Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Americans eat an average of 818 hot dogs per second. That’s a lot of meat, especially when you consider the cost to wildlife and the environment. All those hot dogs – plus the burgers, steaks and sausages thrown on the grill during the biggest meat season of the year – are turning the planet into a kabob of climate change, deforestation, pollution and wildlife extinction.
Meat production is responsible for more environmental degradation than any other single industry. Animal agriculture accounts for at least 14.5 percent — and, according to some studies, as much as 51 percent — of greenhouse gas emissions, 50 80 percent of antibiotic use and 37 percent of pesticide use. Livestock grazing is one of the greatest threats to imperiled species, affecting 14 percent of threatened or endangered animals and 33 percent of threatened or endangered plants.
It's easy to include wildlife protection in your barbecue plans: By making that hot dog the only meat you eat today – or better yet, by replacing it with a veggie dog (or one of our delicious extinction-free recipes) – you can do your part to stop grilling the planet.
Start a new summer tradition of celebrating the outdoors with an extinction-free barbecue.
In addition to taking extinction off your grill, there are other ways to make your barbecue more wildlife-friendly.
Here’s how you can green your cookout:
- • Choose organic food and drinks, if possible.
- • Ditch the disposables. Use reusable plates and silverware instead of paper or plastic.
- • Make recycling easy. Have a clearly labeled, easy-to-find receptacle for recyclables.
- • Give food scraps a second life. Compost your wildlife-friendly scraps for the garden.
- • Properly dispose of wrappers, plastic and other remaining trash.
- • Share your own ideas for an #ExtinctionFreeBBQ with us on Facebook or Twitter @ChooseWild.
Looking for ways to get away from the grill and enjoy nature? Barbecue season is also the perfect time to picnic, hike or camp. Check out our wildlife-friendly tips for enjoying the outdoors.
Quotes from some of our recipe contributors:
"Meat-free, plant-based meals are one the best ways to help save our planet! It takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods. Wow...that's a lot of H2O!" – Laura Theodore, Jazzy Vegetarian
"A plant-based diet isn't just compassionate, delicious, and healthy, but is a way to address the critical climate change issue."– Nava Atlas, VegKitchen
"Have an Extinction-Free BBQ! This Earth-friendly diet will help save our planet and its incredible biodiversity for present and future generations!" – Alicia Silverstone, The Kind Life
Extinction-free Barbecue Recipes
- Infographic: "A Tale of Two Barbecues"
- Tips for Outdoor Adventures
- Why Choose an Earth-friendly Diet?
- How to Take Extinction Off Your Plate
- Earth-friendly Diet Flyer