[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

CVS Employee Stops Robbery, Gets Fired

Pope Francis Implementing Change Of Lord’s Prayer: ‘Lead Us Not Into Temptation’

John Kelly Was President Trump's Top Authoritarian Fearmonger. Good Riddance.

Kavanaugh Joins Liberals To Protect Pro-Planned Parenthood Ruling

Lena Dunham lied to discredit an alleged rape victim and then wrote her worst apology yet

Don’t Be Fooled: Ocasio-Cortez Is A Very Real Threat

The Motor Law (Red Barchetta)

Nebraska principal reportedly bans candy canes, says ‘J shape’ stands for Jesus

Name One Government Agency That Doesn’t Do The Exact Opposite Of Its Purpose

Media Attacks Heisman Trophy Winner Kyler Murray for Homophobic Tweets He Sent As a 14-Year-Old

Kansas recalls hundreds of license plates over ethnic slur complaint (JAP)

Adolescent Pot Use in Post-Legalization Colorado and Washington Is Still Failing to Rise

The Irony of a Congressman's Proposal to Exempt Police from His “Assault Weapons” Ban

The Speeding Exemption (Some Animals are More Equal than Others)

Hugh Freeze: "[Jesus Christ] Is The Only One I've Ever Met Who Can Handle My Junk"

FranceÂ’s 2018 peace prize goes to jihad terrorists and haters of Israe

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Central Americans Treated Like Jews Fleeing The Nazis

'SMASH AND KILL' Paris in lockdown with tear gas fired as 5,000 protesters descend for ‘Day of Rage’

Ocasio-Cortez Threatens To Retaliate Against Trump Jr. Over Meme, Twitter Explodes With Accusations Of Ethics Violations

Making President Trump's Bed: A Housekeeper Without Papers (Donald's Illegal Aliens)

Ohio Dad Makes Daughter Walk 5 Miles to School in 36-Degree Weather After She Bullied Classmate

Pearl Harbor bombed

Luxembourg to become first country to make all public transport free

Smoke a Joint, Save the Subway?

Man Shot By Cops Claims Shotspotter Found Phantom 'Gunshot' To Justify Officer's Deadly Force

Homeland Security creates exclusive "Platinum" spy on your neighbors cam-share club

CHRIS WALLACE ‘STRUCK’ BY HOW QUICKLY TRUMP SPOILED THE MOOD AT GEORGE H. W. BUSH’S FUNERAL

Every President Recited This Prayer Except Trump

Drug dealer released from prison, then carjacks woman in parking lot

Martin Armstrong: The 2020 Presidential Election Will Be The Most Violent In American History

Baby Jesus In Cage As Part Of Dedham Church’s Immigration-Themed Nativity Scene

GOP Winner in Maine-02 Now Declared Loser Due to ‘Rank Voting’

Mother, children left homeless after police damage house looking for son

Medicare for All Is Even Better Than You Thought

FOX Goes Full "Reefer Madness", Pushes Insane Anti-Weed Propaganda in Ridiculous 90-Second Clip

Columbia University Students Kick SNL Comedian Nimesh Patel Off Stage For Making Unsafe Jokes

PETA Compares ‘Anti-Animal’ Language to Racism

YAF Wins Landmark Free Speech Lawsuit, UC Berkeley To Pay $70,000 And Rescind Unconstitutional Policies

Own your identity Discover decentralized identity—a new way to take ownership of your personal data.

Press Releases Mastercard, Microsoft Join Forces to Advance Digital Identity Innovations

300 pound woman guilty of crushing boyfriend

Unborn Babies Learning in the Womb Disputes Abortionists Claims of Not Being Human

Results of Colorado Marijuana Legalization 4 Years Later

Schwarzenegger would time travel to terminate fossil fuels

Innocent Man Politely Asks Cops for Directions—Who Then Smash His Face In and Kidnap Him

Special Counsel Mueller is building a report, not a case.

