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Gonzo

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Meat and greenhouse gases
« on: August 08, 2015, 07:10:12 AM »
Livestock farming is one of, if not, THE biggest greenhouse gas.
For decades Westerners were the cow, sheep, and pig eaters.
Now everyone is getting on the bandwagon.
America and Europe has BY FAR the biggest factory farm methane production in the world, but now ... a billion people in China, and elsewhere ... are trying to catch up.
The methane coming from livestock farming alone is FAR FAR more than you humans will EVER be able to offset.

If you want to help the world, you literally have no choice, but to stop taking about CO2 ... and to  stop eating meat.

Methane (from livestock) is 25 times the warming power of CO2 in the atmosphere. So if you see a chart showing 50ppm of methane, and 500 ppm of CO2, the methane looks marginal by weight/mass/volume. However, the heating power of methane molecules to the atmosphere is 25 times MORE than CO2. It lasts only 7 years, before it degrades into CO2, but then it is CO2, and 7 years of heating have occurred, releasing more methane from the permafrost.
Meat eaters are destroying the world, and you will never, ever, get around this argument.
i have heard it all before. You are the cause of global warming, but meat eaters are too cowardly to admit it.
If everyone stopped eating big animals (eat your chickens and sardines if you must), there would not be a single problem in climate change or water shortages coming to you all soon.

(Gonzo -- 35 years as a vegetarian, near-vegan ... stronger, fitter, faster, smarter)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 09:00:17 PM by Neven »

Neven

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2015, 11:42:02 AM »
How much better/less worse is eating chicken and sardines?

I generally don't eat pork, although it's a tradition on the Dalmatian coast and my relatives sometimes give me a big prosciutto to take home. I usually decline, but my 99-year old grandfather gave me one two months ago because we finished building our house.

As for beef. Every three months or so we can pre-order meat from a farmer who farms organically and has his cows outside on a big field all year long. We order a lot, put it in the freezer, and then my wife cooks the meat (we don't bake or fry, because it's unhealthy) and makes broths etc about twice a week.

I'm 100% against CAFO-type stuff, we've tried being vegetarian for a couple of years, but my wife's teeth deteriorated, which was reversed when we returned to (organic) meat and raw milk/eggs.

We're trying to find a balance between just enough meat for good health. I know some people are doing fine being vegan/vegetarian, but not everybody. I'm not looking into this as much as I would want to, because of work and building and blogging.

Anyway, we hope within a year or two to have our own chicken. That should be something of a game changer.
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plinius

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2015, 01:50:58 PM »
Looking at the numbers in the population, the solution would easily be cutting meat consumption by a factor 5-10. Everybody healthier, enough food for even a far larger population, and would prevent the problems coming with vegan nutrition. Our problem is not meat consumption per se, but the excessive consumption of unhealthy and badly farmed animals in mass production.

Gonzo

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 04:36:30 PM »
Quote
Neven
How much better/less worse is eating chicken and sardines?

Apparently the smaller animals are less of an effect per pound of meat. The larger animals are much worse, and more and more people are eating pig, cow, sheep than ever before in the history of the planet. The Chinese for example, used to eat only a little meat and fish with their meals, but now are having a more Western diet, which is unsustainable on this planet.

Quote
I'm 100% against CAFO-type stuff, we've tried being vegetarian for a couple of years,

Well, it sounds like you are doing plenty, by being aware of it all, and treating meat as one of many options, rather than the main thing every day, so that's a huge help, and if everyone did what you do, the problem would be hugely reduced.

Your wife may not have had a proper vegetarian diet, so some calcium missing or something. Raw seseme seeds have more easily-absorbable (by the body) calcium than almost anything. But milk is good for many aspects. Warm milk is best. (too ice-cream is a killer)
Thanks.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 04:57:18 PM by Gonzo »

Gonzo

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2015, 04:40:57 PM »
Quote
Our problem is not meat consumption per se, but the excessive consumption of unhealthy and badly farmed animals in mass production.

I agree. Cutting back to about 1/3 of the average American meat and dairy consumption would be fine, I think. Trouble is, if a billion Chinese start having a more American meat dominant diet ... we're screwed.

The 'good news' is that the price of meat will go up a lot as the droughts take a hold. The biggest beef farm in America is in the desert in California! Insane. There are 5.2 million beef cows in California (and about 1.2 million dairy), now experiencing the worst drought in a thousand years. A cow drinks 20 times as much water as a human each day, and the alfalfa they eat takes a massive amount of water to grow. There is a shortage of water in China and elsewhere now, droughts in Brazil.

With more droughts, the price of meat will go up and up, and people will be forced to eat less and less of it, so hopefully that could cut back some methane. Free-range meat, organic, will be a luxury for very occasional delicacy in the future.

The other good news is that  the people making vege-meat from proteins and enzymes are getting better and better at it, such that meat-eaters chose the vege-meat over the real meat in tests, and I think in 3-5 years, that industry will be huge. If a person was given 2 burgers, and you much preferred one over the other, then you find out that one is vege-meat, and the other was real meat, why would a person then eat the one they don't like as much after that. And you can get a massive amount more protein and nutrients per hectare of land and per acre-foot of water, than with livestock. They are becoming very advanced in making those types of things more and more convincing, it is now a science and an art.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2015, 09:48:53 PM by Gonzo »

Laura Derrick

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2015, 05:15:11 PM »
We started eating "Meatless Monday" and have encouraged others to do so, too. It has led to my family and many others we know continuing to reduce (but not completely eliminate) our meat consumption. We've gotten our local grocery to promote it, offering vegetarian and vegan recipes for people to try, with discounts for some of the ingredients. The general progression is that people get educated a bit, get inspired to try a really nice meatless dish or two, and add those and other new ones to their regular diet, displacing more meat-heavy items.

In other areas, cities and restaurants have joined in, helping to make people aware of the environmental and health reasons to cut back, and offering alternatives. It has turned out to be a fun, easy way to move more people in the right direction, and it lends itself to social media, where posting recipes and pictures of food seem to have a fair amount of influence.

A-Team

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2015, 05:25:09 PM »
I might as well have kept that Hummer! While articles like this are not unprecedented, the whole topic is off the table in policy discourse -- despite being the easiest, fastest, most impactful and least inconvenient of all the 'sacrifices' needed. You won't ever find a mention of it in Joe Romm or Hansen as far as I know. It won't be mentioned much less discussed in Paris.

Giving up beef will reduce carbon footprint more than cars, says expert
http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jul/21/giving-up-beef-reduce-carbon-footprint-more-than-cars

Beef’s environmental impact dwarfs that of other meat including chicken and pork, new research reveals, with one expert saying that eating less red meat would be a better way for people to cut carbon emissions than giving up their cars.

The heavy impact on the environment of meat production was known but the research shows a new scale and scope of damage, particularly for beef. The popular red meat requires 28 times more land to produce than pork or chicken, 11 times more water and results in five times more climate-warming emissions. When compared to staples like potatoes, wheat, and rice, the impact of beef per calorie is even more extreme, requiring 160 times more land and producing 11 times more greenhouse gases.

Agriculture is a significant driver of global warming and causes 15% of all emissions, half of which are from livestock. Furthermore, the huge amounts of grain and water needed to raise cattle is a concern to experts worried about feeding an extra 2 billion people by 2050. But previous calls for people to eat less meat in order to help the environment, or preserve grain stocks, have been highly controversial.

“The big story is just how dramatically impactful beef is compared to all the others,” said Prof Gidon Eshel, at Bard College in New York state and who led the research on beef’s impact. He said cutting subsidies for meat production would be the least controversial way to reduce its consumption.

“I would strongly hope that governments stay out of people’s diet, but at the same time there are many government policies that favour of the current diet in which animals feature too prominently,” he said. “Remove the artificial support given to the livestock industry and rising prices will do the rest. In that way you are having less government intervention in people’s diet and not more.”

