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Environmental impact of the meat industry



  • I think punkdoc has put it all in perspective:  we have a responsibility to the future, even if we won't be here to see it.  And it isn't just about population growth, or completely doing away with meat - it is a balance to be struck, and we can all play a part by cutting down on the meat we consume (and being more aware of the source of the meat, such as local, grass-fed etc where possible) and looking to take responsibility as individuals.
     It has happened and is happening with plastic - highlighted by Sir David Attenborough,  we are now more conscious of the need to amend our behaviour.
    No-one can save the planet on their own.  But then, a journey starts with one small step that leads to an ultimate destination. 
    If we care that the destination ought to be improving our world, then we can surely make those small steps?
  • steveTusteveTu Posts: 671
    edited November 2019
    I didn't see where it catered for rotation or some way to stop degradation though. So maybe the arable usage figures are understated by a factor?

    Don't you think that most people were aware of the issues before it reached the headlines, but saw it in a different way?  We have a throwaway society - and manufacturers can't build stuff to last - as things are now changing tooooooo fast.
    You all have some form of electronic device as you are here - how many models do you own or have you owned of any given device? Three phones? A few laptops? How many radios? How many TVs?
    Things, things and more things and I'm as bad as anyone else. A radio in every room. Three old phones in the drawer. Umpteen chargers for devices I no longer have (why not just one universal chargers - think of the saving in that alone).
    If you go back 100 years, the horse/ox were the dominant beasts of burden (and had been since...well, since man settled and farmed) - and they caused their own issues (horse manure in big cities was a major, major issue) - but then things started to change ('things' had been generally static for 1000's of years - horse for transport, carts, swords, open fires). Technology fathered technology and computerisation has speeded everything up 1000 fold. Horse and carts 150 years back - people didn't travel - my great great grandparents probably never moved more than 20 miles from the place of their birth - then  the car threw open travel to the populace - even the poorest in our society. So if horse manure was a problem, when personal transport was used by the better off - why did no one think that the 'excrement' of a car would not pose a problem when it was used by the whole population?
    Everything is cause and effect. We are seeing an effect. But to change the effect needs thought - or else you simply run the risk of creating another effect that is worse than the original. Pile of horse manure anyone?

    UK - South Coast Retirement Campus (East)
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,165
    Hexagon said:
    Hostafan1 said:
    The future is insect based protein scientists can make it taste like meat, yum yum!
    surely insects are technically meat?
    No, because we eat the entire insect. Meat is muscle, doesn't include bones and tendons.
    I stand corrected. 
    I remember sitting on a long coach trip in Cambodia and a child happily tucking into a big bag of deep fried crickets. I tried one once at a night market in Chiang Rai . I'd not get into a fight to have another, but  it tasted ok.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,495
    There's an article in The Telegraph this morning saying that the BBC program was dishonest and misleading...

    ... Livestock farmers have a hard enough time of it without having to justify their existence against the power and reach of a BBC documentary effectively urging people not to buy their products any more. On Monday, the programme Meat: A Threat to our Planet, purported to show the damage inflicted on the global environment by livestock practices. The film showed how the Amazonian rainforest had been felled in places for grazing and said British consumers were contributing to this state of affairs by eating Brazilian beef. But imports from Brazil amount to just one per cent of the total, with more than 90 per cent from the EU, mainly Ireland. The fact is that British farmers have a very good, sustainable story to tell that risks being completely undermined by the BBC. In our increasingly urbanised society, many viewers will imagine that the intensive farming methods depicted in the documentary are used here when they aren’t. Many British farmers are producing local food in an environmentally friendly way and should be encouraged – not vilified. The presenter Liz Bonnin and the BBC said the aim was to help consumers make “an informed choice” but this sort of alarmism will help no one
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,934
    I totally agree with that article in the Telegraph
    ... it confirms what I said earlier

    Most of the figures used by the anti-meat lobby relate to the Americas.  
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • If anyone forms opinions based on stuff produced by the BBC, they really need to think again. 
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 16,495
    So do I Dove, there’s a lot of difference in the thinking from town folk to country folk.

    Not even worth talking about America, Trump’s pulled out of the Paris agreement and says he’ll do all he can to ‘make America great’ at whatever cost to the environment, So that’s everyone else stuffed.  
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • But Trump stands up for Hong Kong demonstrators, Donald is an enigma with his love of the USA.
  • The programme specifically referenced the huge meat consumption in the USA and the degradation of the Amazonian rain forest.  It did not compare that production with the UK.  I think the Telegraph article and the farming community concerns probably stem from the fact that so many people are far removed from any form of animal husbandry.  Meat comes plastic wrapped in the supermarket.  One form of meat production is as good or as bad as another - a complete disconnect.
    I am lucky to live in Devon.  I am attuned to good farming practices and to the high welfare standards generally.  I suspect that those in urban environments are not, and in that respect, the programme may have done a disservice to our farmers by not highlighting the differences that I take for granted.
  • AlchemistAlchemist OxfordPosts: 221
    I’ve been reading this thread with interest. I find this matter had been a concern for many decades now.  The book, diet for a small planet published in 1970’s (outside this charged time’s) which I’ve had since 90’s is a great read and the updated one is even better. Here the environmental economics / calorie cost of obtaining nutrients from plants vs animal source is explained. This book certainly convinced me in no uncertain terms that mass meat consumption (carbon aside) is still bad in many ways.
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