Reducing Meat

The US Meat Experience

Americans eat 10-12 times more meat than the average person in Mozambique or Bangladesh  (NPR)


  • More disposable income
  • America’s “Efficient“ Meat Production
  • Cultural Taste for Meat

Hanging Meat

It Tastes Good, Why Eat Less Meat?

Over A Year…

  • If you eat one less burger a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 32 miles or line-drying your clothes half the time. 1
  • If your four-person family skips meat and cheese one day a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes. 2
  • If your four-person family skips steak once a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for nearly three months. 3
  • If everyone in the US ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would be like not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road 4

  • 1 pound of meat consumes 2500 gallons of water and 16 pounds of wheat
  • Red Meat is around 150% more GHG-intensive than chicken or fish (ACS)
  • 8% -51% of the world’s GHG is attributable to raising animals for food (FOA)

How Can I Eat Less Meat?

  • Eat MORE fruits and veggies
  • Make Meat a Side-dish, not the main entrée 
  • Eating vegetarian for one day on average reduces your carbon footprint by 8lbs.  Many people do this by participating in "Meatless Mondays”
  • Become a Vegetarian  [avoid meat like beef, pork, chicken and fish]
  • Become a Pescetarian  [avoid beef, pork, and chicken but occasionally eat fish]                            

Remember to Eat Sustainably-Sourced Fish! Download the Regional Seafood Guide here:

Why do people become vegetarians?

  • Religion
  • Health
  • Ecological/Environmental
  • Ethics
  • Dislike of Meat
  • Compassion for Animals
  • Belief in Nonviolence
  • Economics

Where Can I Get Sustainably Sourced Meat in Ann Arbor?

Sparrow Market


People's Food Co-op

Knights Meat Market

Old Pine Farm Meat CSA

Back Forty Acres

Bending Sickle Community Farm


1643 S State

216 N Fourth

420 Miller

Additional Resources

University of Michigan Resources




1- The line dry calculation is based on average single household energy consumption, EPA website. Accessed February 2011:

2- Ibid

3- EWG calculation assumes replacing the consumption of an 8-ounce steak with 8 ounces of vegetable protein as follows: 6.1 (CO2e of 8 ounces beef) – .48 (8 ounces of vegetable protein) = 5.62 kg CO2 saved per person for each day of replacing meat with protein. 5.6*52 = 292 kgs =.29 metric tons saved replacing steak one day a week over one year. 29 metric tons = 639 miles (see above)*4 = 2,557 miles (nearly three months of driving) if family of four skips steak once a week.

4- EWG assumes replacement of average per capita meat and cheese consumption with a vegetable meal of equivalent protein content. The calculation is as follows: 3.19 CO2e-.60 CO2e = 2.59 kg saved per day. 2.59*52=135 kg CO2e = 13.5 metric tons. Entire US population going meatless and cheese-less one day a week over a year: 13.5*309050816 = 41,421,860 metric tons = 90,699,696,000 miles driven = 7,558,308 cars off the road.