Eshel’s team analysed how much land, water and nitrogen fertiliser was needed to raise beef and compared this with poultry, pork, eggs and dairy produce. Beef had a far greater impact than all the others because as ruminants, cattle make far less efficient use of their feed. “Only a minute fraction of the food consumed by cattle goes into the bloodstream, so the bulk of the energy is lost,” said Eshel.

Feeding cattle on grain rather than grass exacerbates this inefficiency, although Eshel noted that even grass-fed cattle still have greater environmental footprints than other animal produce. The footprint of lamb, relatively rarely eaten in the US, was not considered in the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof Tim Benton, at the University of Leeds, said the new work is based on national US data, rather than farm-level studies, and provides a useful overview. “It captures the big picture,” he said, adding that livestock is the key to the sustainability of global agriculture.

“The biggest intervention people could make towards reducing their carbon footprints would not be to abandon cars, but to eat significantly less red meat,” Benton said. “Another recent study implies the single biggest intervention to free up calories that could be used to feed people would be not to use grains for beef production in the US.” However, he said the subject was always controversial: “This opens a real can of worms.”

Prof Mark Sutton, at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said: “Governments should consider these messages carefully if they want to improve overall production efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts. But the message for the consumer is even stronger. Avoiding excessive meat consumption, especially beef, is good for the environment.”

He said: “The US and Europe alike are using so much of their land in highly inefficient livestock farming systems, while so much good quality cropland is being used to grow animal feeds rather than human food.”

Separately, a second study of tens of thousands of British people’s daily eating habits shows that meat lovers’ diets cause double the climate-warming emissions of vegetarian diets.

The study of British people’s diets was conducted by University of Oxford scientists and found that meat-rich diets - defined as more than 100g per day - resulted in 7.2kg of carbon dioxide emissions. In contrast, both vegetarian and fish-eating diets caused about 3.8kg of CO2 per day, while vegan diets produced only 2.9kg. The research analysed the food eaten by 30,000 meat eaters, 16,000 vegetarians, 8,000 fish eaters and 2,000 vegans.

A-Team

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 05:34:22 PM »
Mike Hudak, formerly chair of the Sierra Club's grazing committee, has researched the methane belch angle of just cows on the public land dole:

Cattle Grazing on Federal Public Lands
Contributes to Global Climate Change
by Mike Hudak, author of
Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching
http://www.mikehudak.com/Articles/PLR_Methane.html

Animal agriculture has recently received much attention for its role in producing gases that contribute to global climate change.1, 2 Prominent among those gases so produced is methane which cattle emit as a consequence of their digestion.3

Based on the measurement that a typical grass-fed cow emits 600–700 liters (L) of methane per day,4 we can estimate the mass of this gas annually produced by cattle that graze on 260 million acres of federal public lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in the forty-eight contiguous states.5 In the interest of producing a conservative estimate, I will perform the calculation using the lower limit (i.e., 600 L) of a cow’s daily methane production.

The BLM6 and U.S. Forest Service7 report annual forage utilization from their lands by cattle of 7,574,183 and 6,070,229 animal unit months (AUMs) respectively, with the combined forage utilization being 13,644,412 AUMs.
As each AUM represents thirty-one days of a cow’s forage consumption, it likewise represents thirty-one days of that animal’s methane production. In other words, each AUM consumed produces 18,600 L of methane (i.e., 31 days × 600 L day-1).
Consequently, the annual volume of methane produced by public lands cattle is equal to 253,786,063,200 L, i.e., 18,600 L AUM-1 × 13,644,412 AUMs year-1.

Since 1,000 L are equivalent in volume to 1 cubic meter (m3), public lands cattle produce 253,786,063 m3 of methane per year.
The mass of this volume is 172,574,522 kg based on the density of methane being 0.68 kg/m3 (i.e., under assumed conditions of 1.013 bar (one atmosphere) and 15 °C (59 °F)).8
Greenhouse gasses, such as methane, have a property called Global Warming Potential (GWP) that denotes the ability of the gas relative to carbon dioxide (CO2) to trap heat in the global climate system over a given time frame.

Current studies peg the GWP of methane at “34” over a 100-year interval (GWP100) and at “86” over a 20-year interval (GWP20).9 Stated otherwise, over a 20-year interval, a given mass of methane would have the same effect in the global climate system as a mass of CO2 that is 86 times greater than that mass of methane.

Authors of climate-related articles have often chosen to consider methane’s impact over a 100-year period. But in 2013, the IPCC noted that “there is no scientific argument for selecting 100 years compared with other choices.”10 Moreover, the IPCC found that at the 20-year timescale, total global emissions of methane are equivalent to over 80% of global CO2 emissions.11 In that light, Howarth (2014) argued for focusing on the 20-year rather than the 100-year period based on “the urgent need to reduce methane emissions over the coming 15–35 years.”12

Therefore the environmental impact of the mass of methane produced by public lands cattle is equivalent to 14,841,408,964 kg of CO2 (i.e., (GWP20: 86) × 172,574,522 kg of methane).

What does this mass of CO2 represent in terms of other forms of greenhouse gas emission or sequestration? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s online Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator13 reports that it is equivalent to any of the following:

•  annual greenhouse gas emissions from 3,124,507 passenger vehicles
 
•  CO2 emissions from 1,670,013,278 gallons of gasoline consumed
 
•  CO2 emissions from 34,514,902 barrels of oil consumed
 
•  CO2 emissions from 196,471 tanker trucks’ worth of gasoline
 
•  CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 2,041,459 homes for one year
 
•  CO2 emissions from the energy use of 1,354,143 homes for one year
 
•  CO2 emissions from burning 15,941,361,976 pounds of coal

•  CO2 emissions from burning 79,579 railcars’ worth of coal
 
•  CO2 emissions from 618,392,000 propane cylinders used for home barbecues
 
•  CO2 emissions of 3.9 coal-fired power plants for one year
 
•  carbon sequestered by 380,548,923 tree seedlings grown for 10 years
 
•  carbon annually sequestered by 12,165,089 acres of U.S. forests
 
•  carbon annually sequestered by 114,597 acres of forest preserved from conversion to cropland.

Having determined the quantity of methane produced by cattle that graze on public lands, one might ask whether removing these cattle would reduce the greenhouse gas contribution of these public lands by that amount. The answer to that question is beyond the scope of this essay. But I will mention a few of the factors that must be considered in seeking the answer.

Removal of cattle from public lands would allow several ecosystem components to begin their recovery from more than a century of harmful impacts. In particular, vegetation that had been consumed by cattle would now be available for wildlife. Consequently, we would expect wildlife populations to increase. And among that wildlife would be native ruminant mammals, such as pronghorn and deer, which, like cattle, emit methane as a by-product of their digestion. But they produce the gas in much smaller quantities than cattle. For example, an individual deer produces on average only 22 grams of methane per day14—approximately 5% the amount produced by a cow.

Following the exclusion of cattle, research shows that land-based sources of atmospheric carbon sequestration may increase. For example, a Chinese temperate grassland after 20 years of grazing exclusion had increased its carbon storage in the top 40 cm of soil by 35.7%.15 Other research performed on a semiarid, 17-year grazer-excluded grassland in northwest China found similar benefits to sequestration of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N).

The researchers state: “Our results showed that the aboveground biomass, root biomass and plant litter were 70–92%, 56–151% and 59–141% higher, respectively, in grazer excluded grassland than in grazed grassland. Grazing exclusion significantly increased C and N stored in plant biomass and litter and increased the concentrations and stocks of C and N in soils. Grazing exclusion thus significantly increased the C and N stored in grassland ecosystems. The increase in C and N stored in soil contributed to more than 95% and 97% of the increases in ecosystem C and N storage.”16

Then there are the microbiotic crusts17 whose prevalence across deserts of the West has been greatly reduced by the trampling of cattle. These crusts “can be dominant sources of productivity and carbon sequestration in extremely dry environments.”18 But since damaged crusts may require from 40 to 250 years to fully recover,19 depending on environmental conditions, significant carbon sequestration by the crusts may not be achieved for many years.

