And..! as a recent UN report confirmed, the animal that is responsible for much of the havoc and damage inflicted is the cow, whether that be the dairy or the beef producer.
The cow produces more greenhouse gases and other ozon destroying particles than all transportation in the whole world.
We have a monster in our midst that is threatening our very chances of survival. From the destruction of the Amazon rainforests to the clogging of our arteries, the heart of the problem is our enchantment with the cow. It's like the devil himself saying: Let's give them a cow and sit back and see what happens...

In her first book (Diet for a Small Planet) some 30 years ago, Frances Moore Lappe wrote:
"For every human being on the planet, the world produces two pounds of grain per day -roughly 3000 calories, and that's without even counting all the beans, potatoes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables we eat too.
This is clearly enough for all of us to thrive, yet nearly one in six goes hungry.
However what she either did not know at the time or failed to acknowledge is that we don't do too well on a diet heavy in grains. Neither does livestock for that matter. Further adding to the problem is the fact that grains have a tendency to take from the soil and not give back, thus depleting the soil over time of essential nutrients. Livestock on pasture gives back all the time. They just feed off the energy produced by the sun. In other words, the  worldwide feeding of this grain, now almost half, to lifestock, has been a bad idea from the beginning.Cattle don't do too well on grains and  return to us in meat only a tiny fraction of the nutrients we feed them.
The cow's digestive system is not meant to digest grain. Her complicated digestive system revolves around getting forage in a hurry, and then getting back to safety and  take all the time in the world to properly digest it. Four stomachs to do it with. Lots of grains makes a cow sick and needs antibiotics to keep at it.
To get just one calorie of food energy from a steak, we burn 54 irreplaceable fossil-fuel calories.
So producing one pound of steak -providing less than 1000 calories- uses up 45,000 fossil-fuel calories
To produce one pound of beef takes 1000's of gall. of water, as much as the average American uses for all purposes, in several months."

We may add : it takes roughly 260 gallons (1000liters) of water to produce one liter of milk.

Worldwide topsoil is eroding 30 times faster than it is being created.
Soil particles from Kenya are blown as far west as Brazil and Florida.

Our answer to far has been : Genetically Modified Grains.
Monsanto owns 85% of all GMO's   now sueing farmers who dare to think differently.
Anyone who thinks he/she can stomach the whole sordid story click here.

The problem is less the red meat than much more the way it has developed into a bio industry with all the catastrophic results of it. Cattle raised on pasture make use of crops not fit for human consumption. Pasture land often is of lower quality than land used for cereal production.
We descend from a long line of hunter gatherers and it appears that the heavy emphasis of recent years on  reducing saturated fat intake and substituting energy from fat for energy from carbohydrates, is not nearly as wholesome as was thought initially.
Most, if not all of our modern diseases were virtually non-existent in previous centuries.
The introduction of transfats is another example of bad science, as is the unconditional promoting of polyunsaturated oils and fats. Most of the vegetable oils are of the Omega-6 kind while we are better off with the Omega-3's . The polyunsaturated fats are not an undivided pleasure, in other words they come with a few lesser beloved characteristics.
Another factor in the configuration is grain

do we have any options left?
Do we have any excuses left?

Would you choose to let a child die from hunger or a preventable disease if you could do something about it?
Let alone 32,000 per day?

Would you intentionally destroy more species in one century than in all centuries before,
and that could take the planet 10 million years to recover??

Would you intentionally poke a hole in the ozon layer the size of a continent, causing cancer rates to soar?

Would you intentionally decide to create a greenhouse effect disrupting life in ways we are barely beginning to understand, or make our food production into one of the biggest culprits, destroying any possible chance of survival for your grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

Or , closer to home
Would you intentionally destroy your own local grocery store, because you can get your potatoes a dollar cheaper at the discount store. Never mind that you have to spend 3 dollars to get back and forth?
Would you intentionally destroy your local hardware store for a few pennies saved?
Would you ship 10,000 jobs per year out of the country because you can  -maybe- save .25/day for the life of your car?

Yet, isn't that exactly what we have been doing and are still doing?

