“If all Americans forego meat and dairy for one day a week, that’s the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road for the year,” said Cassidy of the Environmental Working Group. “From 2001 to 2011, all agricultural greenhouse gas emissions were up 14%. Globally, livestock accounts for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions.” Going vegan isn’t the only way to reduce emissions -- the U.S. has already reduced its carbon footprint by eating chicken instead of beef.
When asked if such information spurred Chipotle’s concurrent menu expansion, Chipotle's communication director Chris Arnold said, “That’s not the motivation..It’s not about the environmental benefits. That’s not what drives our business. Great tasting food is.”
Ditto for meat. “We started down this path, because we think meat from animals that are raised in humane ways and without the use of antibiotics or added hormones simply tastes better,” Arnold said.
But because of short supplies of meat measuring up to Chipotle’s exacting standards -- trademarked as “Responsibly Raised” -- the company has at least twice in the past year needed to suspend selections, first beef and then pork. Arnold insisted to MainStreet that the vegan promotion and selected meat shortage were unrelated. According to Arnold, “Overall, Sofritas accounts for about 3% of sales.“