More Reasons Not To Eat Meat

So, tonight on our local news program, they did a short blurb on eating locally to save the environment. In itself, this really shouldn't bother me. However, I find myself wondering, why, if the local news is so interested in saving the planet (yes, I'm making an assumption here)... why then didn't they suggest eating vegan, or at the very least for people to cut down on their meat consumption?

It's been well documented that you can make much more of a positive impact by eating vegan, than by buying local produce. We wrote about it in our post, Eating Vegan Trumps Eating Locally, where we cite the New Scientists article Food Miles Don't Feed Climate Change, Meat Does:

To drive his point home, Weber calculated that a completely local diet would reduce a household's greenhouse emissions by an amount equivalent to driving a car 1600 km fewer per year. He assumed the car travels 10.6 km per litre of petrol (25 mpg). Switching from red meat to veggies just one day per week would spare 1860 km of driving.

The New York Times ran an article by Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, entitled Rethinking The Meat Guzzler, in which he states:

"If price spikes don’t change eating habits, perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals."

Then there's Livestock’s Long Shadow, the UN report which states:

The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. It generates 65 per cent of human-related nitrous oxide, which has 296 times the Global Warming Potential of CO2. Livestock are responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, a bigger share than that of transport.

The University of Chicago published a study in 2006, stating that Vegan Diets Healthier For Planet/People Than Meat Diets:

“We say that however close you can be to a vegan diet and further from the mean American diet, the better you are for the planet. It doesn’t have to be all the way to the extreme end of vegan. If you simply cut down from two burgers a week to one, you’ve already made a substantial difference.”

I could go on, there's plenty of material out there. So why isn't the news media screaming for us to cut down on our meat consumption? (Can we say lobbies? or Powerful Corporate advertisers?) Come on people, this is the obvious solution to a very large problem, the facts are staring us all right in the face. Oh, that's right, the earth is flat, and there be dragons here!

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Comments

  1. Yes there be dragons – too many people with too many vested interests, just like the bio fuels people who are touting that as the next “eco-solution”.

    Unless it makes money for somebody, the people with influence are not interested, and reducing consumption (of anything – not just meat) goes against the dominant culture of materialism.

  2. Here’s a Mark Bittman 20 minute video. Although not veg*an the message is clear: Animal agriculture is contributing a large portion to global warming.
    http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/263

    A good talk as he also makes mention of the rampant use of pharmecuitcals (and a tiny bit about animal welfare)…..

  3. AMEN!

  4. Hi Kate,
    Frustrating isn’t it. It would be nice if our elected officials actually had our best interests at heart, rather than big business and big dollars. — Naive, I know…

    Bea,
    Thanks for sharing the link. I really like Bittman’s voice. Although he’s not promoting the message you’d like, imagine the impact. If we can get mainstream America to cut out even one day’s meat consumption per week, imagine how impactful that could be.

    Hi Mindy… Looks like I’m preaching to the choir, eh? ;-)

  5. About the elected officials…. that’s what we need more of – Vegan Political Leaders…. oh but wait! they’d be “terrorists”…. FBI LOOKING FOR INFORMANTS TO INFLILTRATE VEGAN POTLUCKS:
    http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/2008/05/15/fbi-informant-vegan-potluck/
    Guess that’s why we don’t get representation.

    Bittman’s voice and manner is appealing – but he seems too intelligent to say things like: we don’t need to eat animals…. but I’ll never go vegetarian. I advise: Never say never Mark…..

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