Quantifying the biological and chemical processes of these and other greenhouse gas sources and sinks following the cessation of cattle grazing would be a daunting task—one made even more difficult by the need to account for impacts on vegetation and wildlife from future global climate change.
 
1. Henning Steinfeld, Pierre Gerber, Tom Wassenaar, Vincent Castel, Mauricio Rosales, and Cees de Haan. Livestock’s Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2006, http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm (accessed 18 July 2015).
 
2. European Vegetarian Union, “Less Meat, Less Heat - IPCC Chairman Insists on Eating Less Meat” (press release, 31 August 2008), European Vegetarian 2 (2008): 14, http://www.euroveg.eu/lang/en/news/magazine/pdf/2008
-2.pdf (accessed 18 July 2015).
 
3. Wikipedia, s.v. “Enteric fermentation,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Enteric_fermentation (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
4. The Cattle Site, “Cutting Emissions: Less Grass, Less Gas,” 30 October 2008, http://www.thecattlesite.com/news/24920/cutting-emissions-less
-grass-less-gas (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
5. The U.S. Forest Service manages 97 million acres for livestock production; the Bureau of Land Management manages 163 million acres for this purpose. George Wuerthner and Mollie Matteson, eds. 2002. Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West. Washington, DC: Island Press, 5.
 
6. Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, “Public Land Statistics 2014,” Table 3-8c (Summary of Authorized Use of Grazing District Lands and Grazing Lease Lands, Fiscal Year 2014), http://www.blm.gov/public_land
_statistics/pls14/pls2014.pdf (accessed 18 July 2015).

7. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Range Management, “Grazing Statistical Summary FY2014,” June 2015, p. 4, http://www.fs.fed.us
/rangelands/ftp/docs/GrazingStatisticalSummaryFY2014.pdf (accessed 18 July 2015).
 
8. Air Liquide Gas Encyclopaedia, s.v. “Methane,” http://encyclopedia.airliquide
.com/Encyclopedia.asp?GasID=41 (accessed 20 July 2015).
 
9. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis, 714, Table 8.7, https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/ (accessed 13 July 2015).
 
10. Ibid., 711.
 
11. Ibid., 719, Figure 8.32.
 
12. Robert W. Howarth, “A Bridge to Nowhere: Methane Emissions and the Greenhouse Gas Footprint of Natural Gas,” Energy Science & Engineering, (2014) doi:10.1002/ese3.35, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/es
e3.35/full (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
13. http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
14. Country-Wide, “Scientist to Investigate Methane From Deer,” 10 January 2003, http://www.country-wide.co.nz/cgi-bin/article.cgi?cmd=show&article
_id=1077 (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
15. Wu L, He N, Wang Y, and Han X, “Storage and Dynamics of Carbon and Nitrogen in Soil after Grazing Exclusion in Leymus Chinensis Grasslands of Northern China,” J. of Environmental Quality 37 (2008): 666, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
/pubmed/18396553 (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
16. Qiu L, Wei X, Zhang X, and Cheng J, “Ecosystem Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation after Grazing Exclusion in Semiarid Grassland,” PLoS ONE 8(1) (2013): e55433.doi:10. 1371/journal.pone.0055433, http://www.plosone.org
/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0055433 (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
17. Roxanna Johnston, Introduction to Microbiotic Crusts, United States Department of Agriculture, July 1997, ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/GLTI/technical
/publications/micro-crusts.pdf (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
18. Zoe G. Cardon, Dennis, W. Gray, and Louise A. Lewis, “The Green Algal Underground: Evolutionary Secrets of Desert Cells,” BioScience 58(2) (2008): 120, https://darchive.mblwhoilibrary.org/bitstream/handle/1912/2101
/i0006-3568-58-2-114.pdf?sequence=1 (accessed 19 July 2015).
 
19. Jayne Belnap, “Recovery Rates of Cryptobiotic Crusts: Inoculant [sic] Use and Assessment Methods,” Great Basin Naturalist 53(1) (1993): 94.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 08:44:53 PM »
Don't forget cricket flour!  Feeding the insects diets of different fruits and veggies results in differently-flavored products.

Inside the Edible Insect Industrial Complex
As Humans Eat More Bugs, a $20 Million Industry Has Sprung up, Complete with Edible Insect Business Consultants
http://www.fastcompany.com/3037716/inside-the-edible-insect-industrial-complex
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2015, 10:39:47 PM »
http://www.idahoconservation.org/blog/2011-blog-archive/a-cow-free-wilderness-the-owyhee-initiative-keeps-on-delivering

Maybe there are ways to proceed without tar 'n feathers? I have lived many years in the middle of tough environmental fights. It makes me expect a certain disdain from both sides.
A-Team
Politics is always tough work but maybe better than the alternatives. 
Grazing lands contribution of 14,841,408,964 kilos CO2 = .014841 Gt CO2    Maybe not chickenfeed but it looks different reduced to a different denominator.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2015, 11:21:04 PM »
I stopped eating meat, fish and eggs in 1979 (influenced by flatmates in Dunedin), but started eating eggs again in 1988 because I 'found' myself living on an organic school farm (but held off for a year)(and continued eating eggs after leaving there in 1989).  I'm aware of many health/ethics/environmental issues with the dairy industry, but still like half-and-half or whole milk in my tea.  (We drink unsweetened nut milks, and I eat plenty of nuts and seeds.)  I gave eating termites a miss when in Kenya shortly after becoming a vegetarian (with mixed emotions to this day - heck, we dared each other to (and did) swallow tadpoles when I was a kid).  I imagine I'll allow insect flour to be 'acceptable' in my diet when presented with the option.  Although most of what my wife and I eat is organic, I appreciate those who focus on locavore diets.

I gave up eating chocolate about 15 years ago to remind me of all the agricultural (and other) slavery (and virtual slavery) in this world. References (1 and 2)

When asked why I became a vegetarian, I often say it's not for health or religions reasons, or because I think lambs and calves are cute, or because I'm squeamish (I grew up fishing and hunting deer and foul).  And I didn't work in an abattoir during holidays.  I say I hate vegetables: I love to pick them in their prime and steam them while fresh, or eat them raw. (Do I sound bloodthirsty yet?)  I never thought of saying "to save the world."  (But this would be a bridge to sharing an elevator pitch!)
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

A-Team

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2015, 11:25:39 PM »
Crickets, like livestock, do not synthesize any of the essential amino acids nor vitamin B12 so again you are better off just eating the soy or whatever you were feeding them and sprinkle yeast extract on top of your salad. The Paiutes collected windblown dead crickets along the shores of the Great Salt lake (taste like shrimp supposedly) which like everything they did, was sustainable.
http://www.cricketflours.com/cricket-nutritional-value/

It is actually quite a difficult task to calculate the total climate impact of public land cows (which are but 1-2% of US cow production) because they are never eaten as such, not even by the rancher, but spend months in a feedlot and so get a share of all the corn, soy, fertilizer, tractor fuel, dead zone in the Gulf and everything else that goes with it (eg NOx), which probably overwhelm the actual loss of carbon/nitrogen from soil/vegetation and on-site emissions.

It is better to drive a Hummer to a salad bar than a Prius to a bbq.

The main 220,000 acre Owyhee buyout was negotiated with a conservation minded permit holder (based in Portland) and funded by the Sagebrush Habitat Conservation Fund using mitigation money from a KinderMorgan underground natural gas pipeline. Neither environmental groups nor general public contributed a dime to that.

