Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Unless you’ve been hiding out in a cave for the past five years, chances are you’ve heard that eating meat–particularly beef–has significant environmental impact. I fact, we wrote about it in our Global Warming issue back in 2007. It turns out that beef production can take credit for somewhere between 14 and 22 percent of all global greenhouse gases (yes, the bovine flatulence factor factors in–and it is not insignificant) being emitted each year. It takes somewhere around ten pounds of plant protein to produce one pound of animal protein. Would it be best for everyone to be vegetarians? Yes. Is it gonna happen? Likely not anytime soon. But reducing your beef consumption, eating local, and making conscious choices about what you put on your table and in your mouth are good first steps.