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If humans have one thing in common is that we all eat. We all see different types of dishes around us and around the world. Food is creative and can be a pleasure-filled activity. We eat what we like, what tastes good, and what satisfies our needs, but do we consider how these meals are affecting our overall health and the environment? When you eat a piece of chicken do you stop and think about what is in the meat? The chemicals and toxins you’re ingesting? Do you wonder how much energy and water went into producing that piece of chicken?  The bottom line is that most of us do not and our lack of knowledge is the problem here.

It is not something new to know that what we eat affects our bodies, negatively and positively. Meat contains a lot of dangerous toxins that overtime cause damage to our bodies. In an article found in Vegetarian Times, it was found that nearly 95% of the pesticide residue in the typical American diet comes from meat products including fish. These contain hormones and when being cooked can carry carcinogens. All of these toxic chemicals affect the way our bodies will function. In addition, a vegetarian diet allows people to consume less animal fat and cholesterol that we would be consuming from meat products.

As if this damage to our bodies wasn’t enough, our meat consumption is also affecting the environment. From the feed for an animal to the production of a piece of meat, there is a lot of energy involved for its production. In an article by PETA, it was found that it take up to 10 pounds of grain to produce one pound of meat. So much goes into the production of this grain including the land needed. 56 million acres of land are used to grow feed for animals. This results in the need to create acre space for the growing of crops, thus the need to clear rainforest and other land space. The growing of grain for animals results in less space of natural crop growth, affecting the habitats of animals and the soil on the land.

When thinking about what you will eat for lunch, consider how that cheeseburger or chicken tenders impacted the environment around you.