Be Earthwise


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Whats the Beef with Meat?

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) represent the majority of livestock farms in America which produce our meat. Animals live confined indoors feeding on crops grown using practices that deplete the soil such as synthetic nitrogen-fixed fertilizer, tillage and mono-cropping. Waste material comes into contact with water supplies. Livestock are injected with steroids and hormones to “beef” them up and antibiotics are administered to prevent infectious disease that accompanies this engineered approach to livestock farming. 

CAFOs represent a leading cause of waste water pollution, deforestation and soil depletion which have a cumulative adverse impact on the climate. Use of phosphates and sodium nitrites to process and preserve meat contribute further to water contamination and can lead to cancer in humans.


What Difference Does One Person Make?

It takes an estimated 1,799 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of beef. For the same water footprint, you can consume 5.9 lbs. of tofu or 11.2 lbs. each of tomatoes (12 gal/lb.), lettuce (30 gal/lb.) and potatoes (119 gal/lb.). The land needed to feed one person who eats vegan for one year is 1/6 of an acre while the land needed to feed one meat eater for one year is 18X more than for a vegan. A plant based diet cuts one person’s carbon footprint by 50%.

Here are links to two websites with vegan and vegetarian recipe options.

If you like the meat-free alternative, explore becoming meat-free more often.

On days you vote to eat meat, opt for organically grown meat raised on pesticide-free and fertilizer-free grass or 100% certified organic feed without the use of artificial ingredients, preservatives or processes, including no hormones or antibiotics. This approach benefits the environment, the climate and you. Check the labels on meat purchases for approval from the Animal Welfare Association (“AWA”) and the American Grass-fed Association (“AGA”). Even eating a little less meat and dairy can make a big difference to a person’s footprint and the environment, in the aggregate.

LEARN ABOUT REGENERATIVE ORGANIC AGRICULTURE which holds the promise of transforming farming as a source of carbon pollution to a source of long-term carbon sequestration. This approach allows livestock to graze in open spaces, to eat grass or organically raised crops and eliminates the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics.

TAKE ACTION. IT COUNTS. Earthwise shopping represents a vote to divert consumer dollars away from energy intensive, polluting farming practices that stress animals, deplete water and soil, contribute disproportionately to climate change and present health risks. Conversely, directing your consumer dollars wisely toward food practices which minimize pollution, regenerate soil and control the climate will constitute a vote to help sustain the planet, your health and the health of your loved ones.  

What Laws Apply?

The League of Women Voters, with its grassroots, nonpartisan approach to issues welcomes people to join in its mission to make democracy work. The national League of Women Voters’ position on federal agriculture policies is available here: LWVUS Position on Federal Agriculture Policies

Local Leagues and Elected Officials

Other Helpful Resources


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