Around 600,000 acres of predator- and domestic sheep disease conflict allotments have been similarly retired by the Natl Wildlife Foundation that did not having any legislative permanence (which isn't permanence anyway -- Senator Hatch bill will restock retired allotments on the Escalante). However this legislative language -- probably first seen at Soda Mtn NM and the Steens wilderness bill -- is a very important achievement of (a very small number of) environmental groups.

NWF and Sierra Club have 6,400,000 members between them. If each skipped a cup of Starbucks twice a year, we would be well on the way to getting rid of public land grazing. But they don't contribute tuppence as far as I know, certainly not the internally conflicted Sierra Club. However there would be a lot of Meatless Mondays and Dairy-Free Fridays within the membership (which indirectly retires private land grazing as well).

The individual rancher is not the problem any more than El Chapo is the drug problem -- it is all easily solved on the demand side.

The Boulder-White Cloud wilderness bill signed by President Obama on Wednesday also had legislative language -- but no funding -- for public land grazing retirement for over 700,000 acres (again from willing sellers only). Again, the charitable sector has to do all the heavy lifting on negotiating and funding. Environmentalists and public will get a huge wildlife and recreation benefit but once more will not contribute a dime.

Hart Mtn NWR grazers were kicked off by a study; Sheldon NWR permittees were retired by the Conservation Fund, again the environmental activist groups got what they wanted (750,000 acres rid of cows) once more without putting up a dime.

Some of the worst grazing atrocities continue -- Pt Reyes Natl Seashore comes to mind -- with the enthusiastic support of privileged Bay Area foodies, the same folks who just had to liquidate Sonoran Desert mesquite for their grills. It is hard to fault Bubba when you have well-educated liberals who really know better go full steam ahead with their selfish destructive livestyles.

The US Supreme Court has ruled on three occasions that no property right is associated with a grazing lease, any more than one is implied by an apartment lease. Unlike mining companies who have to post bond and mitigate damages, the ranchers can sell something he doesn't own and just walk (to the bank), leaving a legacy of cheat grass, barbwire and destroyed riparian areas behind. Not to mention the long-known impacts on the atmosphere.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 12:25:20 AM by A-Team »

Sigmetnow

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 01:05:14 AM »
Crickets, like livestock, do not synthesize any of the essential amino acids nor vitamin B12 so again you are better off just eating the soy or whatever you were feeding them and sprinkle yeast extract on top of your salad.
...
http://www.cricketflours.com/cricket-nutritional-value/ 
???  Color me confused....  Your link and image show cricket flour has all 9 of the essential amino acids.  (Thanks for that info, by the way.)  It might not be the best complete protein -- but then, neither is peanut butter.  Still, a decent source of protein?  Particularly if the cricket diet is fruits and vegetables.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 02:54:53 AM by Sigmetnow »
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A-Team

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 04:12:24 AM »
Basically all cellular organisms on earth offer the same 20 amino acids include the 9 that animal genomes lost the ability to synthesize from scratch in the Precambrian. They lost the biosynthetic genes because there was no selective pressure for their maintenance -- the daily diet supplied ample amounts (which are miniscule). Plants are self-sufficient: no vitamin requirements, no amino acid needs.

Adult vertebrates including human have no dedicated storage mechanism for essential amino acids. They are metabolized to carbon dioxide, made into a handful of secondary metabolites, or excreted the same day. The vast majority of people, despite highly unhealthy diets, consume a great excess over what the body needs (or can readily obtain by catabolism of existing protein). In fact, the most common health problem in meat-diet native Alaskans is the exact opposite: kidney failure in the 40's from chronic excess protein nitrogen (urea).

Essential amino acid deficiency is unheard of in the United States. There are no named diseases for individual amino acid deficiencies. Only 12 cases of kwashiorkor (generalized shortage, oxidative stress) were found in a population of 314 million over 9 years (all in children), after discounting for medicare fraud at a Prime Healthcare facility in Redding, California.

http://archderm.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=478323
http://www.reportingonhealth.org/blogs/2012/01/23/kwashiorkor-research-shows-prime-healthcares-cases-must-be-base

The problem with crickets is the same as with any livestock: inefficiency. You cannot grow crickets commercially on lawn clippings and the like. What you end up with is like aquaculture -- feeding 'bycatch' to penned salmon. Higher tropic levels are hugely inefficient: precious nutrients are catabolized for mere caloric energy, burned along with ordinary constituents. It is this burning step that you avoid eating lower down on the food chain.

Cricket nutritional requirements are quite complex and surprisingly already studied by 1960's. They need a cholesterol-like sterol and arginine for reasonable growth rates. Crickets such as Acheta domesticus (order Orthoptera) do have a modest ability to digest lignocellulose -- that ability is rare in herbaceous insects and is restricted to a small number of orders. free full http://jn.nutrition.org/content/74/3/265.full.pdf   

Frankly, it all boils down to perceptions of male virility. Red meat before the game = become warrior. Red meat, violence. Drink Red Bull, become aggressive. Eat red meat, become red meat. Put on muscle that you ate. Eat bull testicles and you will be able to service 150 cows in a night, just like a real bull (as shown by fluorescent tagging). Sire daughters, not sons = laughing stock. Man of the house tends the barbeque. Man of the house carves Thanksgiving turkey.

Eating meat has little to do with taste or nutrition but everything to do with fear of impotency and losing out to other males in breeding competitions. That's why it's never on the table politically.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 04:20:51 AM by A-Team »

Clare

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 11:48:11 AM »
New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions profile shows 48% are from agriculture. Almost all cattle, cows & sheep are grazed outside all year round. Pigs & poultry probably mostly indoors.

Our emissions are v high = 17.2 Tonnes CO2e per capita (2012)


DH & I have meatless Mondays & usually vegetarian several other days per week + we eat only small amounts of meat (not organic I'm afraid)  in our other meals. We grow a huge amount of veges & fruit which make up a big proportion of our diet & help us manage on our low income too.
But I don't think we are making much impression on the nation's totals. And sadly don't seem to have even had any influence of the meat consumption of our friends & colleagues!

Clare
« Last Edit: August 09, 2015, 12:33:35 PM by Clare »

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2015, 12:03:21 PM »
Eating meat has little to do with taste or nutrition but everything to do with fear of impotency and losing out to other males in breeding competitions. That's why it's never on the table politically.

That's an interesting perspective, all of it boiling down to patriarchy. Thanks.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2015, 01:28:34 PM »
...
Higher tropic levels are hugely inefficient: precious nutrients are catabolized for mere caloric energy, burned along with ordinary constituents. It is this burning step that you avoid eating lower down on the food chain.

Cricket nutritional requirements are quite complex and surprisingly already studied by 1960's. ...

Thank you, A-Team.  That's the problem with us omnivores -- always needing variety.  :)

We've learned how to grow chemically-identical meat in the lab, and the typical (American?) diet includes so much processed food.  My thought is that "real" meat will become a scarce luxury, for all the reasons mentioned in this thread, and processed food from closer to the base of fhe food chain will become more mainstream, healthier, and more energy-efficient to produce.  Not that we won't pine for the good old days, when growing and shipping costs were no object.

Saudi Arabia's Burger Boom... and Obesity Epidemic


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3523788/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2015, 07:35:32 PM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2015, 09:14:34 PM »
Quote
100% Beef - made with all white meat chicken
Quote
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.
LOL
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Re: Eating Chickens & Sardines is ok.
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2015, 01:29:52 PM »
I did see that documentary this week-end http://www.cowspiracy.com/  that's a very interesting video...a must watch.

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2015, 09:20:49 PM »
Recently a couple of comments on this topic have been made here and there on the Forum, so I've decided to kick this thread up (and changed the title, hope that's okay, Gonzo).

