May Meat Challenge

Occupy Sonoma County May Meat Challenge

Breeding and killing billions of animals for human consumption requires vast amounts of land, water, and fossil fuels. According to Drawdown, grazing accounts for 15% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Including all the direct and indirect emissions from animal agriculture it can be as high as 51%. The EPA states that 28.5% of GHG emissions come from transportation while 9% comes from agriculture. UN studies reveal that 14.5% of GHGs come from agriculture. To reduce our own GHG footprint and set a better example for others, a shift to plant-based foods is essential to preventing a climate catastrophe.

What’s on your plate?  Is it 80-100% plants?

Occupy Sonoma County has been collaborating with vegan climate activists and local farmers to create a campaign to educate the public as well as other activists about the GHG impact of animal agriculture and conventional food production. We promote healthy, environmentally friendly eating for ourselves and the planet by choosing food that is produced in ways that capture more carbon in the soil than are emitted into the atmosphere and by supporting and educating people in making 80-100% plant-based organic and biodynamic food choices. 

Some farmers are taking action!

Some conscientious farmers are taking important steps to reduce GHG emissions. Composting increases the drawdown of atmospheric carbon into the soil, and no-till farming reduces carbon dioxide release and fossil fuel use. Stemple Creek Ranch in Tamales uses both techniques to grow grass as feed for their animals which in turn provides healthier meat for local markets and select restaurants. Some farmers are reducing GHGs on their farms in a variety of creative ways. Hughes Dairy in Bodega created a closed system to separate free-ranging cattle excrement using the solid waste as fertilizer and the liquid to water grazing lands. Straus Family Creamery of Marin developed a larger system using anaerobic digesters to convert manure to electricity, then using the electricity to run their trucks. Niman Ranch, originally in Marin and now across the US, reduces GHGs  by having all their farms located within fifty miles of their processing facilities. Different systems work best for different levels of operation.

What’s the answer?

A solution to reducing significant GHG emissions is simple: eat less meat, dairy, eggs, and fish! The May Meat Challenge encourages people to make this change in May! For some this might mean becoming a vegan or vegetarian, or moving in that direction. Others may begin by eating a smaller portion of meat at dinner with a larger helping of fresh, local veggies. We also challenge everyone to consider where your food was grown (was it shipped more than 10 miles from where you bought it?) and how much energy and other resources were needed to create it. By taking the challenge, you not only help protect the biosphere, but you will feel better by avoiding high intakes of red meat, processed foods, and sugar that is the staple of the Standard American Diet (SAD).  

What You Can Do

  • Pledge to eat 80-100% vegetables, fruits, legumes, and grains that are certified organic or biodynamic certified with minimal processing and packaging.
  • Use composting and gardening at home to put carbon back in the ground.
  • Pledge to eat zero or less than 20% animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, fish).
  • Pledge to eat local foods in season from environmentally conscious farms.

If you consume animal products, you can pledge to:   

  • Eat 4 ounces or less in a serving (palm-sized).
  • Purchase meat and dairy that is organic and raised by farmers utilizing carbon sequestration practices.
    Meat and dairy that is pastured, certified humane, and grass-fed/grass-finished is healthier for you.
    Ask questions about your food and use the shopper’s guide on our website.
  • Purchase organic, sustainable, farm-raised fish raised without toxic chemicals. Leave wild fish to replenish and feed ocean wildlife. Let the oceans recover from pollution and overfishing.
    Conventional farmed fish might be more toxic than the styrofoam tray!

Make a pledge to reduce your meat consumption in May!

Interested in becoming a vegan? Download the Vegan Starter Kit

contact us  •  phone: 707-877-6650

 

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