Most of this has been common knowledge for quite some time now, but we'd rather not think about it, because we have this feeling that we can't do anything about it anyways.
We have started avoiding reading about it.
But maybe, just maybe time and conditions are on our side. A large section of our population is entering the stage of life that they begin actively to worry about the quality of life in the years they have left.
The two major threats to themselves are of course Cancer and Heartproblems
No surprises here. Yet this is exactly where a solution to many of problems may lie.
The single most important contributor to all our health problems is red meat from feedlots, with pasteurised dairyproducts being a close second. Both of course not to be outdone by pork and chicken. You don't really want to know how pork and chicken gets to your table. Suffice it to say there is not not much natural about it and humane is a foreign term when we are talking about our animal industry.
The number of ailments that can be attributed to these kind of animal products covers pretty much the whole spectrum of problems encountered in our Healthcare system. You can find out more about this on page 63 and page 64

So what can we do about it?     Can we do something??
Well, there are quite a number of things that we can do.
We could cut down on our meat consumption, bur better still, start hunting for grass fed beef. If your grocery store does not carry it, maybe your farmers market does and otherwise you'll discover there is an increasing number of beef farmers who have small operations and have been catering to these very trends. Check the classifieds and you'' also discover that not everybody is selling beef by the side or quarter.
Mind you the fat in your diet is probably more important that the meat itself. Meat is protein and protein is needed for muscle building and cell rebuilding; fat is also used as energy. Where the wisdom used to be that most of your energy should come from carbohydrates, that wisdom has recently come under heavy attack from a lot of different corners. Harvard, Yale, Erasmus (Rotterdam), U of Wageningen to name just a few, have recently released research papers pointing out the dangers associated with a diet high in carbs, especially high in refined carbs.
As we can see from a release from Harvard professor and Chair of the prestigious Nutrition Department :
The Food Guide Pyramid is an American icon. At the base are breads, cereal and pasta -- up to 11 servings a day. Veggies and fruits are next, with two-to-five servings. As the pyramid narrows, it suggests eating fewer dairy products, eggs and meat servings. At the tip are fats and sweets -- to be used "sparingly." As sensible as it may sound, Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health says the food pyramid is "a license to overeat."

"I think the pyramid is so out of sync with scientific evidence that it almost has to be totally dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up," says Willett.

Alice Lichtenstein of Tufts University agrees. She was on a federal panel that updated the official guidelines less than two years ago. Lichtenstein says the new Harvard study confirms what most nutritionists believe: The 2000 guidelines are already out-of-date.

This is of course something quite alien to mainstream thinking and certainly not helping big pharma that the nay sayers are out in full force and will probably be for a while. To give an example : Peruse this research abstract and see if you come the same conclusions.
It was a 6-week study in the journal Hypertension where they measured a number of surrogate measures of cardiovascular disease risk, in patients eating either an Atkins-style low-carbohydrate (LC) diet or an ADA-style low-fat (LF) diet.
Of course, this was only a 6 week study, not long enough to really say anything about cardiovascular disease risk. But nevertheless, let's look at the actual data:
The Low Fat group lost an average of 4.3 lbs over the course of the 6 weeks. The Low Calorie group lost 5.7 lbs.

The LF group's blood pressure decreased 8/5 mm Hg (systolic/diastolic). The LC group's decreased 12/6 mm Hg.

The LF group's flow-mediated dilation increased +1.9, but was reduced in the LC group by -1.4.

There was no difference between groups in nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilation.

Here's the best part (full text only): the triglyceride/HDL ratio went from 1.2 to 1.6 in the LF group, and from 1.4 to 1.1 in the LC group. Trig/HDL ratio is the best blood lipid predictor of heart disease we have, and the lower the better.

So let's get this straight. What we're looking at is data showing that LC beat or tied LF on every relevant parameter they reported except one, and somehow that means LF diets are healthier than LC? Even though overweight and hypertension are important risk factors for cardiovascular disease? Even though trig/HDL is probably the best predictor of heart disease of any of these measures?

