Climate Friendly Eating: Best Choices For Every Diet

According to UN studies, raising livestock accounts for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Including all the direct and indirect emissions from animal agriculture, it can be as high as 51%. Breeding and killing billions of animals for human consumption requires vast amounts of land, water, and fossil fuels. A shift to plant-based foods is essential to preventing a climate catastrophe. You can reduce your carbon footprint by participating in our May Meat Challenge.

We encourage people who consume animal products to consider an 80-100% plant-based diet during our May Meat Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas and climate change. We also encourage conscientious eating that is locally sourced, organic, and minimally processed, with sustainable packaging. Experiment with plant-based choices that are delicious, nutritious, local, and sustainable for a lasting climate-friendly diet.

People who choose to eat animal products have access to grass-fed, grass-finished, pasture-raised foods from farms that utilize carbon farming practices, mitigating the large amounts of methane produced by animal agriculture. Seafood products that are sustainably farm-raised without GMOs or toxic chemicals are not depleting or polluting the oceans. Eggs from chickens that are pasture raised are widely available and vastly different than so-called cage-free or free range eggs that are raised in overcrowded warehouses. Pasture eggs are from chickens that run around outside on rotating pastures and have a coop to sleep in at night. Look for organic, non-GMO, pasture eggs for a more conscientious choice, if you eat eggs.

Grass-fed, grass-finished, pasture-raised, organic… these animal products cost more than cheaper meats, dairy and eggs. However, these choices are healthier for the environment and your body. In the long run it is more economical to stay healthy and limit the quantity to remain within your budget. A normal 4-ounce serving of meat or fish is the size of your palm. For information about best choices for seafood and other products go to our interactive Shopper’s Guide.

Beans and rice is still one of the cheapest and most nutritious meals. Balance your diet with lentils, beans, whole grains, and fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. Fill most of your plate with vitamin-rich foods such as a beautiful salad, steamed veggies, sauteed greens, or a baked yam. Regularly consume iron-rich foods such as beets, black beans, and leafy greens. Beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and vegetables are all great sources of minerals and adequate protein. Make homemade non-dairy milk, butter, cream, and sour cream, in your blender from nuts, oats, or seeds. Delicious, local, non-dairy butter is also available now in all paper packaging.

Photosynthesis pulls carbon from the atmosphere and puts it back in the soil. Some of the best solutions to climate change are growing plants organically, with minimal or no tilling, composting, and shifting to a plant-based diet.

We invite you to participate in the OSC May Meat Challenge Campaign.

Make a pledge to reduce your meat consumption in May!


Occupy Sonoma County embraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing countywide social justice campaigns that are globally relevant.

For more information go to OccupySonomaCounty.org.

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