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    Vegetarians, thermodynamics and sustainability

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    I must answer the following questions and need resources that I can understand.
    Why and how would it be beneficial to the earth if all humans became vegetarians? Discuss in terms of trophic levels, the laws of thermodynamics, energy flows and sustainability.

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    Solution Preview

    OK, quite simply it is because at every trophic level the capture of energy is about 10% of the available "food" energy. So of 100 units of sunlight hitting the earth a plant converts 10% of the sunlight to starches, a cow eats the plant and converts 10% of that (or 1% of the original) to meat. We go to McD's and eat a burger and convert about 10% of that meat to our own muscle mass (or 0.1% of the original light). We go surfing and a shark eats us ...

    Solution Summary

    Examines the thermodynamic basis of energy flow through ecosystems and the resultant efficiency therein