I'm really excited at the moment as I turned (well, clicked) to the NYTimes "Week In Review" section to find a piece about the livestock industry. I can't for the life of me remember when I've ever seen (that is, if there ever has been) a piece like this in the Times. As I've now been vegetarian (and sometime vegan) for almost a third of my life (wow, really? crazy), this has been an issue of great importance to me. There have been times when I've wavered on certain aspects of the animal-rights agenda (and certainly resuming the occasional consumption of eggs and dairy constitutes such), but there are some things you just can't argue with. Regardless of your take on the ethical/moral issues involved with animals, it must be accepted that factory "farming" of livestock is an environmental disaster. As parts of the world experience an increase in wealth, meat consumption also rises, contributing towards the destruction of tropical rainforests, increased greenhouse emissions (more than transportation!!!), polluted water systems/watersheds, and greater consumption of the world's grain supplies in the form of livestock feed. The Times piece goes into more detail on all these aspects, and i urge you to pass this article on to your friends and cohorts. It doesn't take a preachy tone, it doesn't tell you how to lead your life or change your habits, it simply relates the facts on what a meat-heavy diet is doing to this planet.
Check out the article for yourself here: "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler"