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An Earth Friendly Diet
Photo: Bob Smith
Most Americans enjoy ample amounts of food. Record numbers of overweight citizens pay tribute to overflowing shelves at grocery stores, fast food and five-star restaurants on every city block, stocked pantries and full refrigerators.

In Christian and non-Christian sectors alike, vegetarianism has been hawked for it’s healthful approach to eating. A lower fat and higher fiber slant to dining, a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables has been shown to reduce some types of cancers and other common diseases. Still, many people can’t imagine giving up a juicy steak at their favorite restaurant or a hotdog at the ballgame.

But besides raising your cholesterol, what effect does eating a few hamburgers really have on anyone?

Consider this: Depending on what they eat, 20-60 vegetarians can be fed on the amount of land it takes to feed two meat-eating individuals. This means that if Americans reduced their yearly meat consumption by a mere 10 percent, it would result in 12 million tons of grain for human consumption. If it could be distributed efficiently, that food alone would be enough to feed the 60 million individuals who starve to death each year. From a concerned Christian’s standpoint, being a vegetarian just makes sense.

A Diet of Inefficiency

A plant-based diet also benefits the earth. According to E Magazine’s, Jim Motavalli, animal production uses more than a third of all raw materials and fossil fuels consumed in the United States. The fuel used in producing a single hamburger patty would power the average car for 20 miles.

While water consumption has become a major concern in the age of pollution and conservation, few American consumers realize that beef production alone uses more water than is used in growing the nation’s entire fruit and vegetable crop. In his book The Food Revolution, author John Robbins estimates that “you’d save more water by not eating a pound of California beef than you would by not showering for an entire year.” 

On the sixth day of creation, God formed man and gave him charge over everything on the planet, to care for and oversee each type of plant and animal. As descendants of Adam, it is our duty to be good stewards of the earth. Using resources wisely, including food and water, is part of that stewardship. Careful consumption matters for people, animals and plants alike.

As Christians, we should take seriously God’s assignment of power and care over the earth. Learn more about what you can do to positively impact the earth. Research products you use and items you buy. After all, small changes can make a big difference both in your life and on the planet.

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By Lauren Schwarz. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines

Robbins, John, Diet for a New America
Wellington New Vegetarian Society, The Environment: A Vegetarian View

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