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Home / Articles / Columnists / Fitness by Larisa /  The Environment-Meat Connection
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Tuesday, July 3,2018

The Environment-Meat Connection

By Larisa Klein  
Without the greenhouse effect, the ability of certain gases to trap heat, life on our planet could not have happened as it has. Our atmosphere absorbs some of the sun’s heat and radiates some back into space. The problem arises when the greenhouse gases accumulate, trapping too much heat.


Burning fossil fuels for transportation, energy production, and factory operations produces carbon dioxide, the most abundant and largest contributor to the greenhouse effect.

Landfills and grazing animals release methane. Fertilizers and refrigeration services release nitrous oxide.

Methane and nitrous oxide store more heat than carbon dioxide but are less abundant. Most scientists believe that human activity is strongly influencing global warming through our increased output of these greenhouse gases.

Those who do not believe in manmade climate change believe the concept is a political ploy. While it is agreed that there is an increase in levels of greenhouse gases and temperature, the reasons for this warming are not ascribed to human lifestyles. When discussions on the topic started, the predicted yet absent floods, droughts, hurricanes, heavy rainstorms, and extreme temperatures were used as as proof that global warming was a hoax. (Bailey, R., 1997, Bill and Al’s Global Warming Circus, Forbes Magazine)

However, in 2001, Pres. Bush informed the public of his cabinet’s findings on climate data. In his report, Pres. Bush listed temperatures rising from the 1890s to the 1940s, dropping from the 1940s to the 1970s, and rising sharply since the 1970s. He agreed that greenhouse gases had been accumulating in our atmosphere since the industrial revolution largely due to human activity. According to the same report (Remarks on Global Climate Change, 2001), the scientists who conducted the studies state that past or future influence of greenhouse gases on temperatures, or at what point these levels become detrimental to life, could not be accurately predicted.

The hard data on the particulars (rain/snow fall, number of droughts/ fires, decline in food production, etc.) is out there for anyone wanting the numbers. But generally, everyone can agree that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of no-longer-missing natural disasters.

What’s the big deal about the estimated few degrees increase in temperature that is predicted as a result of climate change? Can two or three degrees really make than much difference? Maybe we can think of it this way: our normal body temperature is about 98.6 F. How do you think your body would like it if your temperature always stayed at 99.6? 100.6?

I will not address how a sick environment will affect its inhabitants and assume it to be pretty clear.

But what can we do to help? According to Scientific American, livestock feed in the U.S. requires the yearly use of 167 million pounds of pesticides, 17 BILLION pounds of nitrogen fertilizer, and 149 million acres of cropland. This process produces large amounts of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that traps 300 times more heat than carbon dioxide. This amount of feed could take care of around 800 million people. There are more numbers but these seem pretty compelling. Reducing the amount of meat we eat can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit in the atmosphere.

Giving up meat all together is hard for most people but “Meatless Mondays” should be more than doable. So go ahead, have a veggie burger once a week. Your body will be happy for it too.

Larisa Klein • Wellness Achieved Studios • 3000 E Commercial Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. 33308 • • 954-600-9828 Larisa has been training in Yoga, Pilates, and functional weight training for 20 years since. 1997. She has extensive experience working with cancer survivors, people with various physical special conditions (joint/spinal injuries/operations/replacements/MS/etc.), internal special conditions (schizophrenia, drug/alcohol addictions) as well as triatheletes and Olympians. She is a black belt with full competition experience, a current practitioner of Kung Fu, and has an MA in Mathematics and a second BS in Alternative Medicine.


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