Americans recognize less meat means good sense. - 29 Apr 2008  
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Americans recognize less meat means good sense.

  With food prices having starkly risen in the past year, some US households are looking to replace expensive protein from meat with more affordable plant-based protein. Higher energy and corn prices have caused meat shipping and production to become even more costly, which translates not only to higher prices, but also to greater greenhouse gas emissions.

Professor Al Gini
Institute of Industrial Relations, Loyola University, Chicago, USA

Professor Al Gini of the School of Business Ethics: When you look at it in the long run, it takes more food to produce that food than we could get the protein from another source.

To gauge the public’s awareness regarding the impact of a meat-based diet, Supreme Master Television surveys the Loyola University community in the third largest US city of Chicago.

Supreme Master Television correspondent in Chicago, USA

We’re speaking to Debra Shore, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Commissioner. Hi, Commissioner.

Debra Shore, Metro Water Reclamation District officer: Good afternoon.

The breeding of livestock is a major contributor to the pollution and all the gas emissions in the environment, so do you have any words to say regarding eating less meat?

Debra Shore, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago
Debra Shore, Metro Water Reclamation District officer: Well, it certainly is true that it takes a great deal of water to produce a pound of beef and that is going to be an issue and there are ways to provide for ourselves with food that gives us enough protein.

It is now widely known that meat production is one of the most carbon intensive industries in the world.

Professor Al Gini: That has to be true in regards to personal health, personal ecology and economics. Ask your cardiologist: “Should you cut back on meat?” And the answer would be: “Yes”! And I think this is all together again part of this global awareness of what does it do in the long run, what’s the carbon footprint.

Summer Roberts, Community Relations, Loyola University: Now we’re starting to realize that we can’t take advantage. And that goes to our diet; that goes to the products and clothing and things that we consume.

As the public becomes more conscious of their energy use, millions are turning to carbon footprint calculators on the internet. Many of these take into account whether one is vegetarian (vegan).

Alderman Joe Moore, 49th Ward of the City of Chicago, USA

Alderman Joe Moore: There’s simply not enough on our planet to be able to sustain this at this level so I think educating people about how to eat more healthy, how to eat less meat will not only benefit them and benefit their physical health but will benefit the planet.

One of the initiatives that Supreme Master Television promoted was Meatout Day. Would your ward be interested in promoting that as a way of reducing?

Alderman Joe Moore: Oh, absolutely and we have an e-mail list of over 4000 residents in my ward that receive regular e-mails from my office about community news and events, and this is certainly something that we would definitely want to support.

Chris, Student, Loyola University, Chicago, USA: We can help reduce our carbon emission footprint on this planet, if we go green and if we go vegetarian.

Way to go smart consumers everywhere, who are looking to change to a plant-based diet for reasons of health, economics and ecology. It's clear that everyone wins when we make the life-affirming choice to go veg!