Taking A Bite Out Of The Global Financial Crisis

These days, you can't look at your reader, or turn on the news, without seeing stories of financial implosion or economic crises.  Then there's global warming and the costs associated with fighting climate change.  All of this gives us another reason not to eat meat (at least most of the time)...  Turns out that eating less meat could wipe $20 trillion off the global cost of fighting climate change.

Earlier this month, "Climate Benefits of Changing Diet" by Elke Stehfest and colleagues was published in Climactic Change, a journal out of the Netherlands.  (Source:  New Scientist Magazine.)

The underlying premise is that raising animals for consumption causes climate change.  By cutting our consumption of animal products, much of that farmland could then be devoted to growing food crops.  Vegetation helps to absorb carbon dioxide, and there would be a significant reduction in the methane gasses produced by livestock.   These gasses are responsible for global warming.

The current goals to stabilize carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 are 450ppm.  The estimated cost to achieve this goal is $40 trillion, and it will require a 2/3 reduction in emissions..

Cutting our consumption of animal product will reduce the need for expensive retrofits, such as "clean coal" power plants and other carbon-saving technologies.  It certainly seems advisable, in this economic environment, for all of our governments to consider promoting a less-meat based diet.

Of course, there are other factors which will mitigate the levels of greenhouse gasses saved by producing few animal products... Will the land be given over to vegetation or urban development?  What about the increase in pesticide use to grow additional plant-based food crops?  Does this report take into account any projected improvements in animal-farming technologies?

Regardless of all this, there are many reasons to consider eating less/no meat.  If you haven't already done so, Jane and I would urge you to read Livestock's Long Shadow, and The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Some articles may have affiliate links for which we may receive compensation. Furthermore we use analytics programs to track visitor behavior. You can read more via our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy which is at: http://veganbits.com/privacy-policy/

Comments

  1. This is a great post, thank you for sharing this information. I wish stuff like this was more widely understood and acknowledged. Great job.

  2. Great post! Another thing to consider, in light of the economic downturn, is the personal budget savings of eating vegan versus eating animal products. If you want to eat a healthy diet consisting of animal products, you likely have to spend much more than if you were vegan. Considering the price of higher quality cuts of beef and fish, you can feed yourself quite well for far less as a vegan. Nevermind the long-term healthcare cost savings of not ending up with nasty things such as heart disease or cancer – which are all constantly linked to diets with high amounts of animal fat (meat, dairy, etc.).
    What better argument do you need? Do your planet, your fellow animals, your health, and your wallet a favor – go vegan!

    - Leo
    http://www.veganlibre.com/

  3. Great post! Another thing to consider, in light of the economic downturn, is the personal budget savings of eating vegan versus eating animal products. If you want to eat a healthy diet consisting of animal products, you likely have to spend much more than if you were vegan. Considering the price of higher quality cuts of beef and fish, you can feed yourself quite well for far less as a vegan. Nevermind the long-term healthcare cost savings of not ending up with nasty things such as heart disease or cancer – which are all constantly linked to diets with high amounts of animal fat (meat, dairy, etc.).
    What better argument do you need? Do your planet, your fellow animals, your health, and your wallet a favor – go vegan!

    - Leo

  4. Hi Voracious Vegan and Leo,
    We think this is probably the most effective way to get others to, at the very least, consider eating LESS meat. So we try to share this with all of you so you’ll go out and share with your omni family and friends. Or not :)

    Leo — Yes, it’s certainly cheaper to eat rice and beans than a steak… However there’s been a signficant increase in grain prices over the last year and meat is being heavily subsidized. (And why is a bean burrito no cheese $0.99 at taco bell MORE EXPENSIVE than the meat burrito $0.79?!)
    As for long term costs (healthcare) it’s really hard to get people to consider those things. But of course, we totally agree with you.

Speak Your Mind

*