August 10, 2004

Save energy. Eat less meat.

'Darley touches briefly on alternative sources of energy, such as hydrogen, solar and wind, but discounts them as full-scale replacements for oil and gas because their implementation is too expensive.

'So what can be done? Darley offers some small-scale steps for ordinary people to take, including turning off appliances, insulating homes, using cloth instead of plastic grocery shopping bags, wearing sweaters instead of cranking the heat up, and eating less meat (which requires far more energy to produce than plants).'

-- Salon review (August 8) of High Noon for Natural Gas by Julian Darley
Here are some facts about the waste of resources that go to meat production.
  • Producing a calorie of beef protein requires 40 times more fuel than producing a calorie of soy protein.
  • One third of all raw materials and fuels used in the U.S. are used in the production of meat.
  • More than half of all the water used in the U.S. is used for livestock production.
  • Producing a pound of beef uses 200 times more water than producing a pound of wheat.
  • Eighty percent of the corn and 95% of the oats grown in the U.S. go to animals raised as food. Worldwide, 75% of all grain produced goes to animals.
  • Meat contains only 10% of the protein that was in the grains the animals ate. The same amount of grain used to produce a pound of beef could feed more than 30 people.