Following a vegetarian diet is one in which you do not eat meat (seafood, poultry, or red). There are different types of vegetarian diets. An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products. Lacto-vegetarians diet includes dairy products but not eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians diet includes eggs and dairy products. Also a variation is a vegan diet in which no animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, honey) are eaten. Semi-vegetarian diets can include ingredients that are not vegetarian such as fish.
Many people do not know the other methods of achieving protein other than through meats. Some of these include dairy, eggs, soy, hempseed, beans, brown rice, hummus, whole wheats, quinoa, peanut butter, tofu, legumes, and many others. There are many sources of protein that are available.
- The United Nations has urged the world to move away from meat diets.
- Eating meat takes up many resources. All the animals have to eat in to get nutrients.
- It is estimated that between 13,000-100,000 liters of water is used to produce a kilo of beef. In contrast to wheat which only uses 1,000-2,000 litres.
- Many greenhouse emissions are produced with meat. Also organic farming has less of a greenhouse effect.
- Produces 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities
- Livestock produces 37% of all human-induced methane, and 65% of ammonia (which contributes to acid rain).
- Animals pollute our rivers, streams and oceans because of manure. (It has lead to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico)
- 70% of all agricultural land is for farmed animals, either their food or where they are kept. (This has increased deforestation and has endangered habitats)
- Has increased Endangered Species (such as many fish, and whales)
Health Benefits of Eating Vegetarian
Studies have found that vegetarians live longer. A plant-based diet can prevent diseases. The American Dietetic Association states that vegetarians have reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, colon cancer, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, gout, gallstones, kidney stones, lung cancer, and breast cancer. A healthy vegetarian diet that is low in fat when combined with adequate exercise helps reduce blood pressure and can control or even eliminate non-insulin dependent diabetes.
Throughout my whole life, I have been vegetarian. Growing up my mother didn’t like meat, and since her family was not big meat eaters it was very easy for her to become vegetarian, my father’s family has been vegetarian, so for me it was the obvious choice. My parents never told me I could not have meat, but I never developed an appetite for it, and do not find it appealing. Whenever I tell people I am vegetarian they always are astonished and exclaim “How can you do it?” But for me it comes naturally, and it is very easy. While I realize this may not be the case with everyone, just cutting meat out of as many meals as possible is beneficial.
Do you think you could become vegetarian? If not could you eat Vegetarian 2-4 days a week?
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
E-waste is electronic waste that makes up 5% of municipal solid waste worldwide. E-waste includes phones, computers, televisions, audio equipment, printers, DVD players, and any electronic device.Every year 25 million tons of e-waste is produced, and a large percent of it is dumped abroad.
In American society we have this notion that we need the newest gadget and we need it now! In each new generation there is an increasing need for instant gratification. Our society no longer purchases only their true needs, but over consumes without considering the environmental impact. American society is materialistic, and consumers only care about their own selfish needs.
Hazards of E-waste
There are harmful elements found in electronics like PVC, mercury, solvents, flame retardants, and lead. Lead can be very disastrous to many organs and tissues (heart, bones, intestines, kidneys), as well as cardiovascular, reproductive, and nervous systems. It can cause symptoms from headaches to seizures, coma, or death. Flame retardants can cause abnormal thyroid metabolism, and poor brain development. When burned, plastic and other materials in electronic products release toxic chemicals. Plastics release dioxins such as; PVC or hydrofluoric acid, which can damage the lungs of those exposed to it. Not only are people who are actively participating in this getting exposed, but also the surrounding communities ground water and air is contaminated. The contaminated water leads to contamination of crops, animals and anyone who drinks it.
Check out the video on the right side that is titled “Toxic U.S. E-waste: Third World Problem.”
The map above shows the known and suspected routes of e-waste dumping (sorry the picture is so small but it was the only one I could find that contained suspected routes). E-waste is shipped overseas to Asia, India, Africa and other developing countries. Because these people are so impoverished they work at ‘recycling facilities.’ At these facilities they do not wear any protection so their health and environment declines rapidly. These people earn about 1 meal a day while damaging their health. Many of these people are not aware of the risks involved with their work.
E-waste recycling programs that have been certified by e-stewards have to comply with certain standards. These include waste not being disposed of in solid waste landfills or incinerators, prohibits the exports and imports of electronics and specifically prohibits export of hazardous waste to developing countries. In order for this dangerous oversea shipping to stop, it is necessary for the public to be aware of this issue, and make sure that the e-waste recycling program will not ship overseas.
How are you disposing of your e-waste? Is your e-waste recycler certified?
“Shall we surrender to our surroundings or shall we make our peace with nature and begin to make reparations for the damage we have done to our air, to our land and to our water?”