While there are many environmental and ethical reasons to criticize industrial forms of livestock production, there are no valid reasons to shun the rearing of livestock in general.
How are we going to feed an increasingly hungry planet, without crippling the life support systems on which we depend? It’s an existentially important question, the solution to which will require action on a myriad of fronts.
The polarisation of the meat debate is driving a dangerous divide between people united by the same aim: saving the planet. We need to stop demonising and start collaborating. Whether we choose to eat animal protein or not, the thing that really matters is that we think about our food choices. Forget omnivore, flexitarian, vegetarian, vegan – we should all be united as thoughtful eaters.
Clearly, mainstream meat production needs much improvement. But this is precisely why faux meats are such a distraction. They get people like Bill Gates and other techies all excited. This siphons the energy, media attention and money away from the work that really needs to be done to fix agriculture. We need all hands on deck to transform mainstream agriculture from extractive to regenerative.
It is foolish to lose the knowledge of animal husbandry and butchering skills. It is only a matter of time when we (in consumer cultures) will need and rely directly on them again. In the meantime, if we choose to eat meat and animal products, we should support those who are caring for their animals humanely and sustainably, who are reintegrating these farming skills and services into our local economies, and who are helping to build or sustain a resilient local food system.
Around 300 visitors have come to UC Elkus Ranch in Half Moon Bay for its annual Sheep to Shawl event when the farm gates are opened wide to anyone interested in getting a glimpse of the agrarian life.
Incorporating the views of communities that are often at the bottom of the pyramid, and whose voices are rarely heard in sustainability strategies is key to their success. One such inclusive technology in Kenya is the Index-Based Insurance (IBLI), an innovative tool against drought losses in Kenya that seeks to cushion pastoralist communities from the frequent spates of drought…
How have we allowed the public debate to conflate 100% plant-based diets with saving the planet? And in so doing, how on earth has the humble cow come to have taken 90% of the flak for global warming?
Virtually all of these papers and the FAO’s figure of 14.5 percent are flawed because they employ a formula for equating the climate impact of methane emissions with that of carbon dioxide— through the unit known as “CO2 equivalent “— which is highly misleading.
We are causing irreparable damage to the planet: we need to use our food buying power to support producers who are not causing it. It’s an incredibly empowering thing to do as a citizen; to use your money to support a more sustainable food future.
These so-called “default” livestock don’t compete for food with humans: they are fed on matter that humans can’t or won’t eat, mostly grass, leaves and waste materials, which they turn into food for humans.
We should focus our interest into the transition to a sustainable and regenerative food and agriculture system. Such a system would exclude or substantially reduce those foods which are wasteful regardless if those are eggs from caged hens or asparagus flown from one side of the globe to the other.