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I just watched a good documentary on Netflix called Cowspiracy about how animal agriculture causes a little over half of all environmental pollution yet is hardly acknowledged at all by environmental protection groups. Their focus is on things like energy, transportation, personal water usage, etc. even though usage by farm animals dwarfs these causes. Michael Pollen, author of "Omnivores Dilema" guesses that since these environmental groups depend on donations they don't want to raise an issue that would put off so many people, namely eating meat.
The personal takeaway from the movie is that if you want to make a difference in your environmental footprint then going vegan is way more potent than things like short showers, bike riding or changing light bulbs. After watching I googled about the impacts of different animal based foods and found out that last year a study came out investigating the differences between 5 different animal sources and found that beef is 10 times worse than any of the others. So while vegan would be the best, if you're like me and can't seem to give up the meat than if you can at least cut out the beef you'd be making a big difference in your footprint.