This is the last comment on that other thread:

Eat less meat.
The question is, how much less meat? I've been thinking about this subject on and off, as I've tried different diets through the years. Although I've never tried it, I'm suspicious of veganism, because of the hype surrounding it, and the way it's often tied to this almost anorexic image that is idolized nowadays, and the soy scam etc. I'm afraid it's not beneficial to a lot of people's health (for some it's probably perfect), and therefore some amount of meat seems to me to be still required.

And with meat I mean non-CAFO, locally sourced, preferably organic meat. I think that's something everyone can agree on.

But how to find a balance between what's good for you and what's good for the climate? How much meat is enough to help to stay healthy, while at the same time not emitting too much greenhouse gases?

Recently I read this article on The Carbon Brief that some of you might be interested to read:

Quote
Reducing meat and dairy a ‘win-win’ for climate and health, says Chatham House

Governments are missing an opportunity to tackle climate change and improve public health by not addressing how much meat and dairy we consume, says a new report from thinktank Chatham House.

Consumption of meat and dairy products in many countries has risen beyond healthy levels, the report says, and emissions from rearing livestock mean growing meat demand will make it harder to keep global temperature rise below 2C.

Political leaders are “afraid of telling people what to eat”, says the authors, but the findings suggest the public may be less averse to changing their diets than governments fear.

Livestock emissions

As you can see in the chart below, consumption of meat and dairy products generally increases as a country’s national income rises. While this growth flattens off as earnings climb further, meat eating in many developed countries has plateaued at excessive levels, the report says.

The dotted line shows a healthy level of meat in our diets. On average, in Europe we eat around twice as much as we should, while in the US it’s three times.

This is bad for our waistlines and the climate, the report says.


Meat consumption per person (in kg per year) plotted against national average incomes (in US dollars per year). Includes intake of beef, pork, chicken and eggs. Dotted line shows healthy level. Source: Chatham House (2015).

(...)

An opportunity, not an impossibility

So, how much of a difference to global emissions could healthier diets make? Wellesley explains:

"A global shift to healthy diets, which for most would mean a reduction of meat consumption – a significant reduction in meat consumption – could bring a quarter of the emissions reductions needed [by 2050] to bring us back online for the 2C target."

You can see this in the chart from the report below. The dark blue line is the future emissions path based on the existing national pledges for cutting greenhouse gases emissions, while the pale blue line shows the reduction if the world shifted to the healthy levels of meat and dairy consumption. The grey line shows the path necessary for 2C.


Emissions reduction scenarios to 2050. Shows trajectory under current national pledges (dark blue line), with the additional of global healthy diets (pale blue), and for 2C. Source: Chatham House (2015).

But you needn’t rush out to stock up on sausages before they disappear from supermarket shelves, says Wellesley:

"We’re not in any way advising or advocating for global vegetarianism. It doesn’t need that. You can see a massive change and huge emissions reductions from just converging around healthy levels and moderating our intake."

For example, a study published in Nature Climate Change last year suggested that a global diet of no more than 24g of red meat a day, and no more than 85g of chicken, would save six billion tonnes of CO2e by 2050. For reference, the beef burger in a standard McDonalds hamburger weighs in at 33g.

Cutting back on meat and dairy has a dual benefit of improving global health as well as helping to limit climate change. This makes a “compelling case” for governments to encourage the public to shift their diets, Wellesley concludes:

"The key message here is that governments should see dietary change not as impossibility, but as an opportunity."

This article doesn't fully answer my questions (although it does state that 30 kg of meat per year is enough for one person's health, and that reducing consumption to those levels "could bring a quarter of the emissions reductions needed [by 2050]"). And just by using the word McDonald's, I'm tending to take those results with a grain of salt.  ;) Still, it says a few things about meat in connection to health and greenhouse gas emissions.

However, I like to push for limits. For that I most of all need to find out more about the health side of things. I simply don't know enough about that.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2015, 09:33:18 PM by Neven »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2015, 03:47:52 AM »
From the FOOD thread:

" Fischbeck, Michelle Tom, a Ph.D. student in civil and environmental engineering, and Chris Hendrickson, the Hamerschlag University Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, studied the food supply chain to determine how the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is affecting the environment. Specifically, they examined how growing, processing and transporting food, food sales and service, and household storage and use take a toll on resources in the form of energy use, water use and GHG emissions.

On one hand, the results showed that getting our weight under control and eating fewer calories, has a positive effect on the environment and reduces energy use, water use and GHG emissions from the food supply chain by approximately 9 percent.

However, eating the recommended "healthier" foods -- a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood -- increased the environmental impact in all three categories: Energy use went up by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and GHG emissions by 6 percent."

From this ScienceDirect posting
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151214130727.htm

And the paper
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10669-015-9577-y

And here is a rebuttal article:
No, Lettuce Is Not Worse For The Environment Than Bacon [if you don't use a per-calorie basis]
Quote
The issue is that the original Carnegie Mellon study on which the claim was based looked at energy, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions on a per calorie basis. Comparing lettuce to bacon is taking a high-calorie meat and comparing it with a low-calorie vegetable — it’s an unfair comparison. In order to equal the calories in two and a half strips of bacon, you would have to eat an entire head of lettuce. Since you have to eat more lettuce to equal the calories of bacon, you have to first grow more lettuce — and that lettuce is going to use more resources like water and energy.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/12/16/3732852/lettuce-bacon-meat-vegetables-climate/
« Last Edit: December 17, 2015, 04:19:47 AM by Sigmetnow »
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2015, 09:53:09 AM »
Does this Carnigie Mellon "lettuce vs bacon" stuff qualify for the #PeerReviewPublicityStunt prize?

I expect I would find it tecnically correct if I paid my way through the paywall but it has enabled Mogul Media to spread the big lie that veggie diets are worse than a meaty diets.

I found something similar when the Times reported  Tofu can harm environment more than meat, finds WWF study. See See Beef greenwash from the Times?:

Quote
Beef greenwash from the Times?
13th February, 2010

The Times Online has a piece dated, February 12,  with the headline Tofu can harm environment more than meat, finds WWF study:

Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu.

The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food.

The study by Cranfield University, commissioned by the environmental group WWF, found that many meat substitutes were produced from soy, chickpeas and lentils that were grown overseas and imported into Britain.

This study, How low can we go, was conducted for the WWF- UK and the Food Climate Research Network. The press release from the Food Climate Research Network actually says:

The report concludes that no one solution can reduce emissions by 70%. Both technological improvements and changes in our eating habits – a reduction in the consumption of meat and dairy products – will be needed. FCRN and WWF-UK are urging Government and industry decision makers to recognise that a focus on technology is not enough – food consumption patterns need to change too.

“cleverly written but very misleading”
14th February, 2010

NoBeef has received this from Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern one of the authors of How Low Can We Go

Dedicated meat-eaters who might have got the impression from The Times on 12 February that recent research is an environmental green light for meat eating will be disappointed. Anyone who studies the research report will see that the Times article was cleverly written but very misleading.

The research showed that the carbon footprint of UK food accounts directly for one fifth of the total footprint. This rises to nearly a third if account is taken of indirect connections to deforestation. It is dominated by emissions from the livestock sector. Livestock products directly account for nearly two-thirds of food greenhouse gas emissions while providing less than a third of food energy. Contrary to the impression in The Times, the research results and the authors’ conclusions clearly show that reducing livestock consumption offers the single most effective way of reducing the carbon footprint of our food consumption. Removing meat from the diet and replacing it with plant foods with similar protein contents reduces the carbon footprint of diet by one fifth. Removing all animal products remove nearly a third. For consumers, the desired direction of travel for helping the environment is clear – eat less meat and dairy products. Combining this with other measures, including using science and technology to improve farming, adds to the benefits.

