During the last Gorgeous Armada Presents production I hit it off with one of our dancers; that is to say, she and I got into some good arguments during illicit drug use and over-imbibing. The crux of our heated conversations revolved around eating meat; I being predominantly vegetarian, her being a cattle rancher’s daughter and full-time cowgirl. I tried to convince her that producing mass quantities of meat was a strain on our natural resources, both fuel and crop; and that the way we harvest meat is inhumane; and that the amount of eat consumed by Western types is unhealthy. She countered saying I just read too much PETA. So in an effort to win (and thereby, get to totally make out with her), I’ve been gathering my counter argument.
This article on Alternet.org entitled Eating As if the Climate Mattered has some of the right stuff.
From an AFT article, discussing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
Don’t eat meat, ride a bike, and be a frugal shopper — that’s how you can help brake global warming, the head of the United Nation’s Nobel Prize-winning scientific panel on climate change said Tuesday.
The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued last year, highlights “the importance of lifestyle changes,” said Rajendra Pachauri at a press conference in Paris.
“This is something that the IPCC was afraid to say earlier, but now we have said it.”
A vegetarian, the Indian economist made a plea for people around the world to tame their carnivorous impulses.
“Please eat less meat — meat is a very carbon intensive commodity,” he said, adding that consuming large quantities was also bad for one’s health.
From the internationally recognized Livestock Environment and Development Initiative entitled “Livestock’s Long Shadow”:
The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.
And after reading the report (or, honestly, scanning the report) I found a few more tidbits:
…it may well be argued that environmental damage by livestock may be significantly reduced by lowering excessive consumption of livestock products among wealthy people. (p. 269)
Livestock actually detract more from total food supply than they provide. Livestock now consume more human edible protein than they produce. (p. 270)
The report goes on to say water resources are becoming more slim, which affects grain production, which in turn affects livestock production. We will soon be running short on resources needed to keep up with our meat addiction.
Livestock emits methane and nitrogen, which contributes to global heating, and its not just cow farts we’re talking about: it’s the indirect creation of livestock support such as methane release in the production of fertilizers, CO2 released in fuel to transport fertilizer, grain and then the processed meat, deforestation, land use changes for production of meat and grain, etc.
Maybe, in my research, I have released just enough rope to hang myself. However, I believe the latter is more true of us as meat eaters in general. I am so going to get laid for this.