To prevent ruinous climate change and stave off an influx of preventable chronic diseases, Americans must reduce their meat intake and switch to a sustainable, plant-based diet, the top U.S. nutritional panel has announced for the first time.
Save the Gulf. Direct KeystoneXL pipline to Dakota instead of Alberta forest/watershed abomination. Save the Columbia River from BNSF railway coal/oil/gas hauling, disastrous fires waiting to happen.
Reduce demand for off-shore drilling in the Gulf.
Dakota fuels serve more domestic uses.
Kills the Keystone Pipeline!
Yeah you heard me right.
You just think about it.
Killing the Keystone Pipeline
Eating less meat is a start, I suppose. Eating no meat or dairy is really the only path to a sustainable food system capable of feeding everyone, and a survivable planet. Baby cow growth fluid, aka milk, does no body any good, unless you’re a baby cow. The global ocean is in a death-spiral due to human predation. But it’s surprising to hear even a watered-down allusion to the destructiveness of animal agriculture coming from the government.
In Cowspiracy, documentarian Kip Anderson tries to figure out why all the major “environmental” organizations concertedly ignore the number one sustainability issue. They are corrupted by wealthy influence, or else they are just wary of making their membership uncomfortable by challenging people to stop hypocritical habits.
I’m not going to dig back through it all, but one recent “eat less meat” report making the media fanfare rounds actually came FROM Big AG/Big Pharma sources, incorrectly claiming that feed-lot beef was more “sustainable” and produced less greenhouse gas than small/medium scale traditional farming methods. Essentially a move to kill off the smaller local no-hormone/no-drugs and organic operations that are taking an increasing chunk of the meat business.
Trying to “fix” the symptoms of the overpopulation problem by converting humans into herbivores is a non-starter. Doing it in a way that is promoted by Big Ag and Big Pharma is even more stupid. The dubious claims of increased land-use efficiency and production levels of vegetables and grains is based on ever-increasing use of chemical fertilizers and GMO herbicide/pesticide resistant strains doused in yet more chemicals.
Sure eat less meat, with less hormones and drugs used in local production. Eat more local veggies, also with less chemicals and genetic fiddling. But neither of these will be delivered by this fake, co-opted vegan/vegetarian “movement”.
Our problem is the outrageously extravagant lives of the richest few percent of people on Earth. They eat most of the meat, almost all the industrial meat, consume almost all the other destructive commodities and luxury crops and cause almost all of all the other kinds of damage to the carrying capacity of Earth. The richest 7% of people emit half the GHGs and control the lives and emissions of most of the rest of humanity.
The most ecological diet is a drastic reduction of meat eating–growing and eating only that that can be produced from otherwise unusable waste, and otherwise unusable land. A_P’s attack on the vegan and vegetarian communities who are among those trying the hardest to improve life on Earth is as offensive as it is bizarre, having no truth behind it. S/he should retract it and apologize.
Your message is confused and contradictory, (I think.) But the key words: “so far”. Climate catastrophe is just getting rolling and will soon be recognized as what it is–the only issue that matters for the next 7 generations. Fortunately, the solutions to it are also the solutions to most of our other serious problems.
Compare how long cows have been pooping ,then think about how many millions of years dynasaurs roamed the planet pooping up a storm…
Simply put I don’t buy into the reasoning behind the thought of eat less meat you’ll save the planet…!
An absolutely invaluable talk - thank you!
2015 is The Year of the Soil
Denial it’s whats for dinner
got bilked with the mooostash,
pummeled with pop
candied with candida
and crocked with the rot
sipped on the sylvan waters
munched on the greens
bowed to the farmer
feels good gettin clean
Are you one of those original Cadillac welfare queens, a cattleman?
I don’t drive and the largest critters I cultivate are california red wigglers with indoor composting. Seriously, the Pollan talk articulates the local dynamics so simply and elegantly. Add to that the necessity of continuing to develop understanding of the challenges faced indigenous peoples and alliances with them and we’ll begin to see some real change for the better
Actually the original Cadillac welfare queen was not a rancher. He was a farmer named William “Cadillac” Smith who was paid not to grow corn in upstate New York, and he used the Cadillac he bought with the payout to launch his successful campaign for the State Senate.
