The web is buzzing about New York City’s vegetarian festival celebration having doubled its size this year—crossing over two full days last weekend with epic attendance start to finish.
“Foodies, locavores, vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians, and those who simply want to find out more about living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle” flocked to the event to sample from the Big Apple’s top vegetarian restaurants and food companies, discover health and wellness vendors, and get informed at animal welfare information tables—all accompanied by live entertainment, cruelty-free.
A portion of ticket sales were donated to the for the Animals sanctuary in New Jersey.
About the lifestyle
There are a number of reasons why people cross animal and animal products off their menus. And because the plight of compassion and quest for health involved with such a decision can be so consuming, a lot of people don’t think about the ecological ways reducing or eliminating these items from the food system can positively affect the planet.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Toxic farm runoff is one of the greatest threats to our global supply of water. Factory farms produce an intense amount of pollution from maintaining confined animal facilities, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting.
Switching from steak to salad could cut as much carbon as leaving the car home a couple of days a week. Food is the third largest contributor to the average household’s carbon footprint after driving and utilities. If people simply cut their meat intake from the average 90 kg/year to 53 kg/yr, meat-associated carbon emissions would drop by 44 percent. (The Daily Green)
World Wildlife Fund estimates that an area of rainforest larger than the state of New York is destroyed each year to make way for grazing land for herds being raised for human consumption. United Nations reports that in Latin America— almost 70% of Amazon basin forests have been cut down for land to raise cows.
Approximately 1.4 billion metric tons of solid manure are produced by U.S. farm animals each year – 130 times the quantity produced by people.
It takes 600 gallons of water to produce one hamburger patty, according to Arizona Geographic Alliance, and 2 pounds of grain for every quarter-pound of burger meat produced.
“About 70% of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. The 7 billion livestock animals in the country consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the American population. If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million.” (The Vegetarian Times)
Which only leaves the question…How are ya gonna do it? Here are some of my favourite vegan and vegetarian recipe websites. Comment to share your favourites!