Meat eating and the environment – again
The Ecologist recently published an interview with Jonathan Safran Froer, author of Eating Animals, entitled “Environmentalists who eat meat have a blind spot”.
But Froer isn’t that cut and dry when it comes to meat eating and being an environmentalist. He avoids purist, all-or-nothing approaches to the argument and I agree. Ideals are goals, not things that should be either lived up to or cast aside:
Oh I can’t be bothered to be a vegan, so f-it, let’s go to Micky D’s… besides George Monbiot says it’s OK now.
Froer just thinks adopting a vegetarian diet is the simplest way to contribute less to factory farming – an industry that is damaging the environment and human health in myriad ways (think extreme water waste, pollution from industrial fertilizers, not to mention contributing massively to climate change).
From the Ecologist interview:
…this is the wrong argument to have because you end up ignoring what is right in front of us which is that 50 billion animals are factory-farmed every year. It’s the number one cause of global warming, it’s responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than everything else put together and the UN has said it’s one of the top two or three causes of every single environmental problem on the planet. It’s making our antibiotics less effective…
Personally I’ve never said you can’t be an environmentalist and eat meat. That’d be an uninformed blanket statement. Many of the first American conservationists were in fact hunters. Hell, even rabid anti-vegetarian, aging right wing rocker Ted Nugent hasn’t “bought a domestic piece of flesh in about 30 years”. He loves shooting things too much. Say what you like about “The Nuge” – after all, he is kind of an a-hole for talking smack about Sir Paul, among countless other things. But in this case his environmental footprint is looking pretty good.
Check out this short video interview with Jonathan Safran Froer from New York Public Radio for more on why you might want to stop, or at least cut down on meat eating: