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Natural Awakenings Hawaii

Pono for Our Planet – Think Vegan

Aug 31, 2017 04:31AM

Cow burps contribute to global warming due to the methane and carbon dioxide that is emitted every time they burp (and they burp a lot). According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions than that of transportation. Emissions from the production of beef and lamb are 250 times higher than those from legumes.

In addition to burping, livestock is eating 70 percent of the grain grown in the U.S. A significant amount of farmland is set aside to raise animals and to grow the food they need. It’s estimated that 700 million tons of food is consumed by livestock—food that could be consumed by humans. Our daily food choices, quite frankly, are an important contributor to the environmental problems we’re facing. By adopting more environmentally friendly eating habits, we can be more pono to our planet. Specifically, eating a plant-based diet is one of the most impactful things an individual can do to reduce the depletion of our natural resources and mitigate environmental decline.

Here are some points to ponder about our relationship with meat.

  • Thirsty livestock deplete the Earth’s supply of drinking water. It takes 60 pounds of water to produce one pound of potatoes, but a pound of beef takes more than 20,000 pounds of water.
  • Tropical rainforests are being converted to agribusiness to feed livestock. A report from Friends of the Earth estimates that around 6 million hectares of forest land per year are being cut down to grow palm oil or soya for feed or to graze cattle.
  • Pollution is being generated to produce food. A cow produces around 40 kilograms of manure for every kilogram of edible beef. Thousands of cattle are crowded into small areas and their manure and urine is captured in ponds as large as 40 million gallons. The result is our underground water supplies and rivers are being polluted. This same sewage from factory farms is also getting into the oceans and choking off the oxygen needed for sea life.

The goal of this Pono Moment is to raise awareness of the impact the livestock agribusiness has on our Earth. Adopting a plant-based diet requires overcoming the habits and tastes we’re accustomed to, learning new ways to cook, and navigating social aspects of eating. However, this is the most impactful thing each of us can do to take a stand and help our planet.

​Pono Home shares techniques to enable each of us to learn how to live greener and healthier lives. They can also provide a home assessment that will help create a more pono lifestyle. Anyone that wants to become more pono can contact them to learn more.

For more information on how to save money by becoming more energy efficient or to sign up for services, call 844-GO-PONO-1 (467-6661) or visit

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