The Times article ignored the report’s main results and conclusions and focused on a minor part of the study that looked at some potential but unlikely consequences of reducing meat consumption for land use. A low impact diet is a balanced diet – lower in livestock products than the average UK diet today, with more of a wide range of plant based foods – cereals, fruit and vegetables.

The report is available at www.wwf.org.uk, www.fcrn.org.uk and www.murphy-bokern.com

Dr Murphy-Bokern has also told NoBeef that the Global Warming Potential used for How Low Can We Go was the GWP100 value, i.e. 25. Some argue that a much higher figure should be used for the GWP of methane, even as high as 105 – see Soot makes methane even worse.  This would make the impact of livestock on climate significantly larger.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 01:19:36 PM by GeoffBeacon »
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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2015, 01:53:33 PM »
Latest from George Monbiot in the Guardian

Warning: your festive meal could be more damaging than a long-haul flight
Quote
"The figures were so astounding that I refused to believe them. A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than flying from London to New York."

It needs checking, of course.
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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2015, 04:06:08 PM »
Well one of the problems with the eat less meat and save the world movements is the following.  Rising affluence.  This goal of economic development - especially in the 3rd and developing world - runs smack into trying to convince folks to eat less meat.  They are incompatible with each other.

Raising affluence is just a non-workable idea if one is referring to doing this for a large population.  We need to focus on lowering the affluence of the wealthy while not raising it for the poor.  The poor do not want to live sustainably they want to live like the readers of this blog do.

Quote
...Chen is a slight 55-year-old with neatly parted black hair and wire-rim glasses. As president of Hypig Genetics, he oversees a 6,000-sow operation on several farms in the Filipino countryside. He wants to triple that number, in part by buying thoroughbred pigs from the U.S., where he says swine genetics is decades ahead of that in the Philippines. Chen says his family’s desire to expand quickly is based on potential as much as current demand. The gross domestic product per capita in the Philippines is about $2,900 a year. When it reaches $5,000, Chen predicts, demand for meat will explode. “We have to get ready,” he says.....

http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-pig-breeding/
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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2015, 04:18:35 PM »
Latest from George Monbiot in the Guardian

Warning: your festive meal could be more damaging than a long-haul flight
Quote
"The figures were so astounding that I refused to believe them. A kilogramme of beef protein reared on a British hill farm can generate the equivalent of 643kg of carbon dioxide. A kilogramme of lamb protein produced in the same place can generate 749kg. One kilo from either source, in other words, causes more greenhouse gas emissions than flying from London to New York."

It needs checking, of course.

Need to factor in how much methane I'd produce if all I ate was beans.   ;)

Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #26 on: January 04, 2016, 03:18:54 AM »
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Laurent

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2016, 11:41:26 AM »
Israeli veganism takes root in land of milk and honey
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-35400314
Quote

On a typical evening at Nanuchka, a popular Georgian restaurant in the middle of Israel's bustling Tel Aviv, music fills the air and alcohol flows freely.

Until a few years ago, Nanuchka was just a conventional Georgian pub serving traditional food like khachapuri, a cheesy bread, and khinkali, a meat-stuffed dumpling.

But then Nana Shrier, the flamboyant owner of the venue, where the walls are adorned with erotic art, became a strict vegan - in what is said to be the most vegan country in the world per capita.

She decided to convert her entire restaurant to a meatless and dairy-free establishment despite being advised against it by friends and business colleagues.

Israelis are flocking to it - and business is more successful than ever.
Image copyright Erica Chernofsky
Image caption Nana Shrier has seen business grow since converting her restaurant to vegan cuisine

For vegans, everything derived from animals is off-limits. Similar to - but stricter than - vegetarians, vegans do not eat eggs and cheese, or drink milk, and in some cases even avoid honey. Leather, wool and silk are forbidden.

Sitting at Nanuchka, eating a meal of vegan tsatsivi (where cauliflower is substituted for chicken), Nana says that consuming animals is both inhumane and unhealthy.

"I don't like it," she explains, scrunching her nose in disgust. "I feel the body of the animals in the steak, I feel the animal in the fillet, and the blood. I don't like it so much."
Image copyright Erica Chernofsky
Image caption A plate of vegan appetisers on the menu at Nana Shrier's restaurant
Image copyright Erica Chernofsky
Image caption The restaurant also serves a vegan version of the meat dish shawarma

Nana argues there is another benefit to veganism as well.

She says that sometimes, after eating a large steak, or a cheeseburger, for example, she feels tired and lethargic.

"When you eat vegan food, you have a lot of energy to do very good and nice things," she says with a coy smile.

When asked if she is implying that vegans have a better sex life than their meat-eating counterparts, she laughs heartily and says, "of course!"
Vegan soldiers

Veganism has become so prominent in Israel that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has started catering to followers in its ranks by offering vegan-friendly ration packs, non-leather boots and wool-less berets.

From an army base in southern Israel, Cpl Daniella Yoeli says the food is not exactly worth writing home about but she is happy to have the option of eating couscous and lentils over schnitzel and schwarma.
Image copyright Erica Chernofksy
Image caption The IDF meets the needs of vegan soldiers like Cpl Daniella Yoeli

She has always loved animals, she explains, and became a vegetarian as a child, converting to veganism only recently.

Her diet is so important to her that had the army not been able to provide conditions that had harmed no living creatures, she might not have enlisted in a combat unit where she would not have been able to provide her own food.

While a vegan combat soldier might seem contradictory, Yoeli politely disagrees.

"In Israel, in the army, what we do in our service is defend the citizens, so I don't think it's a paradox, " she says, M-16 rifle slung over her shoulder.

"Like I want to defend animals, I want to defend people, so this is why I'm in combat and this is why I'm in the army."
'Species revolution'

According to Omri Paz, the head of the Israeli organisation Vegan Friendly, 5% of Israelis are vegan and the number is growing. Israel boasts some 400 vegan-friendly restaurants, including the world's first vegan Domino's Pizza.
Image copyright Erica Chernofsky
Image caption Omri Paz: It's time to think about civil rights for animals

Mr Paz attributes the rise of veganism here to a YouTube video by US animal rights activist Gary Yourofsky, which garnered millions of hits worldwide, and more than a million in Israel alone, a lot for a country of only some eight million people.


Mr Yourofsky lectures about the cruelty of the meat industry and, controversially, compares the treatment of animals to the Nazi Holocaust.

Omri Paz says he watched the video and did not leave his room for a week. He says this is the civil rights issue of our century.

"Just like 300 years ago, blacks weren't equal to whites and that changed with time, and then 100 years ago with the women's revolution, so I think now, the 21st Century, is the animal species revolution," he says.

"Treating them not as humans, but not as slaves."

Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2016, 08:19:48 PM »
A Carbon Tax on Meat?
Health officials say taxing red meat could improve people's diets and lower greenhouse gas emissions, but economists say it won't work
Quote
A tax on carbon-intensive ground beef could make you think twice about eating a burger for dinner. But is it enough to make you eat a salad instead?

Even economists and public health co-authors of a new economic modeling study disagree on the answer.

In a new analysis, researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Reading collaborated to see how implementing a tax on foods like red meat that produce more greenhouse gases could help the environment and improve people’s health. They found that adding a tax could change consumer behavior, but the authors disagree about what the research actually means in the real world.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/a-carbon-tax-on-meat/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2016, 09:13:29 PM »
Tax Food, Not Just Fuel, to Save the Planet
U.K. researchers want to fight climate change in your belly—and maybe help you lose a few pounds, too.
Quote
In recent years, some policymakers have begun to treat CO2 cuts as a fringe benefit of programs aimed more directly at improving human health. Think of China's smog-choked cities. The primary motivation to clear the air is arguably that urban residents are fond of breathing, but the fringe benefit is the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

That's similar to the reasoning of the UK. paper's authors and that of a growing number of British voices (including the prominent think tank, Chatham House) drawing attention to the climate impact of food cultivation. The ideal is a single policy that could nail two targets: unhealthy eating and climate change. Basically, methane-belching cattle and sheep are pretty bad all the way around.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-03/tax-food-not-just-fuel-to-save-the-planet
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2016, 09:28:40 PM »
You Could Be Eating Lab-Grown Meat in Just Five Years
http://fortune.com/2016/02/02/lab-grown-memphis-meats/

Quote
Explains Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute, “Cultured meat is sustainable, creates far fewer greenhouse gases than conventional meat, is safer, and doesn’t harm animals. For people who want to eat meat, cultured meat is the future.”

