Know Your Food

Nowhere in any other human industry does one find the breadth of environmental impacts found in animal food production. Yet this is just one component of what could be called the “Mother of all crises”: the Extinction Crisis. As you eat each meal, try to understand and visualize how your food is produced and how it contributes to the present state of the world.

  • Land use - What types of habitats were originally converted to produce the food you are eating?
  • Beauty - How has natural beauty been compromised as a result of your food choices?
  • Chemically saturated feed - Have fields been drenched with fertilizers and pesticides to produce feed for your meat, milk, or eggs?
  • Massive monocultures - Did the feed for your animal products come from corn, soy, and hay monocultures or from managed pastures?
  • Heavy carbon footprint - How much oil goes into feeding, transporting, and processing the food you are eating? What about the greenhouse gas emissions involved?
  • Social costs - What happens to our culture as farms become factories and farmers become low-wage contractors or disappear altogether because we want abundant cheap food?
  • Health costs - What are the medical and economic impacts of a diet heavy in saturated animal fats?
  • Animal welfare - What does it mean if we support corporations that treat animals like inanimate production units?
  • True costs - Can you make food choices that are healthier for people, the land, and our future?

Environmentalism begins at the breakfast table. Maybe you can develop an eater’s manifesto of your own.

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