I’m pretty confident that there will never be a day when all the world is in agreement about the best human diet. I’m an omnivore myself, but I have friends who swear by their paleo, vegetarian, and vegan diets. All of us can make compelling arguments about why we eat the way we do, and all of us can make valid criticisms of diets that are unlike our own.
For me, deciding how and what to eat required a close examination of the values and principles that truly matter to me. The type of food we consume has immediate health and economic consequences, but it also has a significant impact on our environment.
As the infographic below explains, the manner and scale at which our society currently raises animal for human consumption contributes to climate change in major way. It also wastes water, pollutes our soil, and contaminates fresh water supplies.
Now, I’m not saying that you’re to blame for climate change because you enjoy hamburgers. But if you’re really trying to live a low-impact life, eating less meat (and ensuring that the meat you do eat is raised by responsible farmers and ranchers) could help you shrink your carbon footprint a lot faster than buying a hybrid or skipping showers.