While generating one calorie from beef requires 23 calories in feed, Memphis Meats plans to produce a calorie of meat from just three calories in inputs. The company’s products will be free of antibiotics, fecal matter, pathogens, and other contaminants found in conventional meat.
http://www.thegoodfoodinstitute.org/memphis-meats-cultured-meat-company-profiled
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2016, 01:38:43 PM »
The excellent Carbon Brief has an article Failure to tackle food demand could make 1.5C limit unachievable by Prof Tim Benton.

It's more-or-less sensible stuff by I get really uptight when academics are being softcore on climate. At one point he says

Quote
If we used the land growing feed to grow food, and ate only meat from pasture-fed animals, there is scope for very significant reductions in emissions.
My comment included

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Until we hear otherwise, I think we should assume that pasture-fed ruminants are terrible for the climate. They produce lots of methane and take up land that could be used for food crops or growing biomass for BECCS or if BECCS is too hard sinking the biomass in the ocean...

I just don't see how a cow roaming around producing 100 kgs of methane a year can be good for the world. That might convert into 10 tonnes CO2e per cow per year...

Is this grass fed stuff just a green fig leaf for the wealthier beef eaters?
Am I being irrational?
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2016, 03:29:44 PM »

Am I being irrational?

Nope.  No more than my assertion that we will turn to insects, like crickets, to provide more sustainable sources of protein.  But it's hard to get people past "This is the way it is, and 'always has been'" and change their mindset to "Let's go with this different, but better, way."
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2016, 02:06:27 AM »
The Netherlands’ New Dietary Guidelines Take Meat Off The Menu
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This week, the Netherlands Nutrition Centre — a government-funded program that creates dietary guidelines — issued a recommendation that people eat no more than two servings of meat per week. According to National Geographic, it’s the first time that the Nutrition Centre has placed a hard limit on the amount of meat a person should consume.

The Centre released its recommendations after nearly five years of studying the health and ecological impacts of an average Dutch diet. The new guidelines recommend that a person should consume no more than 500 grams (or a little over a pound) of meat per week. Of that, no more than 300 grams should be red meat, or what the Centre calls “high-carbon.” Instead, the guidelines recommend that people incorporate other sources of protein into their diets, from things like nuts or pulses.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/25/3763481/netherlands-cut-meat-consumption-climate/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2016, 01:23:26 PM »
Rice and greenhouse gases:

This Program Will Make Cutting Carbon Emissions Lucrative For Farmers
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When Mark Isbell, a third-generation rice farmer in central Arkansas, tallies up his profits for this year, he’ll count a few extra dollars from a unique source: the greenhouse gases that his 3,200-acre farm didn’t emit.

Isbell is part of a small group of farmers participating in a new project piloted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in conjunction with the USDA, and approved by the American Carbon Registry. The program encourages rice farmers in California and the Mid-South to adopt a series of greenhouse-gas mitigating practices on their fields by allowing them to cash in on the carbon emissions that they offset using California’s carbon market.
http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/30/3764290/carbon-trading-rice-methane-reductions/
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GeoffBeacon

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #35 on: April 01, 2016, 01:27:12 PM »
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #36 on: April 01, 2016, 07:16:42 PM »
Signetnow

Edible insects. Just been sent a link on edible insects

http://www.fcrn.org.uk/fcrn-blogs/wendylumcgill/edible-insects-food-and-feed-farming-micro-livestock-food-security-climate

Really, insects are too good a food source to ignore.  From the article:
Quote
Edible insects are a generally nutritious food, having similar amounts of protein to traditional livestock and high levels of micronutrients.
...
How does insect farming compare on an environmental basis with traditional livestock operations?

While livestock production, particularly cattle, produces a disproportionate amount of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the agricultural sector (approximately 14% of global emissions), most edible insects themselves emit almost no GHGs.

Generally speaking, edible insects have efficient feed-to-meat conversion ratios, even more so than poultry. What is more, many edible insects species thrive on food waste as a feed source. Water use in insect farming is minimal, both because of low water requirements in feed production, and because many insect species require little or no drinking water outside of the moisture found in their feed.

Last year, I finally broke down and bought my first bag of mealworms, to help out some nesting bluebirds.  Though I'd seen the mealworms in the bird food section of the store, I'd stayed away from them because I thought they looked gross -- even the cashier gave me a strange look.  But when I got home and opened the bag, I discovered they were dry, crunchy, and had a wonderful nutty aroma.  (No, I did not eat any!  Still, I feel much better now about handling them and feeding them to "my" wild critters.  :) )
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Paddy

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2016, 05:53:15 PM »
We have some pretty big trends towards a rise in consumption to reverse as regards meat: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/index4.html

At an individual level, we can do a fair bit by consuming less meat (and less dairy too). But at a population level, how do we effect  a change?  Cutting subsidies for beef and similarproduction may be one way...  but we'd be be up against some powerful lobbies in this battle.

Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2016, 02:50:03 AM »
We have some pretty big trends towards a rise in consumption to reverse as regards meat: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/index4.html

At an individual level, we can do a fair bit by consuming less meat (and less dairy too). But at a population level, how do we effect  a change?  Cutting subsidies for beef and similarproduction may be one way...  but we'd be be up against some powerful lobbies in this battle.

Right.  We need to make meat less desirable, and make options easier.
1. Surcharge/tax on meat
2. Public shaming
3. Encourage vegan fast food
4. Subsidize non-meat alternatives

I was surprised at the level of support for "vegan" (non-leather) Tesla car interiors.  Tesla not long ago made it available for their current models, and promises it for the future Model 3, as well.
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Neven

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2016, 09:46:47 AM »
We have some pretty big trends towards a rise in consumption to reverse as regards meat: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/3_foodconsumption/en/index4.html

At an individual level, we can do a fair bit by consuming less meat (and less dairy too). But at a population level, how do we effect  a change?  Cutting subsidies for beef and similarproduction may be one way...  but we'd be be up against some powerful lobbies in this battle.

Right.  We need to make meat less desirable, and make options easier.
1. Surcharge/tax on meat
2. Public shaming
3. Encourage vegan fast food
4. Subsidize non-meat alternatives

I was surprised at the level of support for "vegan" (non-leather) Tesla car interiors.  Tesla not long ago made it available for their current models, and promises it for the future Model 3, as well.

My number 1 would be disbanding of everything resembling CAFO. This will make meat automatically more expensive, no need to tax. My number 2 would be encouraging consumption of all parts of the animal, so less need to be reared and slaughtered, and those parts aren't used for very unhealthy, processed meats. My number 3 would be a higher tax on pets. It drives me crazy that our medium-sized dog eats more meat than all three of us combined.

CAFO should be publicly shamed, inhuman ways of killing animals should be publicly shamed. The rest is naive. Just by being alive, you're killing other creatures. Creatures kill other creatures non-stop. Vegan is a form of denial, a wishing away of this fact of life and death.

What's worse? Eating meat and killing a cow, or eating grains and killing thousands of earthworms and other subsoil creatures? A friend of mine who is a farmer says that tilling fields for grain kills more earthworms per weight than killing the animals that graze on that field.

