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Eat Less Meat, Save the Environment
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Mats
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Eat Less Meat, Save the Environment Reply with quote

Most know that consuming less meat is good for your health; not so well understood is that this is also good for the health of the planet.
Check this out:

news.google.ca search "eat less meat save the environment"

edit: broken link fixed


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ejm
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan, 2008 11:43 am    Post subject: Re: Eat Less Meat, Save the Environment Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
Most know that consuming less meat is good for your health; not so well understood is that this is also good for the health of the planet.


excerpt from the first item on the google search link, Care about the environment? Eat less meat (Globe and Mail, Canada - 22 Jan 2008):
Peter Fricker wrote:
Last week, Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the United Nation's Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change, asked the world to "please eat less meat." Speaking at a press conference in Paris, he said meat was a very carbon-intensive commodity, a fact established by UN research showing that livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transport combined.


This may be true. But it seems to me that it's just a ploy to get people to believe that if they eat less meat, it's okay to keep driving their honking big gas-guzzling SUVs.

I would be much more impressed if one (or more) of the UN's Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change would ask the world to "please use public transport or walk". Because let's face it. Even if it's true that livestock create more greenhouse gases than all forms of transport, there is likely to be much more impact on the environment (especially North Americans who appear to be married to their cars).

I am horrified at the number of single driver idling cars I see waiting outside of the schools so the parents can drive their little darling home. Homes which are, no doubt, less than 4 blocks away. Home to eat one meatless dinner of Kraft dinner per week because they are "environmentally conscious".



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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A reduction in intensive livestock production, like a reduction in any industry, is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it seems like commonsense that a healthy diet shouldn't include excessive amounts of meat but I'm always very wary of any statement that begins "Studies have shown..." without giving a link to the study so we can assess it's validity and reliability.
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan, 2008 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
A reduction in intensive livestock production, like a reduction in any industry, is going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it seems like commonsense that a healthy diet shouldn't include excessive amounts of meat.


Of course, you are right. It seems like a no brainer.

[rant]Another thing that has been disturbing me about the simple statement "please eat less meat to save the environment" is that it doesn't go on to say that it's also important to pay attention to how far the replacement vegetable proteins have travelled. I can imagine lots of self-satisfied people going to the market and blindly choosing all imported vegetables. And then (please excuse me for harping on this) getting into their "fuel efficient" cars and driving the relatively short distance to their brightly lit homes that are full of appliances to put the things into their fridges.

Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with imported vegetables. But do we in Toronto really have to eat fresh tomatoes that have come from Israel (yes, I really have seen "fresh" tomatoes from Israel!) in the middle of January? Or worse, fresh bunch spinach from Texas in the middle of September - ie: the height of the growing season - when there should be local fresh spinach galore.

I would think that attempting to adhere to the 100 mile diet, conservation of resources, and reacquainting ourselves with the art of preserving might do the environment more good.[/rant]

David wrote:
I'm always very wary of any statement that begins "Studies have shown..." without giving a link to the study so we can assess it's validity and reliability.


Good point!



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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 10:00 am    Post subject: Less Beef Reply with quote

I guess that in starting this discussion, I should have clarified that it was really the production of beef that is at the crux of this argument. The protein obtained from beef comes at a huge cost to our environment; this cost is not reflected in the actual dollar amount we pay. Here is just one take on this issue from the Guardian : www.guardian.co.uk - Meat production 'beefs up emissions'
A reduction of beef protein in our diets need not mean a switch to out-of-season fresh vegetables shipped for long distances. There are other sources such as fish, fowl, and dried legumes.


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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Re: Less Beef Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
A reduction of beef protein in our diets need not mean a switch to out-of-season fresh vegetables shipped for long distances. There are other sources such as fish, fowl, and dried legumes.


Of course, this is true that it doesn't have to mean that. However, many people need to have these things spelled out for them. From what I can see at our vegetable stands, there are more and more out-of-season fresh vegetables shipped for long distances there. Because we are demanding them. (Personally, I don't really want to return to eating canned vegetables. They're revolting.)

MEF wrote:
The protein obtained from beef comes at a huge cost to our environment


I'm sure this is right. I just think that not enough has been said. There are too many people who will cut back on their beef intake and simply stop thinking further than "livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transport combined". Because they really don't want to have to change their lifestyle.

Sadly, I suspect that the production of all of our food, our homes, our transport comes at a huge cost to our environment. We continue to build homes on the very land that is most arable. We continue to drive vehicles that require more gas. We continue to build wider highways to make it easier for us to get home.

Which means that the distances for shipping "local" produce just become greater.



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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 11:01 am    Post subject: Cutting back on beef Reply with quote

It may just be me; I cannot see having, say, 10 or 20% less beef in a diet as being a "change in lifestyle"!


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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 2:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Cutting back on beef Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
It may just be me; I cannot see having, say, 10 or 20% less beef in a diet as being a "change in lifestyle"!


You're right. It isn't really a change in lifestyle. But I'm suggesting that some less caring people will imagine that it is a change. And a significant one.

What I'm really trying to convey (without much success) that a change in lifestyle is what is required. For people to simply eat less beef is not necessarily going to do anything to save the environment. And to suggest it, along with the statement "livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all forms of transport combined" appears to condone wasting resources for those people who adhere to this "less beef in their diet" without doing anything else that is environmentally responsible - as in (excuse me for the reiteration) carpooling, taking public transport, eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, recycling, etc. etc..

guardian.co.uk, Ian Sample wrote:
A Swedish study conducted in 2003 claimed that raising organic beef on grass rather than feed, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40% and consumed 85% less energy.


If the above from guardian.co.uk Meat production 'beefs up emissions' is true, then instead of saying, "eat less beef" it might be wiser to say, "eat less beef but when you do eat beef, eat only organically grown grass-fed beef".



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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan, 2008 2:41 pm    Post subject: I may be a bit thick Reply with quote

I couldn't see your argument earlier, but now I think I do. You are saying that if individuals cut back on their beef consumption, they will feel that they have "done everything they can" to reduce CO2 production and they can now continue all the harmful activities they normally engage in without reproach; is that about right? Well, if it is , I agree.


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PostPosted: Fri 01 Feb, 2008 12:38 am    Post subject: Re: I may be a bit thick Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
You are saying that if individuals cut back on their beef consumption, they will feel that they have "done everything they can" to reduce CO2 production and they can now continue all the harmful activities they normally engage in without reproach; is that about right?


Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to say in my long-winded way. Thank you for restating it succinctly.



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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: Discussion cool Reply with quote

Well, thank you for engaging in this discussion. I think it's cool that we could to-and-fro and reach clarity. This is not usually the result when two people lock horns (or seem to) about a given subject.


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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool. I do hope I get to meet you guys in real life one day.
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PostPosted: Mon 04 Feb, 2008 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
I do hope I get to meet you guys in real life one day.



What??? stomp You mean this isn't real life??! Question Exclamation stomp



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PostPosted: Sun 10 Feb, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ejm wrote:
David wrote:
I do hope I get to meet you guys in real life one day.



What??? stomp You mean this isn't real life??! Question Exclamation stomp


Can't do it in real life? Do it on llizard's forum.



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PostPosted: Sun 10 Feb, 2008 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We will be celebrating our 25th wedding aniversary next year and one option being considered includes a visit to Toronto. Nothing is decided yet but if it does happen there might be an opportunity to meet up.
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