Bread grains are almost exclusively wheat based and wheat has  become more and more suspect as involved in some metabolic processes scientists are not to happy about.
You see carbohydrate is particularly effective at elevating insulin, acutely and chronically. As carbohydrate digests, it's broken down into glucose, which enters the bloodstream. The pancreas releases insulin in an attempt to keep blood glucose within a healthy range, and the storage begins.If insulin is kept low, fat synthesis and storage are inhibited, and fat release from fat cells is increased.
Refined carbohydrate is the worst offender, because it causes a large and rapid rise in blood glucose.
Regular overconsumption of carbohydrate causes insulin to be chronically elevated in many people. This comes along with "insulin resistance", whereby most or all tissues become desensitized to insulin. This is the tissues' way of saying "Stop! My energy stores are already full! I can't handle any more glucose or fat!".

And note this from a 2007 research paper from a.o. Duke University Med Centre :"......The persistence of an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes suggests that new nutritional strategies are needed if the epidemic is to be overcome. A promising nutritional approach suggested by this thematic review is carbohydrate restriction. Recent studies show that, under conditions of carbohydrate restriction, fuel sources shift from glucose and fatty acids to fatty acids and ketones, and that ad libitum–fed carbohydrate-restricted diets lead to appetite reduction, weight loss, and improvement in surrogate markers of cardiovascular disease. " You can read it here

Fat tissue is typically the last to become insulin resistant because it acts as a valuable buffer to remove excess (and potentially toxic) glucose from the bloodstream. Unfortunately, simply being thin is not a reliable indicator that your body tolerates carbohydrate well. It can indicate either that all tissues are insulin-sensitive and insulin levels are low, or all tissues (including fat) are insulin resistant and insulin levels are high. The latter scenario leads to type II diabetes in a hurry.
Since fat accumulation revolves around carbohydrate intake and insulin production, it makes sense that reducing carbohydrate causes weight loss. No more carbohydrate = a lot less glucose, and a lot less insulin to deal with it. This completely sidesteps the problem of insulin resistance, although that seems to respond favorably to carbohydrate restriction as well. Every time true low-carbohydrate diets are matched head-to-head with reduced-calorie, carbohydrate-rich diets, subjects lose more weight and have fewer problems with hunger on the low-carbohydrate diet.
Hurray for Ontario !!
The Freeze on development of Wind Generating stations off shore in the Great Lakes has been lifted!
As you may know : there is the potential for an output more than double Ontario's present generating power
And the most recent announcement that Toronto is going to Canadian Headquarters for "Better Place" with the beginnings for an integrated approach to elctric vehicles and an electric grid to support it.
'Quit thinking about decent land use as solely an economic problem, but examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise'.

Click here for Lady Eve Balfour's address to the IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements) conference in Switzerland in 1977.

Basic Principle
So you can substitute with a diet of more grains, vegetables , fruits, and nuts, but you'd want to go easy on the grains.
While considering more grains, it should be noted that only whole grains are to be considered with emphasis more on oats and rye than wheat because of the gluten content of wheat. And when wheat, then as wheat germ.
Wheat germ and oats make for a nutritious and tasty breakfast
Available now at most grocery stores.
But, as mentioned above, it would be even better if we would insist on grass fed beef, pasture fed cattle. Spring butter is one of the most nutritious, nutrient dense food around.
Forget all the horror stories. Butter from cows on green pasture is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin K-2. The latter is the nutrient of choice for your heart.

A ban  on all feedlots worldwide would  definitely be wonderful; all cows and all dairy cattle should have access to pasture, weather permitting.
We could implement a soil improvement program based on solid organic principles that creates and maintains a healthy balance for optimum production with optimum nutrient content.
That is becoming a more and more serious issue.
A lot of the vegetables we find in the grocery stores do not have the nutrients that they are supposed to have. Nutrient tables often are from yesteryear. Since then soil depletion has been a constant problem with nary a solution in sight.
But there is so much more Check page 62
Oats is probably one of the safest grains
Note: Every farmer knows that when you want to calm down your newly arrived weaners, you feed them rolled oats for a couple of days