andrew schneider investigates

September 8, 2008

Meat-eaters cause environmental mayhem

Filed under: Environmental health issues,Food - good, bad, weird — Andrew Schneider @ 10:28

Vegetarians are just going to love this one.

The United Nation’s chief climate expert, Rajendra Pachauri, says that the tasty beef roast on your dining table is the source of many of the world’s environmental woes, in particular those involved in the dangerous warming of the planet’s climate.

Give up meat – at least for one day a week – and we can help to save the Earth, Pachauri says.

Nor is Pachauri, the chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, alone in his complaints. A host of campaigners have united to condemn meat-eaters for bringing environmental mayhem to the world, Robin McKie and Caroline Davies from London’s Guardian Newspaper reported yesterday.

‘The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future,” warned Worldwatch Institute and listed the harm we meat eaters cause to deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.

I wonder whether eating your meat rare is better for the environment?

The Brits, of course, say the United States is the biggest offender, backing the charge with this comment from Raj Patel, author of “Stuffed and Served.”

“The average meat eater in the US produces about 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide more than a vegetarian every year. That’s because animals are hungry and the grain they eat takes energy, usually fossil fuels, to produce,” he says.

The top UN climatologist explain the value of his one-day-a-week meat ban:

“In terms of immediacy of action and the feasibility of bringing about reductions in a short period of time, it clearly is the most attractive opportunity,” said Pachauri, an Indian economist and a vegetarian. “Give up meat for one day [a week] initially and decrease it from there,” he added.



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