Ok, that’s a bit extreme, they’re probably just a bit thick or ignorant or something.
Who am I talking about? You couldn't guess? Why those charming folks over at the Daily Mail of course! Britain's
worst finest newspaper!
So some government type (Lord Stern) happened to suggest that abandoning a meat-centric diet might do some good for the environment vis-à-vis climate change/global warming. The Daily Mail being the Daily Mail didn’t like that, not one bit.
The Daily Mail Fella, Christopher Booker (whose article list on their website reads much like an abc of things conservative know-nothings like to bitch about, the euro, the EU, the Greens, some more about the EU, swine-flu and of course the EU) , reckons that giving up meat is the most facile thing he’s ever heard. Well, he would, since his research into the subject appears to be superficial at best.
Now, Mr Booker appears to be under the impression that the single contribution to climate change made by the meat industry is cow flatulence. Well, it’s not.
I know we all have this image of cows grazing lazily on grass in green fields in the countryside, but the reality is somewhat different. The cows we actually eat are fed on grain. The grain has to be grown, harvested and transported to the cows so the cows can eat it and grow up as big as possible as quick as possible so we can slaughter them as early as possible so they can be eaten before they’ve eaten their more than they’re actually worth.
The important part is the grain, there’s a lot of fossil fuel used in the growing, harvesting and transportation of the grain to the cows (or whichever livestock takes your fancy), and that all adds to the greenhouse gas contribution made by livestock.
With that information in hand it should be clear to anyone, including the esteemed Mr Booker that raising livestock isn’t a particularly clean or efficient way of feeding ourselves whether you believe in man-made climate change or not. Remember your highschool biology? Only a tiny fraction of the energy in primary producers make it to the end of the food chain, adding livestock to the chain could be construed as a waste of energy, particularly with so many people starving in the world.
Personally I’d be reluctant to give up meat, I do love it, but I could manage eating severely less. Heavily meat-based diets are inherently less healthy than heavily vegetable based ones, and with obesity on the rise and general health in decline decreasing our meat intake would actually be a boon in more ways than simply environmental. Booker points out the livelihoods of workers in the meat industry, which is a genuinely lamentable side effect of downsizing any industry, however these people can get new jobs, we only get one planet and the people starving to death only get one life.
It does amuse me that any comment praising Bookers viewpoint is vastly promoted while any criticising or even simply rationalising any sort of environmental action is severely demoted. That’s the Daily Mail audience, and it’s as disturbing as it is expected.
freedoms_stain, fancies a burger… out.