The Daily Press reports that local experts are urging Chesapeake Bay residents to consume less meat to help protect the bay:
That’s because Americans typically eat an awful lot of meat — 30 percent more protein than he or she really needs, said James Galloway, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. And producing all that meat — raising and caring for all those cows, chickens and hogs — generates more nitrogen emissions than any other source, he said. “If everyone in the watershed consumed only the recommended amount of protein,” Galloway said in a statement, “reductions in nitrogen emissions would be substantial.”
Virginia and other bay states have been working for years to try to reduce runoff. Now a new online calculator allows residents to calculate their pollution footprint, taking meat, dairy, and egg consumption into consideration. Officials hope the "bay footprint calculator" will help residents reduce their meat consumption.
Nitrogen from animal waste on nearby factory farms fuels harmful seasonal algal blooms, red tides, and dead zones in the bay, killing marine plants and animals.
Factory farming practices are responsible for widespread contamination of our drinking water. In fact, animal excrement and other agricultural runoff from large-scale farms have polluted nearly one-third of rivers in the U.S.
Want to withdraw your support of factory farms and protect our beautiful waterways? Visit ChooseVeg.com for meal ideas, recipes, and more.