Problematic animal husbandry, resource consumption and excessive use of antibiotics – there are many reasons to switch to a vegetarian diet in 2018. And yet the average American still consumes more than 260 pounds carcass weight of meat per year. It seems the topic is just too abstract for consumers to connect their diets with the effects on animals and the environment. A new online tool is meant to change that.
Meat eaters can visualize how many animals were slaughtered for their diet, and the amount of antibiotics and resources used to raise the livestock. Vegetarians and flexitarians can calculate how many animals’ lives they have saved and how the environment has benefited.
Within ten years, the average American consumes 2,653 pounds of meat, equivalent to 2.1 pigs, 0.7 cows and 288 chickens. Using BlitzResults’ Meat Calculator, consumers can calculate how many animals and how much CO2, water, and antibiotics are needed for their own meat consumption.
Standard values such as the average American meat consumption are already pre-filled, but can easily be adapted to one’s own eating habits. In this way, every consumer receives his or her own personal result. In addition, it is possible to estimate how many resources could be saved if one replaced a portion of their meat meals with a vegetarian alternative.
Says Tim Lilling, Researcher at BlitzResults.com:
“Discussions between vegetarians and dyed-in-the-wool meat eaters are often very emotional. The arguments are usually strongly influenced by one’s own values. Hardly anyone argues by the numbers. And if numbers are used, they are often general and vague. Sure, everyone knows that animals are bred and slaughtered for meat production. But a steak on the grill doesn’t tell you its story. You just don’t see the negative environmental impact and side-effects. The Meat Calculator makes the use of resources and the negative consequences for the environment tangible.”
Literature, studies and other sources of information often only contain general averages. The big advantage of the BlitzResults Meat Calculator is that it provides everyone with a very personalized result. The calculator is based on data and studies from the United States Federal Department of Agriculture, OECD and many other organizations.
The goal of the calculator, however, is not to convert consumers to one or the other form of nutrition, but to make the consequences of their own actions transparent. Consumers can play through different scenarios: What happens if I continue to eat in the same manner? How many animals could be alive if every second meal was replaced by a vegetarian alternative?
Featured image credit -tarat-, Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0