Published on August 31st, 2007 | by Noelle dEstries

Are You A Meat-Eating Environmentalist?

The facts point out that your juicy sirloin steak is worse for the environment than your SUV. But does that mean we really need to put our forks down? Why can’t we still fight global warming while eating a cheeseburger — it’s better to be a meat-eating environmentalist than nothing at all. Amen. Dead flesh for everyone! From the New York Times Article:

EVER since “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore has been the darling of environmentalists, but that movie hardly endeared him to the animal rights folks. According to them, the most inconvenient truth of all is that raising animals for meat contributes more to global warming than all the sport utility vehicles combined.

The biggest animal rights groups do not always overlap in their missions, but now they have coalesced around a message that eating meat is worse for the environment than driving. They and smaller groups have started advertising campaigns that try to equate vegetarianism with curbing greenhouse gases.

Some backlash against this position is inevitable, the groups acknowledge, but they do have scientific ammunition. In late November, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization issued a report stating that the livestock business generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined.

When that report came out, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups expected their environmental counterparts to immediately hop on the “Go Veggie!” bandwagon, but that did not happen. “Environmentalists are still pointing their fingers at Hummers and S.U.V.’s when they should be pointing at the dinner plate,” said Matt A. Prescott, manager of vegan campaigns for PETA.

So the animal rights groups are mobilizing on their own. PETA is outfitting a Hummer with a driver in a chicken suit and a vinyl banner proclaiming meat as the top cause of global warming. It will send the vehicle to the start of the climate forum the White House is sponsoring in Washington on Sept. 27, “and to headquarters of environmental groups, if they don’t start shaping up,” Mr. Prescott warned.

Source: New York Times

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  • Jayde

    Am i an environmentalist? YEAH! Do i eat meat? Absolutely. And by the way, my first thought, okay, so cows are worse for the environment than that SUV down the street, and that Hummer your friend has. But if we don’t eat the cows, aren’t there just going to be more of them? Please excuse my arrogance and ignorance if I and totally of key here, but don’t you see my point?

  • If so-called environmentalists are not ready to give up animal products for the sake of the planet, then I don’t know what they are willing to do. Surely not eating poison is the easiest thing one could do. The real truth is that mainstream environmentalist is terribly shy of saying the truth and asking people to change their behaviour, that’s why it focuses on government rather than people. It won’t lead us anywhere, though.

  • Carmelo

    I find watchdog316’s comment totally offensive. Granted this back and forth was a while back, but I just happened upon this while searching for something else. I am a vegetarian. My family and friends are mostly vegetarians and some vegans. We live in Nebraska. I do not talk like that, and no one that I know from Nebraska talks like that. Nebraska is in the midwest, correct? People in the midwest are far more likely to be turned off by the likes of comments such as yours than suggestions that meat intake be curbed to help the planet. You aren’t even a vegetarian, so obviously we rednecked yokels that you enjoy demeaning care more and try harder than you. I don’t believe for a second that you get ill when you quit eating meat. You are just selfish. BTW, I would love to know where you live so I can know what part of the world is currently in need of my scorn.

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  • Congradulations for the blog feature.

  • I forgot to…rant about the double standard.

    When a meat-eater’s diet makes them ill, people blame it on personal diet;”Must have been something in the meat”,”He doesn’t eat enough”,”His dietlacks variety”.

    When a Veg*n’s diet makes him or her ill, people blame it on Veganism.”The human body needs meat”,” It’s that damned hippie food of yours!”,”Here. Have my hamburger.”

    It’s ridiculous and unfair. Don’t keep eating slaughtered creatures, under the assumption that you need meat, when,in truth, your Veg*n diet probably just poorly constructed.

    In case my stance is misconstrued, I asure you that this is nothing against you. I don’t argue against people. I argue against ideas and behaviors.

  • “I turst Robert, you forgo all dairy products as well, if not, the pot is calling the kettle black.”

    Your trust is well placed. I’m 100% Vegan.

    “Both times I have attempted to quit eating meat I have become extremely ill.”

    I’ve heard that before, and, athough I believe you, I am convinved that it is not based on a permanent physiological addiction to animal products. I went Vegan the moment I witness animal cruelty face to face. I understand that it may not be the same for everyone, but I have a hard time believing that the human body can have a NEED for animal products, considering that the human body is better suited for a plant-based diet.

    “Although we think we are one, and we act as if we are one, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”

    ~William C.Roberts, M.D., editor, American Journal of Cardiology

  • watchdog316

    Both times I have attempted to quit eating meat I have become extremely ill. As I mentioned I have cut back, by the way my new diet has paid off. My blood pressure is now 112/80 pulse 72. I don’t view myself as a hypocrit, no. You are right although we need to move rapidly on the issues before us. I am a pessimist, I will continue to write about this issue, battle for action to be done. I believe however this planet is in for a real bad ride, one that I will sadly have to witness. I turst Robert, you forgo all dairy products as well, if not, the pot is calling the kettle black.

    Coming to you life from a redneck haven. I have a sign in my yard that says a republican vote equals, then an image of the consitution going through a shredder, with the Bill of Rights and arrows written to the side. Also, a ghost figure with faith written on it going through a hatch in an old fashion hanging tree, the caption ‘and religion two. I am really surprised I have not awaken to a bruning cross in my yard. My writings, depending on where they are sent, play to different audiences. It is unwise to quote Shakespeare, when a Jeff Foxworthy joke will illict more action for the cause. This battle still needs numbers to be carried, something you should not discredit, targeting audiences is a needed aspect in the craft of persuasion.

  • LOL; Redneck jokes are as funny as they are offensive.

    With all do respect, we don’t have time to wait for the dense people to get it one issue at a time. We have to tackle these issues in parallel.

    If the environmental organizations really are ignoring this, they’re being hypocritical or, more likely, scared.

    I’m going to make a Current TV pod about this, as soon as I get a hold of a good camcorder.

    “I will never quit eating meat.”-watchdog316

    …So…You admit that you care more about your taste buds than about the environment, watchdog? coughhypocritcough

  • watchdog316

    I see this as a negative campaign. We have enough difficulty convincing Midwesterns that global warming and climate change exist. Which means we can hardly get them to change a light bulb let alone forgo a T-bone. No the masses will see this as,”see ma, I tol ya them crazie t-huggers done lost der mind. Now they say Besty is causing the storms. Deh add going join up with the PETA people too, hurry up ma. Fix me a steak, I’s going hunten and kill me something.” Yee-Haw, I’s going to hab my works cut out for me know here.

    I have nothing agaisnt Vegans, personally I have reduced my meat intake, and have a lot of neat recipes for vegatable dishes. Although, and I consider myself an environmentalist, firt rate, I will never quit eating meat.

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