You may have considered cutting down on red meat but never followed through with it for whatever reason, but now there is something bigger than you that needs your help. See this photo? This is the Amazon rainforest.
See this photo? This is what is happening right now. Why? Well actually it has to do with red meat.
The fires are caused by burning fallen trees to make way for cattle ranching, a growing industry in Brazil. Data from the Institute of Environmental Research in Amazonia (IPAM) show that the top 10 municipalities in Amazonia with the most fire occurrences also had the biggest deforestation rates this year.
Because cattle require open spaces to feed and grow, ranchers clear vast lands by burning forests. These fires often get out of hand and “escape into surrounding forest, much of which is suffering from drought.” The fires grow and end up consuming areas with trees that have not been cut down.
In addition- the current Brazilian government is incentivizing ranchers to expand their pastures. The Amazon is one of the biggest cattle ranching regions in the world, and it’s only getting bigger. Brazil’s cattle herd grew from 158 million heads in 1996 to 219 million in 2016, becoming the world’s largest beef and poultry exporter.
Beef is responsible for 41% of livestock greenhouse gas emissions, and that livestock accounts for 14.5% of total global emissions. And methane -- the greenhouse gas cattle produce from both ends -- is 25 times more potent that carbon dioxide. Changing our diets could contribute 20% of the effort needed to keep global temperatures from rising 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Namely, eating less meat.
And the point is- I’m not saying you need to wake up vegan tomorrow, just stop eating RED MEAT. It would be great if you went plant-based or vegan but honestly, just stopping red meat would be a huge contribution… to the world and to your health. Red meat is broken down by your microbiome which produces TMAO that leads to heart disease and other metabolic disease. Hazen et al. published that red meat is indeed the culprit: chronic red meat, but not white meat or non-meat ingestion, increased plasma and urine TMAO in their study (each >two-fold; P < 0.0001). Chronic dietary red meat increases systemic TMAO levels through: (i) enhanced dietary precursors; (ii) increased microbial TMA/TMAO production from carnitine, but not choline; and (iii) reduced renal TMAO excretion. Discontinuation of dietary red meat reduces plasma TMAO within 4 weeks. 4 weeks of meat detox and you can be on the road to better health!
One person not eating beef for a year saves approximately 3,432 trees. That could be you.
For your own health, and for the world, stop eating red meat.