I am a firm believer in voting with my dollars, so when my friends and I were deciding where to meet for dinner tonight, I suggested a newish vegetarian restaurant in Charlotte called Fern.
I am all for both consuming fewer animal products and supporting local businesses, so Fern is a win-win. It’s got an earthy vibe inside and a creative, plant-based menu.
I ordered a green juice and the OM burger and polished them both off. So good and so nutritious.
Unfortunately I was too busy chic chatting with these ladies to get a picture before I was half-way done.
We stayed late catching up and I left feeling great – thanks to both the friends and food!
While I never got on my soapbox about eating meat with them tonight, I thought I’d post a few facts here that might encourage you to reduce your meat consumption and try Fern, too.
- According to the New York Times, “Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.”
- An estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.
- Livestock production also impacts heavily the world’s water supply, accounting for more than 8 percent of global human water use, mainly for the irrigation of feed crops. Evidence suggests it is the largest sectoral source of water pollutants, principally animal wastes, antibiotics, hormones, chemicals from tanneries, fertilizers and pesticides used for feed crops, and sediments from eroded pastures. While global figures are unavailable, it is estimated that in the USA livestock and feed crop agriculture are responsible for 37 percent of pesticide use, 50 percent of antibiotic use, and a third of the nitrogen and phosphorus loads in freshwater resources. The sector also generates almost two-thirds of anthropogenic ammonia, which contributes significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.
- Due to these incredible environmental impacts, a 2006 report by the University of Chicago found that adopting a vegan diet does more to reduce global warming than switching to a hybrid car.
So, while not everyone will switch to vegan diets anytime soon, having more meatless meals and introducing others to tasty vegetarian options are great ways to improve your health and reduce your environmental impact.
You can start off by trying Fern or a vegetarian restaurant near you!