The Race to a Sustainable Diet: Japan vs U.S.A.

Meat consumption can be linked to the number one killer in the world: heart disease. The meat and dairy industry is also one of the highest contributors to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and is linked to heavy fresh water usage, deforestation, pollution, and biodiversity loss. Yet, meat consumption is still on the rise.

What we love will ruin us."

- These are words from Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death, in reference to Huxley's Brave New World. Huxley would be right: meat will ruin us.

A vegan English style breakfast, with Beyond Meat Sausage, baked beans, grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, beet hummus, and sautéed kale by Country Fried Vegan.

Why a vegan diet?

The effects of climate change are surrounding us, from rising sea levels to drastic wild fires, and other natural disasters that have left millions devastated. Amidst the chaos, countries are looking for solutions but are forced to deal with the consequences before they can focus on prevention. Individuals and communities have started to unite and think of more eco-friendly ways to live including reducing one's carbon footprint.

It's no mystery, the food industry is a guilty culprit in the mass amounts of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions being produced, it can also be blamed for levels of pollution, water use, deforestation, and loss of biodiversity in many ecosystems (see the infographic below). With this type of information available, one would believe that a plant based diet would be promoted around the world. However, it is far more difficult to strip the luxury of meat away from the world. Meat consumption is heavily influenced by politics, economics, culture, and health.

See full infographic at the Cowspiracy website.

Japan vs. U.S.A.

This project is focused on two countries with heavy social ties to meat-based diets. This project follows these two countries as they journey to find more sustainable dinning options for their populations. The United States is known for its meat culture, think hamburgers and cowboy steaks. The U.S. is also one of the highest ranking in both meat consumption and meat exportation. Japan is one of its customers. Japan, once a vegetarian country, is now known for its high grade sushi and Kobe beef. This series of webpages will go over the cultural and political influences of meat on its population, the surge of vegan amenities and restaurants in these countries, and it's impact on society.

Food Culture

When, what, and how we eat is a large part of culture. Food making and food eating are forms of communication (Becut). Our diet choices play a major role in how we function as a society.

This series of webpages

This is a series of webpages that will guide the reader through the effects of the meat industry along with its cultural and political ties. This project will focus mainly on the United States and Japan, respectively. Please watch the embedded videos. More information about the author and this project can be found at the end.


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