlot, then the cattle from the feedlot to the packing house to the grocery store, how about transport the grain to the mill to the grocery store? (Because the grains or plants will be eaten but only partially used to build muscle and fat or milk... some of the animal's food will be converted to energy for moving, or body heat, or involuntary body processes, or pregnancy in the case of breeding animals or dairy cows. Feeding an animal to produce meat or dairy is not the most efficient way of producing a pound of food.)

Hello Friend,

The Food Revolution has a section on the environmental impact. 

The environmental impact is huge - one meat-free day a week has a larger impact than eating locally grown food!

Yesterday a Facebook friend shared this with me, and it addresses many questions about veganism/vegetarianism. I remembered this discussion and thought I'd share. :)

http://youtu.be/RypYQDuJx98

Huge question and deserves a huge answer.  I only have time for a short answer now.  30 years ago I was a meat eater and was very sick.  I changed my diet and became very well.  I became a vegan, raw foodist.  Now I am never sick, never feel any aches or pains and not much fatigue either.  To live a vegan life is wonderful and healthful.  To live a raw vegan life is nothing short of amazing and a blessing.   No animal ever has to feel fear or suffer pain so that I may eat a meal. 

I eat plants, vegetables, grasses, leaves, fruits, nuts and seeds in their natural raw state.   I would never go back . 

Phil, please read:  Conscious Eating by Dr. Gabriel Cousens.   This will provide you with information ye seek. 

Thich Nhat Hanh's Blue Cliff letter sets the matter out well (you have to read a bit before you get to the part about a plant-based diet, but it is the main thrust of the letter).

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