The other green challenge: Animal agriculture

Thanks for your recent special section on sustainability [Nov. 18 Xpress]. I appreciated all of the suggestions about how to be green. However, I'm disappointed that you decided to omit any information about the human activity that is the largest contributor to global warming — raising animals for food.

It's time to stop ignoring the fact that our habit of eating animals is killing the planet. In 2006, a United Nations report concluded that animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gases — more than all forms of transportation combined. Recently, two World Bank experts reanalyzed that data and determined that livestock and their byproducts actually cause 51 percent of worldwide greenhouse-gas emissions.

University of Chicago research shows that if we want to reduce the impact we have on global warming, we're better off switching to a vegetarian diet than switching to a Prius. Patrick Brown, a Stanford University biochemist, states that our planet cannot withstand our current eating habits and says the solution is to eliminate animal farming.

Nicholas Stern, London School of Economics professor and a leading authority on global warming, argues that humans must move toward a vegetarian diet if climate change is to be stopped or even slowed down.  Andreas Troge, head of Germany's federal environmental agency, suggests that people should drastically reduce their animal consumption in order to reduce their contribution to global warming.

Even Al Gore finally admitted that meat-eaters are greatly responsible for increased global carbon emissions.

The science is in. There is no question about it: Eating animal products is incredibly detrimental to the environment. So if you want to find a healthy, inexpensive, compassionate and easy way to be green, try a plant-based diet. There are countless cookbooks and thousands of Web sites that will guide you on this positive and liberating journey.

— Leslie H. Armstrong
Asheville

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9 thoughts on “The other green challenge: Animal agriculture

  1. Jason

    If human activity accounts for the biggest negative impact on the environment, and one is interested in reversing our environmental impact, then it seems most logical thing to do is not to stop eating animals, but to stop reproducing.

    http://www.vhemt.org/

  2. Matt Mercy

    Well I’m confused. “The science is in”?

    Why are Phil Jones and other IPCC-referenced scientists stepping down over the leaked e-mails? Why did they destroy all their data if global warming is bona-fide?

    Stop eating meat? Stop reproducing? Pay a tax on CO2? Buy carbon credits from Al Gore and Ken Lay? End national sovereignty and impose a global government to enforce it all?

    Please connect the dots. It sounds like there are some people out there who want to rule the world.

  3. Matt Mercy

    Jason:

    At least you are at the point where you acknowledge the depopulation agenda. What you don’t know is that it isn’t about saving the Earth. At the top, there are the eugenicists, Luciferians, and transhumanists who want to reduce the human population to make it more manageable to rule over.

    Good luck with VHEMT, but the above-mentioned people who put that idea in your head have NO INTENTION of becoming extinct.

  4. Piffy!

    Oh boy! More nonsense from people who have no idea how a farm works, and who buy their groceries at the store.

  5. mtndow

    Why does Stewart David seem to have pre-emptive access to opinion/letters columns of the MX? He and his pack of PETA-pals are clogging the arteries of mountain expression. Last week I had to switch off 88.1FM as he started bleeding onto the airways. I can understand his fear of animals. I’ve been kicked by a horse, stepped on by by cattle and pecked by poultry. Frigg’n plants just stand there before the slaughter/harvest. I like food that can fight back. Back to the point. Let’s give Dave “meatless” Stew-art his very own MX PETA page every week. Then, we that choose to can, skip his manure and read about our neighbors other concerns.

  6. joeinmadco

    Please tell me that publishing four letters from the same agriculture-ignorant, extremist faction was an embarrassing oversight. Otherwise I’ll just assume that the editors are extremely biased, or that no one else writes to MX and therefore they publish what they can get. Or maybe its some kind of sad ploy to increase pageviews and ad clicks. No matter what, it looks bad.

  7. Piffy!

    Wow. Avoiding Factory Farmed meat is more environmentally friendly than buying a brand new car? Shocking!!

    what a great example of the kinds of false dichotomies these people love to use to try and make their dietary choice seem like a big deal.

    What next? The shocking news that locally-grown broccoli might be better for you than a deep fried snickers bar shipped from China?

  8. Jon Elliston

    joeinmadco:

    You asked whether publishing these letters was an oversight. No, it was intentional. We publish all letters that meet our criteria. If, in a given week, several readers write about one topic, then we publish all of their letters.

    Jon Elliston
    Mountain Xpress

  9. Stewart David

    mtndow,

    I was on WNCW, 88.7, not WCQS, 88.1. If you know anyone who has an open mind and would like to hear why environmentalists don’t eat meat, here’s a link to the show, which aired on 11-22:

    http://www.oursoutherncommunity.org/showarchives.htm

    You need to calm down and quit making silly assumptions. I’ve been around animals all of my adult life, and have rescued and cared for goats, horses, cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys. I’m not fearful of them, I just belive in compassion. You seem to be filled with fear…of change.

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