Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
single

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR Newsletter

Okay, okay, okay, so everyone and their pet parent knows that flying in an airplane is a sure-fire way to increase your carbon footprint from one to a million, right? Anytime you hear about a celebrity who is doing something good for the planet, one of the first comments people give is “but they fly jets all over the world, soooo….” (c.f. Leo and Al Gore). So yes, jet-setting across the world isn’t exactly the smartest move if you want to show people you’re eco-conscious … but turns out that there is one thing that we ALL do every single day that is  WAY worse for the planet than flying: eating meat. And not just any type of meat, but grass fed.

That’s right! According to journalist and environmental expert George Monbiot, “A kilogram of beef protein (about 2 pounds) reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg (1,417 pounds) of carbon dioxide … in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than a passenger flying from London to New York.”

Wait … wait … what?!

Shocked-Dog
 

 

How can this be? Well, based on the study that  Monbiot cites, to keep free-roaming grass fed animals, farms have to keep their land clear, and the animals have to roam hills and land to forage, which means they burn more fat than the traditional stalled animal and release more methane as well. It also takes longer for these animals to reach market weight so the only way to meet demands and compete with conventional farming is to have lots and lots of animals that cover a huge span of land. But if two pounds of beef protein is equivalent to the carbon footprint of a six-hour flight,  if you multiply that by the seven billion people on the planet – that’s more than enough greenhouse gases to circle the world a few dozen times and go to the moon and back a few rounds too!

Hoooolllllyyyyyyyy bananas. 

jes

 

This is all really tricky when you think about how letting animals roam and graze is actually really great in comparison to the horrors they face in factory farms. Although these animals get to lead a much better life (that is until they stop being considered animals and start being “meat” or “protein” instead), given the HUGE demand for protein across the world, the greenhouse gas emissions produced and land resources required hardly make this a sustainable endeavor.

According to the data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the average American is consuming nearly 16 percent of his or her calories from protein; that likely translates to somewhere between 70 to 120 grams per person – well over the recommendation of .8 grams per kilogram. Basically, 70 grams of protein would be the appropriate amount for a 200-pound person while 120 grams would be appropriate for someone weighing 330 pounds. Given that the average American man weighs 196 pounds and the average woman weighs 156 pounds, the demand for protein seems to outweigh the need.

It is also a huge misconception that this protein needs to come from meat sources – rather, you could sub beef for lentils to get 9 grams of protein per half cup, 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds to pack in 13 grams, a cup of tofu for 10 grams, or any one of these awesome sources of plant-based protein to get your daily protein requirements, and halve your carbon footprint in the process.

Instead of having to compromise on giving animals better conditions or being kind to the planet, you can simply choose to cut your consumption of animal products and choose more plant-based options instead!

By leaving meat off your plate, you can literally halve your carbon footprint! And as far as I know, no pigs, cows or chickens need to be crammed into tiny cages for their whole lives for us to grow kale – so major win there too!

To learn more about how you can be a plant-saving rockstar with your next meal, join One Green Planet’s #EatForThePlanet movement!

Click on the graphic below for more information

BANNERplate

 

 

Editor’s Note 1/5/2016: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that 2 pounds of beef are responsible for carbon emissions equivalent to a flight from New York to London, this has been clarified to reflect the correct measure that 2 pounds of beef protein is responsible for this carbon footprint. The study cited estimates that the protein content of beef is 20 percent of the total weight; the carbon conversion is based on the protein measure, not total weight. 

Lead image source: Adam Campbell/Flickr



Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

The Surprising Reason This Manta Ray Will Make You Rethink Your Summer Dip in the Ocean

This Image of a Manta Ray Will Make You Rethink Your Summer Dip In The Ocean

Are Sharks Monsters or Are We? Image Reveals Truth About Our Relationship With These Predators

This Picture Will Give You Chills and Inspire You to Stand Up for Sharks

Amazon Plants May Hold the Cure to Countless Diseases, But Here’s Why We’re Destroying Them All

Amazon Plants May Hold the Cure to Countless Diseases: How We're Destroying Them With One Choice

Inspiring Story Behind This Seemingly Dangerous Image Will Compel You to Stand Up for Sharks

Inspiring Story Behind This Seemingly Dangerous Image Will Compel You to Stand Up for Sharks

Tragic Image Will Make You Rethink Everything You Know About Sharks

Tragic Image Will Change the Way You Think About Sharks

This Intimate Photo of The Last Northern White Male Rhino Will Inspire You to Act for All Species

13385872_1019286514822052_47512106_n

Heart Wrenching Photo Shows the Big Impact of Even the Smallest Piece of Plastic

Heart-wrenching Photo Shows the Big Impact of Even the Smallest Piece of Plastic

Here’s Why Grass-Fed Beef is Just as Bad for the Environment as Grain-Fed

Sorry Hipsters, Grass-Fed Beef is Just as Bad for the Planet as Grain-Fed

How This Image of 2 Stranded Polar Bears Foretells Our Own Stranding

Polar bears

Photo of Depressed Polar Bear Shows Us Exactly How We’ve Harmed the Planet and its Animals

Photo of Depressed Polar Bear Shows Us Exactly How We've Harmed the Planet and its Animals

What?! Grazing Sheep Are Driving the Extinction of a Rare Deer Species in India

The Everglades are Rapidly Disappearing Due to Salt Water Rise – You Can Help With One Choice

Salt Water Incursion in the Everglades – Bad for Environment and Florida Residents