I'm not sure about the vegan hype (besides the supposed moral superiority, and the fact that it is mainly industry marketing). It could cause health problems in a lot of people. Of course, the pharmaceutical industry can help with that, but that also creates costs, CO2 emissions and dependence.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2016, 06:10:05 PM »
"People who say it can not be done should not interrupt those who are doing it"
Like a moth to the flame
Some of you may be forced to grow , or try to grow , enough food to feed yourself  and your family someday. If you can't jump in the car and pick up a few bags of fertilizer how do you think your garden/farm is going to produce? If you think you can somehow produce enough compost( without animal manures) with enough nitrogen to keep your food supply going without killing the productivity of your soil maybe you can share your thoughts. 
 I have spent the last few days digging( with a shovel ) toxic plants like hemlock, star thistle, and fiddlehead out of my pastures with a shovel. I haven't used any herbicides on my farm for the fifteen years I have owned it. This process of annually removing toxic plants before they seed eventually yields a clean pasture that only requires patrolling the perimeter where wind will still carry in undesirables. If you are willing to forgo tractors , fossil fuel tillage as well as fossil fuel produced and transported fertilizers you most certainly won't be worried about dieting, more likely you will learn
about our old friend famine. I still believe with a knowledge of foraging acorns and nuts as well as growing a few pigs and chickens it is possible to achieve something very close to the zero fossil fuel farm I strive for but I don't believe there would be anything left over to feed the city folks down the road. When the day arrives that I am envisioning we won't have cities or worry too much about "public shame " inflicted on our efforts to feed ourselves. Man will have arrived at a place where we are few and far between and the rest of the world will be healthier for it.
 The rye grass reseeded itself this year even though it was bare dirt at the end of the summer. I didn't plow and it has formed seed heads so it will make pastures again next year when what ever rain we do get arrives comes spring 2017. We are five years into drought , wish me some luck please and keep the public shaming to a minimum.
   
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 06:25:20 PM by Bruce Steele »

Neven

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2016, 06:38:27 PM »
Good luck, Bruce.

Now that my wife and I start to garden more and more, we see how difficult it is to be completely self-sufficient. We already knew/suspected it theoretically, but now we're starting to see it in practice. I've also talked about this with my grandfather in Croatia who knew that old friend famine very well.

All I know, is that you have to cycle and re-cycle biomass and its nutrients. Nothing should leave the compound. If people want food/biomass from you, they should give some biomass/turd in return.

There's a book about doing this without animals that I wanted to buy, but I haven't yet. Found it on my Amazon wish list: Growing Green: Animal-Free Organic Techniques

But here's a book that changed some of my thinking about meat: The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2016, 09:22:52 PM »
...
My number 1 would be disbanding of everything resembling CAFO. This will make meat automatically more expensive, no need to tax. My number 2 would be encouraging consumption of all parts of the animal, so less need to be reared and slaughtered, and those parts aren't used for very unhealthy, processed meats. My number 3 would be a higher tax on pets. It drives me crazy that our medium-sized dog eats more meat than all three of us combined.

Neven (and Bruce),
It's wonderful that you have a plot of arable land, and the ability to produce food from it.  I appreciate your approach "from the ground up."

My personal belief is that in the future, animal husbandry will eventually be limited to small-scale efforts such as yours.  And therefore that such meat will be scarce and expensive, much like fine wine.  :)   For ordinary consumption, there will be cheaper "lab-grown" meat (i.e., pure muscle tissue) available as an alternative (along with plant substitutes, of course).

Until that time, those without access to land, thinking from the "top, down" and desiring to reduce today's extensive consumption of animal products, can do little but try to make them less socially desirable to the common person, and as an everyday meal. Decrease the demand, to decrease the market, to decrease the total animal stock.  Even if the movement begins as a "fad," it can grow to be a substantial force in the market.  Kind of like electric vehicles.  ;)
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #43 on: April 07, 2016, 02:56:11 AM »
New study involving earthworms:

Earthworms Increase Soils’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions
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Most earthworms may be tiny, but a new study suggests their impact on the climate could be mighty.

Researchers had long assumed the creepy crawlers help store carbon in soils by consuming fallen leaves and other decaying plant matter, which they deposit in soil in their cast, or droppings. But newer studies suggest the worms may actually increase soils' output of two key greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

A new meta-analysis, published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the presence of earthworms appears to increase soils' output of CO2 by 33 percent and of nitrous oxide by 42 percent.
...
The current crop of studies suggest that earthworms that live in the upper layer of soil eat leaves, crop residues and other plant matter. When they excrete the remains, their droppings provide a feast for soil microbes that emit nitrous oxide. Their burrowing and churning also mixes plant matter into the dirt, where it decays and produces carbon dioxide.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/earthworms-increase-soils-greenhouse-gas-emissions-study-finds-15549
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2016, 04:03:46 PM »
At Tampa Bay farm-to-table restaurants, you’re being fed fiction
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It’s not just Boca. At Pelagia Trattoria at International Plaza, the “Florida blue crab” comes from the Indian Ocean.

Mermaid Tavern in Seminole Heights shouts “Death to Pretenders” on its menu, but pretends cheese curds are homemade and shrimp are from Florida.

At Maritana Grille at the Loews Don CeSar, chefs claim to get pork from a farmer who doesn’t sell to them.

This is a story we are all being fed. A story about overalls, rich soil and John Deere tractors scattering broods of busy chickens. A story about healthy animals living happy lives, heirloom tomatoes hanging heavy and earnest artisans rolling wheels of cheese into aging caves nearby.

More often than not, those things are fairy tales. A long list of Tampa Bay restaurants are willing to capitalize on our hunger for the story.
http://www.tampabay.com/projects/2016/food/farm-to-fable/restaurants/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #45 on: May 03, 2016, 01:32:43 AM »
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #46 on: May 03, 2016, 05:25:56 AM »
Farm to fable.    Ok the restaurants stretch the truth. They also are seriously feeding fantasy. It is hard to quantify a good meal , but a good chef is a special thing and a good meal memorable forever.
How did they cook your meal ? that is always a bit of a mystery. Where did they source their produce ?
 O.K. Local produce should taste better but when that isn't the case due to weather,season ,or pestilence I hope the chefs I work with know to fill in as best they can. I try to grow the best products I can supply, good chefs turn those products into meals hopefully memorable and the customer hopefully can trust farmers/fishermen and a local chef for their best efforts. The further you get away from those  people  the further from the truth you may be. So grow as much of your food you can and enjoy cooking what you produce. When you go out expect something special, 
 I like to believe there are solutions to things and the farm to fable article forgot that part.
The plastic wrapped meal at the supermarket is very far away from the farmers or the cooks. When you support good local restaurants you may be helping a few small farmers to survive. When you grow and cook some of your own food you can appreciate the effort that went into a memorable meal.   

Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #47 on: May 17, 2016, 08:27:56 PM »
“You vote for an elected official every few years, but you vote for political conscience three times a day.”

Climatarian, vegavore, reducetarian: Why we have so many words for cutting back on meat
http://grist.org/food/climatarian-vegavore-reducetarian-why-we-have-so-many-words-for-cutting-back-on-meat/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2016, 03:55:08 PM »
China just said what the U.S. never has: Eat less meat
http://grist.org/food/china-just-said-what-the-u-s-never-has-eat-less-meat/
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Meat and greenhouse gases
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2016, 09:43:42 PM »
Tweeting the right news, but to the wrong audience.

Bayer crop unit apologizes to farmers after Twitter gaffe
Quote
Bayer AG's crop science division apologized on Monday for a tweet that suggested reduced meat demand could benefit the environment, in a bid to appease outraged farmers who buy the company's seeds and chemicals.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-bayer-crops-tweet-idUSKCN0Z623O
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