Meat and the Environment Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by gordon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 10:30 am
With all the focus recently on reducing carbon emissions as they relate to transportation, it would be easy to overlook a more serious source of the planet-warming gases.
The meat production industry is so bad for the planet, I find it a little strange we don't hear more about it.
70 percent of all the grains and cereals we grow go to feed livestock, not hungry people. Half our available water supply and 80 percent of the country's agricultural land are used to raise animals for food.
In a groundbreaking 2006 report, the United Nations (U.N.) said that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars and trucks in the world combined.
The list goes on.
By all means, do drive a Prius and change out your incandescent bulbs, coat your roof with photovoltaic cells, but neither would make as big of a difference as eating a vegetable-based diet.
Posted by anon., a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 12:39 pm
Gordon, thankyou for the information. Don't be suprised by all the negative remarks that you will inevitably receive. Perhaps if some of the people on this forum would do some investigating before attacking you, the responses would be a little less hostile (maybe a flight over the amazon, and all the clear cutting that goes on their everyday). Thanks for reminding me that the way in which this society feeds itself in unsustainable. Please don't be deterred by all the negativity that will inevitably come your way. Changing diets is not that easy, and most people find it much easier to attack the messenger.
Posted by Compromise, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 12:46 pm
The culprit is the production of methane while raising cattle that is a green house gas.
One thing has been really forgotten in the equation is that when producing grain for the cattle feed, the very act of growing grain may absorb a good amount of CO2. This action may not be a net zero for green house gases, but is a does mitigate some.
Well one can argue that we may consume the grain directly.
Posted by gordon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 13, 2007 at 2:38 pm
It's good to see people talking about this. I think the important thing to realize is that everyone in this city could make a difference by at least cutting back on consuming animal products.
Not everyone can afford some of the other environment-friendly options -- hyrid car, photovoltaic cells -- but by simply excluding something expensive from one's diet, one can make a bigger difference.
It's a choice of exclusion, and it doesn't cost any money. It will, in fact, save money with no upfront investment.
Posted by gordon, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2007 at 9:47 am
Maybe it's just that humans need to be aware their actions have consequences. Whatever happened to making an inconvenient personal choice to serve a greater good?
In this case, that "inconvenient" personal choice will help reduce demand for the No. 1 most-polluting industry on the planet. And it saves the individual the cost of purchasing meat products, which are more expensive than non-animal-based products. Healthier too!
Or you could plunk down way too much money for a Prius, and have a less significant impact on the environment.