1 in 5 of the World’s Plant Species are in Danger of Extinction – and it’s our Fault

Pic_1

Baby Elephant in Chains Shows How the Illegal Wildlife Trade Turns Animals Into Commodities

Stunning Photo Series Shows Us the True Impact of the Illegal Wildlife Trade

Before and After: How Efforts to Restore Indonesia’s Forests Have Advanced in 4 Years

Conservation International Indonesia

This Striking Image Illustrates the Biggest Deceit of the Plastic Bag

This Striking Image Illustrates the Biggest Deceit of the Plastic Bag

Here’s What Happens When You Put a Group of Women in Charge of a Country’s Vital Forests

Meet the Incredible Group of Women Who Are Restoring Vital Forests in India

Dangerous Carcinogens Can Finally be Banned From Household Products: 3 Wins in New Chemical Law

Dangerous Carcinogens Can Finally be Banned From Household Products: 3 Wins in New Chemical Law

If We Don’t Break Our Plastic Habit, We May Start to See a Whole New Type of Bird’s Nest (PHOTO)

Nest

Touching Photo Reveals the Incredible Efforts People Will Make to Help a Rhino in Need

Touching Picture Reveals the Incredible Efforts People Will Make to Help a Rhino in Need

This Quote From Jane Goodall Will Inspire You to Do … Well, Everything to Help the Planet

This Quote From Jane Goodall Will Inspire You to Do ... Well, Everything to Help the Planet

Stunning Image of Arctic Fox Reminds Us of What We Stand to Lose if the Ice Disappears

Stunning Image of Arctic Fox in Their Icy Habitat Reminds Us of What We Stand to Lose if the Ice Disappears

President of Indonesia Stands on the Wreckage of His Country, Burnt for the Sake of Palm Oil

President of Indonesia Stands on the Wreckage of His Country, Burnt for the Sake of Palm Oil

Why we Need to Take Action Now to Prevent the World’s Oceans From Heading to a Dead end

On World Oceans Day, What Actions Can We Take to Ensure That Marine Life Thrives Once Again?

Why We Need to Wake Up and Do Something to Tackle Plastic Pollution in the Oceans

How Plastic Disrupts the Marine Ecosystem and What That Means for the Health of the Ocean and Consequently People

Haunting Statue Foreshadows the Future of Marine Life if We Don’t Stop Throwing Out So Much Plastic

Stunning Statue Foreshadows the Future for Marine Life if We Don't Stop Throwing Out So Much Plastic

These Aren’t Clouds, They’re 300 Football Fields Worth of Flames – Caused by Our Snacks

13256455_1263365347007801_2939270195121287207_n

What the ‘Doomsday’ Seed Vault Tells Us About the Future of Food Security

What the 'Doomsday' Seed Vault Teaches Us About How One Choice Threatens the Future of Crop Security

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

93 comments on “Consuming 2 lbs of Grass-Fed Beef Protein is Worse for the Planet Than Flying From NYC to London!”

Click to add comment
Rose Holbrook-Lambert
5 Months Ago

It's not even about being vegan. Has anybody checked into what it is they are actually eating? where does it come from? What was it fed? How many chemicals pumped in it????? I dare ya, look up the lakes of blood being shed from these animals and what this kind of mass production of meat does for our planet..... nothing good comes from mass production of anything. Period. Hate me all ya want but all of this disposable and easy lifestyles we live will be the death of us. Checked out the air quality in China lately? Isn't that where most of these disposable things (including the processing of our meat) occurs..... Geeeeee.... Wonder how that happened? Wake up people. It's going to be too late and the damage we cause will cause this planet to extinguish us as a society, maybe a species. Sure, our culture is easy and disposable, maybe even cheap.... but at what cost? What will you tell your grandchildren when the planet is fighting back???


Reply
Rachel Aaron
5 Months Ago

I donno about this.....i mean factory farming is a awful pile of shit that i hate. However animals eat just as many other grass feeding animals...i mean .....i draw the line at a certain point.


Reply
Dennis Linsmeyer
5 Months Ago

Who are these so called experts coming up with this bullshit . Cows grazing is much worse than flying an airplane. Wtf


Reply
Joanne Friend-Smith
5 Months Ago

Lee Starfield Gladwell


Reply
Shir Ron Ellis
5 Months Ago

Day makeing all grass an trees transgender gay grass .sum tempting DNA seed


Reply
Rose Holbrook-Lambert
06 Jan 2016

You don't even make any sense. And it sounds ignorant. Pointless.

Zoe Steindl
5 Months Ago

Tanya Tolleson Steindl


Reply
Tanya Tolleson Steindl
05 Jan 2016

I saw this, most people won't believe it.

Paul Mahony
5 Months Ago

No, two pounds of beef are not worse than a trans-Atlantic flight. http://terrastendo.net/2016/01/06/no-two-pounds-of-beef-are-not-worse-than-a-trans-atlantic-flight/


Reply
Lisa Engel
5 Months Ago

Sooooo...does this mean it's probably a good thing all those hundreds of thousands of buffalo no longer roam our country's mid-section?? smh


Reply
Nichole Griffith
5 Months Ago

lol..this is false


Reply
Titus Sequeira
5 Months Ago

SO, are you suggesting that one should eat GMO meat?


Reply


Subscribe to our Newsletter




Follow us on


Do Not Show This Again

×

Submit to OneGreenPlanet


Terms & Conditions ×