For people who already view efforts to curb climate change and energy use as a government “conspiracy” to control the masses, the suggestion that...

T-BoneFor people who already view efforts to curb climate change and energy use as a government “conspiracy” to control the masses, the suggestion that we should go vegetarian to reduce carbon emissions is guaranteed to elicit howls of protest.

However, a growing chorus of voices is calling attention to just how harmful a meat-based diet is to our energy and carbon budgets. The latest to join: Lord Stern, author of the landmark 2006 Stern Review on the economics of climate change.

Speaking with the Times, Lord Stern this week extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet, noting that, “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases.”

His comments come on the heels of a report from World Watch, “Livestock and Climate Change,” which finds that global livestock operations might in fact be responsible for far more carbon emissions than previously thought: as much as 51 per cent, compared to the  18 per cent estimated by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2006.

The World Watch report concluded that livestock-related emissions could be significantly reduced through a large-scale switch to meat and dairy analogs — products like soy burgers and soy chicken patties, for example — or the development of laboratory-cultured (“in vitro”) meat.

While carnivores might cringe at such statements, Lord Stern’s remarks this week earned a welcome from — surprise, surprise — the Vegetarian Society.

“What we choose to eat is one of the biggest factors in our personal impact on the environment,” said Annette Pinner, chief executive of the Vegetarian Society. “The single most damaging foodstuff is beef and all non-vegetarian diets required significantly greater amounts of environmental resources, such as land and water. One of the best choices you can make for the planet is to reduce the amount of meat in your diet.”

(Not to mention that numerous medical studies have found a diet that emphasises whole grains and vegetables over meat is far healthier for us.)

All right, all you meat-eaters out there … what say you?


  • Tracey Rawling Church

    October 28, 2009 #1 Author

    Oh dear. This looks like a serious case of “foot in mouth”. Lord Stern – a self-confessed meat-eater – advocating vegetarianism? Even the Vegetarian Society (in its quote) only advocates reducing meat consumption, not cutting it out altogether.
    Lord Stern’s ill-advised comment will simply antagonise the majority that prefers to eat meat, and could even cause some to rebel against other behaviour change initiatives. I can almost hear the carnivores turning on all their electrical appliances and revving up their cars.


  • Patty

    October 28, 2009 #2 Author

    Meat IS wasteful and completely unnecessary to a healthy tasty diet.

    There are entire cultures representing millions of people who have lived and thrived for centuries without meat or the taste of meat, which is enough evidence that humans do not “need” it to survive and thrive.

    In fact, the evidence weighs heavily in the other direction: the hazards of a meat and dairy diet and the benefits of a vegan diet are well known in the medical and scientific community. Health, animal cruelty,and environmental issues could be alleviated if everyone ate a vegan diet.

    * U.N. scientists have determined that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, SUVs, trucks, and planes in the world combined.

    * Researchers at the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is more effective in countering climate change than switching from a standard car to a Toyota Prius.

    * According to Environmental Defense, if every American substituted vegetarian foods for chicken at just one meal per week, the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than a half-million cars off U.S. roads.

    Go vegan for health, ethical, and environmental reasons!


  • hsr0601

    October 28, 2009 #3 Author

    I think the most dangerous food is meat as it destroys humanity and leads to wars and destroys all ultimately.

    Obesity & Magic Pill :

    I personally recognize that wheat is a far better diet than meat on the ground it normally exits body with ease and rapidity, and we are well aware that our heath depends upon smooth metabolism and blood stream associated with the immune system and how important our daily workout is, as well.

    I still think the critical conditions mostly come from breach of our immune system, and the food that stays long in the body is more likely to become a source where germs, bacterias, viruses and the like multiply.
    Sounds outlandish, but wheat might be a principal “clean and healthy” food that has led western society to the most decent culture of all.

    Disadvantages of meat consumption :

    1. The food that stays long in the body looks more likely to become a source where germs, bacterias and the like multiply, which even gives birth to critical conditions involving prostate cancer.

    2. The consumption of meat proved lethal as earlier this year, the expansive, long-term release concluded about a third of more than 500,000 Americans aged 50-70 with this behavior tends to wind up with premature fatality caused by cancer, hypertension and more.

    3. The in-take of pork raises risks of catching swine flue and its mutation, costing around the initially estimated $2trillion dollars word-wide and endangering recovery,

    (( Genes included in the new swine flu have been circulating undetected in pigs for at least a decade, according to researchers who have sequenced the genomes of more than 50 samples of the virus. The findings suggest that in the future, pig populations will need to be monitored more closely for emerging influenza viruses, reported a team led by Rebecca Garten of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a report released by the journal Science.))

    Still, media downplay this fact out of small thinking to protect meat industry.

    4. All but media influenced by meat industry blame calorie for overweight or obesity rather than fat, I still think Fat equals Fat by definition and common sense.

    5. Hot dogs are often associated with food-borne illness. Though other food items carry listeria , FDA (Food and Drug Administration) studies have shown a high level of the harmful bacteria on hot dogs, processed meat and ready-to-eat meat products. And consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer

    The class-action consumer fraud lawsuit underway in New Jersey is based on a report from the American Institute for Cancer Research.

    Its findings included this fact: Consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat (about the amount in one hot dog) every day increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent.

    Nitrites, used to keep hot dogs fresh, are the main culprit, according to the suit.

    While nitrites are commonly found in many green vegetables, especially spinach, celery and green lettuce, the consumption of vegetables appears to be effective in reducing the risk of cancer. Because these vegetables also contain Vitamin C and D, which serve to inhibit the formation of carcinogenic compounds, they actually reduce your cancer risk.

    6. Two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, which branch into so many different kinds of diseases, excess body fat increases risk for numerous cancers, costing up to $147 billion a year.

    7. America needs to put focus on a sustainable energy industry to become a lead exporter, in place of a fast food business where the overall loss outstrips gain more than known, from my stance.

    Provided the average temperature is getting higher, accordingly all forms of germs, bacterias, viruses, and influenza etc are more likely to multiply.

    Some skeptics say the warning against hazards of climate change is overstated, but judging from more frequent and widespread outbreaks of e. coli, salmonella, and bird, swine flu cases endangering human lives and economic recovery seriously, some prompt measures need to be taken, I guess.

    Also, Breathing toxic chemicals in the outdoor air exposes all Americans to a lifetime cancer risk at least 10 times greater than the level considered acceptable under federal law, shows new data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

    Thank You !


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