Meat production’s impact on the environment

The meat industry utilizes large amounts of resources like fossil fuels, water, and grain to sustain livestock. A single pound of beef requires 2,500 gallons of water to process, and the US alone produced 28.2 billion pounds in 2022. 

Additionally, the United Nations has estimated that livestock related emissions make up more than 14% of all anthropogenic greenhouse gases. 

Eating less meat

By eating less meat, you are lowering the demand for its production, and thus reducing emissions and saving important resources like water. 

According to a study published in the journal Nature, annual greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 1% if every person living in the US reduced their meat consumption by 25%. This may not seem like a significant amount, but any kind of positive impact we can have on the changing climate is important, especially when it comes from an individual action that is easy to implement. 

Meatless Monday

To make a difference, you don’t have to become fully vegetarian or vegan, all you need to do is decrease your meat consumption. Even skipping meat one day of the week can have an impact! 

Meatless Monday is a popular campaign that encourages people to avoid eating meat one day a week! 

Substitute meat in your meals

Want to make sure that you are still getting protein when you are decreasing your meat consumption? Here are some plant-based sources of protein: 

  • Tofu 
  • Black beans 
  • Tempeh 
  • Chickpeas 
  • Soy protein 
  • Lentils 


Information from the UF Office of Sustainability, University of Colorado Boulder, USDA, and Nature.