For the First Time Since 9/11, Federal Gov’t Takes Steps to Prosecute the Use of Explosives to Destroy WTCs

Royal Family Implicated in Billionaire Pedophile Scandal as Court Case Begins in Florida

‘PC stuff is getting ridiculous’: Radio stations axe Christmas classic due to #MeToo concerns

Illegals scarf up welfare, with new Census data confirming 63% of non-citizens helping themselves


Status: Not Logged In; Sign In

Poison Watch
See other Poison Watch Articles

Title: The best way to save the planet?
Source: The Guardian
URL Source: https://www.theguardian.com/comment ... ivestock-food-free-range-steak
Published: Jun 9, 2018
Author: George Monbiot
Post Date: 2018-06-09 12:53:05 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 325
Comments: 8

Drop meat and dairy

Whether human beings survive this century and the next, whether other lifeforms can live alongside us: more than anything, this depends on the way we eat. We can cut our consumption of everything else almost to zero and still we will drive living systems to collapse, unless we change our diets.

All the evidence now points in one direction: the crucial shift is from an animal- to a plant-based diet. A paper published last week in Science reveals that while some kinds of meat and dairy production are more damaging than others, all are more harmful to the living world than growing plant protein. It shows that animal farming takes up 83% of the world’s agricultural land, but delivers only 18% of our calories. A plant-based diet cuts the use of land by 76% and halves the greenhouse gases and other pollution that are caused by food production.

Part of the reason is the extreme inefficiency of feeding livestock on grain: most of its nutritional value is lost in conversion from plant protein to animal protein. This reinforces my contention that if you want to eat less soya, then you should eat soya: 93% of the soya we consume, which drives the destruction of forest, savannah and marshland, is embedded in meat, dairy, eggs and fish, and most of it is lost in conversion. When we eat it directly, much less of the crop is required to deliver the same amount of protein.

More damaging still is free-range meat: the environmental impacts of converting grass into flesh, the paper remarks, “are immense under any production method practised today”. This is because so much land is required to produce every grass-fed steak or chop. Though roughly twice as much land is used for grazing worldwide as for crop production, it provides just 1.2% of the protein we eat. While much of this pastureland cannot be used to grow crops, it can be used for rewilding: allowing the many rich ecosystems destroyed by livestock farming to recover, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, protecting watersheds and halting the sixth great extinction in its tracks. The land that should be devoted to the preservation of human life and the rest of the living world is at the moment used to produce a tiny amount of meat.

Whenever I raise the crucial issue of yield per hectare, I receive a barrage of vituperation and abuse. But I’m not having a go at farmers, just pointing out that the figures don’t add up. We can neither feed the world’s growing population nor protect its living systems through animal farming. Meat and dairy are an extravagance we can no longer afford.

There is no way out of this. Those who claim that “regenerative” or “holistic” ranching mimics nature deceive themselves. It relies on fencing, while in nature wild herbivores roam freely, often across vast distances. It excludes or eradicates predators, which are crucial to the healthy functioning of all living systems. It tends to eliminate tree seedlings, ensuring that the complex mosaics of woody vegetation found in many natural systems – essential to support a wide range of wildlife – are absent.

The animal industry demands ever-greater assaults on the living world. Witness the badger slaughter in the UK, now spreading across the country in response to the misguided requests of dairy farmers. People ask how I would justify the return of wolves, knowing that they would kill some sheep. I ask how they justify the eradication of wolves and a vast range of other wildlife to make way for sheep. The most important environmental action we can take is to reduce the amount of land used by farming.

Unless you can cook well – and many people have neither the skills nor the space – a plant-based diet can be either boring or expensive. We need better and cheaper vegan ready meals and quick and easy meat substitutes. The big shift will come with the mass production of cultured meat. There are three main objections. The first is that the idea of artificial meat is disgusting. If you feel this way, I invite you to look at how your sausages, burgers and chicken nuggets are currently raised, slaughtered and processed. Having worked on an intensive pig farm, I’m more aware than most of what disgusting looks like.

