The NCVA recently received an email from highschoolers Lia and Bethany. They’re working on a project for their grade ten outdoor education class. The goal: to help the environment by encouraging people to try eating vegetarian. The plan: to set up an interactive pro-veg website and facebook page, and distribute flyers in their neighbourhoods.
They asked us to mention them on our blog, but being so impressed by their awesomeness, we thought they should speak for themselves. So without further ado, here’s a guest blog post from Lia and Bethany, next-gen veggie activists extraordinaire! Don’t forget to go like their facebook page when you’re done reading!
The Economist magazine rated Canada as the ninth most carnivorous country with just under 100kg of meat consumed per person in 2007. That’s 3.96 million tonnes of meat in total. Here are the numbers:
An average steer weighs 1400 pounds, but only 43% of that is transferred into edible products you see in store refrigerators after the hide, head, organs, and excess fat are removed. So, of that 1400 pound cow, only 602 pounds of it is sold and consumed. 3.96 million tonnes is equivalent to 8,730,305,583 pounds of meat. That’s 14.5 million cows.
Beef accounts for only a third of the 3.96 million tonnes of meat Canadians consumed in 2007. Pigs make up just under another third, and poultry makes up the rest. Pigs, and especially chickens, produce far less meat per animal. This means that even more animal lives are lost to fill our plates.
No matter how you slice it, Canadians literally eat tonnes of meat. If all of Canada’s 34,482,779 people made the effort to eat one more vegetarian meal per week, many animals would be spared from the slaughterhouse. What if we ate two more meals? Three?
Making the effort to eat vegetarian even three times a week not only saves lives, but also greenhouse gas emissions. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), producing one calorie of meat protein requires eleven times as many fossil fuels than producing one calorie of plant protein. If every person in Canada skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking over 55,333 cars off the road.
In theory, eating less meat is easy. Just don’t cook any. But then the question is: what can you make instead?
Inspiration for your next vegetarian meal is right at your fingertips. The Veg Pledge is a student-run initiative meant to encourage people in the Ottawa area to try eating at least one vegetarian meal per week. Don’t know what to make for dinner tonight? Check out our collection of vegetarian recipes and photos at www.thevegpledge.weebly.com, and don’t forget to share your creation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you want to get inspiration delivered to your notifications, like our page at https://www.facebook.com/TheVegPledge. All we ask in return is that you share this encouragement with your friends. Join us in our push for a greener Ottawa!