Some people just love to consume meat. No meal to these people is considered complete without a serving of steak or pork chop. Health studies, however, have long confirmed that the regular consumption of processed meat is associated with heart disease, high blood pressure and other ailments.
A separate study has now shown that there is another reason for cutting back on meat other than your health. For every serving of meat you consume, you may be contributing to the increase of nitrous oxide (N2O), a toxic greenhouse gas that is emitted and released into the atmosphere.
A study performed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is urging that meat consumption on a global scale needs to be curtailed by at least 50 percent by the year 2050.
N2O is believed to be the third largest contributor to global warming, right behind carbon dioxide and methane. N2O is mainly spread through the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in farming and agriculture. Bacteria breaks down the fertilizer and releases the nitrous oxide into the air. The fertilizer is also used in handling livestock manure.
By consuming less meat, there will be lesser demands for it. This means less livestock and a lesser need for the use of fertilizers. It’s basically a domino effect that begins with the consumer’s decision to cut back on the consumption of animal flesh.
This is obviously not good news if you enjoy meat. Of course, nobody is advocating that the whole world adopts a vegetarian diet. The study simply revealed that there is a harm done to the environment as the demands for meat production increases. If you like the taste of meat, you are not obligated in any way to give it up. However, it wouldn’t hurt to cut down your daily intake by a serving or two.