Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Article 500 on meat consumption

Ok, so maybe not 500, but there's a lot of them around these days.

The American Prospect has a new piece on how cars are worse than cows, which features and interesting discussion about Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who recently suggested that cutting down on meat consumption would be a great way to reduce our carbon foot print. Almost immediately afterward, Fox news ran the story with the tag line "now the UN wants to control your diet".

I was really surprised to see the reation to Pachauri's comments. I think A rural Montanan might have no choice but to drive to work, but he can certainly switch out his pork chop for pinto beans. While Pachauri was correct to note that one need not go vegan to help the environment -- simply eating less meat would help -- he could have also emphasized the more politically appealing point that one can be a carnivore and still reduce one's impact by choosing different meats. Even limiting one's meat consumption to chicken yields major environmental benefits -- not to mention health and financial benefits".

I am not a vegetarian for environmental reasons, and I don't really believe in a zero carbon life. The environmental problems with meat, to me, means we should think more about our diets in general and what we can do to reduce, not necessarily eliminate, our impact on the world.

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