The second objection is that cultured meat undermines local food production. Perhaps those who make this claim are unaware of where animal feed comes from. Passing Argentinian soya through a nearby pig before it reaches you does not make it any more local than turning it directly into food for humans. The third objection has greater merit: cultured meat lends itself to corporate concentration. Again, the animal feed industry (and, increasingly, livestock production) has been captured by giant conglomerates. But we should fight to ensure that cultured meat does not go the same way: in this sector as in all others, we need strong anti-trust laws.

This could also be a chance to break our complete dependence on artificial nitrogen. Traditionally, animal and plant farming were integrated through the use of manure. Losses from this system led to a gradual decline in soil fertility. The development of industrial fertilisers saved us from starvation, but at a high environmental cost. Today, the link between livestock and crops has mostly been broken: crops are grown with industrial chemicals while animal slurry stacks up, unused, in stinking lagoons, wipes out rivers and creates dead zones at sea. When it is applied to the land, it threatens to accelerate antibiotic resistance.

In switching to a plant-based diet, we could make use of a neat synergy. Most protein crops – peas and beans – capture nitrogen from the air, fertilising themselves and raising nitrate levels in the soil that subsequent crops, such as cereals and oilseeds, can use. While the transition to plant protein is unlikely to eliminate the global system’s need for artificial fertiliser, the pioneering work of vegan organic growers, using only plant-based composts and importing as little fertility as possible from elsewhere, should be supported by research that governments have so far failed to fund.

Understandably, the livestock industry will resist all this, using the bucolic images and pastoral fantasies that have beguiled us for so long. But it can’t force us to eat meat. The shift is ours to make. It becomes easier every year.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist


Poster Comment:

Post Comment   Private Reply   Ignore Thread  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

Veganism requires us to take pharmaceuticals in order to live. It is not natural.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-06-09   13:44:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Willie Green (#0)

The best way to save the planet?

I wasn't aware that the planet needed saving.

rlk  posted on  2018-06-09   14:07:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Willie Green, Health Food fanatic (#0)

You need a balanced diet of Taco Bowls, Micky D & KFC washed down with Diet Coke.

hondo68  posted on  2018-06-09   14:23:20 ET  (2 images) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Willie Green (#0)

The best way to save the planet?

Be a libertarian that understands that official political parties are bullshit.

buckeroo  posted on  2018-06-09   14:26:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Willie Green (#0)

I don't think a 7,900-mile diameter ball of rock and gas with a molten iron core gives a shit what anybody does on its surface, so go ahead and give up meat and dairy - that'll help save the supply and keep prices down, at least, for me.

Hank Rearden  posted on  2018-06-09   15:44:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Willie Green (#0) (Edited)

It shows that animal farming takes up 83% of the world’s agricultural land, but delivers only 18% of our calories.

I'd point out that a healthy diet consists of much more than simply "calories" so this is a false metric.

Pinguinite  posted on  2018-06-09   16:22:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Willie Green (#0)

To be specific, Vitamin B-12 is only available naturally through animal sources. A usable homologue can be synthesized in the laboratory, but that means that survival would depend on eating pharmaceuticals.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-06-09   16:30:23 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Willie Green (#0)

"A plant-based diet cuts the use of land by 76% ... While much of this pastureland cannot be used to grow crops …"

So, quit animal farming and in it's place … do nothing since you can't grow crops there.

misterwhite  posted on  2018-06-09   17:22:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


TopPage UpFull ThreadPage DownBottom/Latest

[Home]  [Headlines]  [Latest Articles]  [Latest Comments]  [Post]  [Mail]  [Sign-in]  [Setup]  [Help]  [Register] 

Please report web page problems, questions and comments to webmaster@libertysflame.com