However, you have hit the nail on the head. It is how beef is raised that is the problem. Unwise grazing methods have led to soil depletion and desertification in many parts of the world. CAFOs were the cattle are finished are an abomination and a huge contributor to methane emissions, while the acres of over-fertilized, over-irrigated GMO crops like corn and soy grown to feed the cattle are playing havoc with the soil, causing erosion, nitrogen overload, etc, etc.
On the other hand, if cattle are raised entirely on grass using managed rotational grazing, production is increased, and soil is rebuilt, sequestering carbon along the way.
Humans have been herding cattle and eating them since cattle were domesticated thousands of years ago. Why has global warming only become a problem since the industrial revolution?
Humans and cattle exhale carbon dioxide, but this is part of a natural carbon cycle (respiration adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and green plants remove it from the atmosphere in photosynthesis). So, there is no net increase in carbon dioxide. Burning fossil fuels adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere that shouldn’t be there because the carbon in fossil fuels is not part of the natural carbon cycle.
I second your promotion of Cowspiracy, AlephNull. Great movie! It’s about time the so called “leaders” of the environmental movement got called on their turning a blind eye to the devastation caused by animal-based agriculture (and to those who make the argument that “grass-fed,” “free-range,” “organic,” etc. animal farming is the way to go, the statistics simply don’t let any of these approaches off the hook–yes, these are probably a bit more compassionate than factory farming, but as for environmentally friendly…). Following is a page of well-referenced statistics about the environmental harm caused by animal agriculture, for those who are interested:
So I do feel encouraged when I see a documentary like Cowspiracy come out, and see an article like this one; but on the other hand, my own long-time experience is that educating most people about the serious harms of animal farming is akin to educating a heroin user about the harms of heroin, or a smoker about the harms of smoking (and I’m a psychologist specializing in addiction, so I know all too well how futile it can be to try to reason with someone who is caught up in such an addiction). For many people, eating meat (and other animal products) is a very similar kind of addiction–the person is far more connected to the short term pleasure (and ease, convenience, etc.) of their behavior than to the harm caused to the animals, the Earth, and other humans who are directly impoverished by the animal industry.
So what to do? In addiction counselling, one of the most effective approaches in supporting people to “kick the habit” is known as “motivational interviewing,” where the person is encouraged to become fully aware not only of the harms caused by their behavior, but also of the needs this behavior is meeting for them. This way, it’s possible to explore alternative strategies that can meet those same needs but which cause less harm. Maybe some more public discussion along these lines can help. But of course we also have to keep in mind that the addicted person has to have some glimmer of wanting to change their behavior before being willing to engage in such exploration, and this usually comes when the person starts to really feel the “sting” of their addiction. As for consuming animal products, by the time enough of us really feel that sting (i.e., the climate disaster showing up in all its vengeance), it very well may be too late.
So in essence, I think one way to see the question of whether or not we are able to survive as a species is that it comes down to a relatively simple conflict that I think we each have to deal with in some way: Which is ultimately stonger? Our taste for flesh (in all its manifestations–animal consumption, oppression, exploitation… )? Or our compassion, tolerance, and self discipline?
“Even in the US we used to eat a lot less meat (like before WWII) .”
And before humans invented agriculture, they were hunters and gatherers and ate mostly meat. So, we eat meat because we evolved as top predators. Why do you think wolves and cats eat only meat?
Humans domesticated plant species and this allowed us to become sedentary and have a stable food supply. But our ancestors also domesticated animals as a food source. It was much easier to herd animals and slaughter them as a food source than it was to chase wild animals all over creation to get your dinner.
Sustainable Meat? NOPE! Sustainability WILL NOT BE ATTAINED BY EATING LESS MEAT (GRASS-FED OR NOT). In fact Grass-Fed Cows take 6 months longer to grow and so creates more shit, burps (methane and nitrous oxide) than factory farmed. It’s like putting another car on the road for each grass-fed cow, and not to mention taking up more land than there is in the world. Michael Pollan was put on the spot by the guys who filmed Cowspiracy. His Slow Food Movement is NOT SUSTAINABLE. It’s passé!
Watch (or Get his book!) Dr. Richard Oppenlander: Why Eating Local, Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work
To save the planet . . . eat more people.