Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
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efarmer wrote:"Taste the sizzling fury of fajita skillet death you marauding zombie goon!"
RedStateGreen wrote:For a time, meat, dairy products, and leather will become very expensive, until the model changes to grassfed meats. It will balance out in the end. Demand destruction at the high prices might get us all eating healthier!
Ainan wrote:Is anyone else a vegetarian and just laughing? I read a great article on meat consumption around the world yesterday: (...)
Two of the main topics regarding the U.S. right now are the energy crisis and health care.
Although these subjects may seem completely unrelated, our dependence on fossil fuels and swelling health care costs share a common bond: animal products.
I know what you’re thinking, “Oh great, another lesson on why people should be vegetarians.” If you have no care for animal cruelty, then the major dent meat consumption puts on our wallets should serve as an incentive to practice moderation.
According to sustainabletable.org, the food industry consumes about ten percent of all U.S.
energy resources. Products produced from animals require more energy to produce than fruits, potatoes, grains and vegetables. Animal feed, transportation, land, machinery and chemicals are all part of this production process.
“The energy return ratio (as food energy per fossil energy expended) of the most energy efficient factory farming of meat is 34.5 percent, while that of the least energy efficient plant food is 328 percent,” said Fiorella Gardella during a seminar for Global Sustainability at the University of California.
In essence, we use more energy to create less energy for ourselves. This only wastes money and resources.
More energy is wasted through health care required for many people who over induldge in meat consumption.
“I am worried about the quality of meat, where it is coming from and who handles it. I think, as Americans, we really do not care whether or not our meat is of quality as long as it tastes good,” said Jon Hansen, a junior history major.
Some may not even care that different steroids and antibiotics are pumped into livestock to increase growth and growth speed so the factory farming industry can profit from a timely product output. But once the livestock is used, those steroids and antibiotics do not simply disappear. The National Center for Health Statistics shows that the top two causes of death in the U.S. are heart disease and cancer: both can result from the fatty and chemically enhanced animal products that we eat.
This does not mean that eating beef, chicken and pork has to be completely stopped. For you meat lovers, there is still hope.
According to Dr. Henry of the American Dietetic Association, a registered dietician, “...we should not wait until the problem has occurred. However, it is not just the food. We must take into consideration our stress, exercise, food and other factors. But if you are asking if America as a country consumes too much meat for our own good, the answer is absolutely yes.”
“There are both pros and cons to eating meat. Meat is a great source of digestible iron, protein, vitamin B12 and other nutrition. However, the portion size of meat tends to be too big and the meat is too high in fat. Unfortunately, it is human nature to use in excess,” said Paula Koziol, a registered nurse.
If we can decrease the excessive amount of factory-farmed meat we consume, companies will be forced to slow down production. Animals will be given the space and time to grow naturally. The smaller the demand of meat, the better coverage at the doctor’s office and the less money spent at the gas pump. America needs a diet for both its physical and economic health.
People will need to consider turning vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming.
In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”
Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.
Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.
He predicted that people’s attitudes would evolve until meat eating became unacceptable. “I think it’s important that people think about what they are doing and that includes what they are eating,” he said. “I am 61 now and attitudes towards drinking and driving have changed radically since I was a student. People change their notion of what is responsible. They will increasingly ask about the carbon content of their food.”
Lord Stern, a former chief economist of the World Bank and now I. G. Patel Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, warned that British taxpayers would need to contribute about £3 billion a year by 2015 to help poor countries to cope with the inevitable impact of climate change.
He also issued a clear message to President Obama that he must attend the meeting in Copenhagen in person in order for an effective deal to be reached. US leadership, he said, was “desperately needed” to secure a deal.
He said that he was deeply concerned that popular opinion had so far failed to grasp the scale of the changes needed to address climate change, or of the importance of the UN meeting in Copenhagen from December 7 to December 18. “I am not sure that people fully understand what we are talking about or the kind of changes that will be necessary,” he added.
Up to 20,000 delegates from 192 countries are due to attend the UN conference in the Danish capital. Its aim is to forge a deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently to prevent an increase in global temperatures of more than 2 degrees centigrade. Any increase above this level is expected to trigger runaway climate change, threatening the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
Lord Stern said that Copenhagen presented a unique opportunity for the world to break free from its catastrophic current trajectory. He said that the world needed to agree to halve global greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 25 gigatonnes a year from the current level of 50 gigatonnes.
UN figures suggest that meat production is responsible for about 18 per cent of global carbon emissions, including the destruction of forest land for cattle ranching and the production of animal feeds such as soy.
Lord Stern, who said that he was not a strict vegetarian himself, was speaking on the eve of an all-parliamentary debate on climate change. His remarks provoked anger from the meat industry.
Jonathan Scurlock, of the National Farmers Union, said: “Going vegetarian is not a worldwide solution. It’s not a view shared by the NFU. Farmers in this country are interested in evidence-based policymaking. We don’t have a methane-free cow or pig available to us.”
On average, a British person eats 50g of protein derived from meat each day — the equivalent of a chicken breast or a lamb chop. This is a relatively low level for a wealthy country but between 25 per cent and 50 per cent higher than the amount recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Su Taylor, a spokeswoman for the Vegetarian Society, welcomed Lord Stern’s remarks. “What we choose to eat is one of the biggest factors in our personal impact on the environment,” she said. “Meat uses up a lot of resources and a vegetarian diet consumes a lot less land and water. One of the best things you can do about climate change is reduce the amount of meat in your diet.”
The UN has warned that meat consumption is on course to double by the middle of the century.
rangerone314 wrote:If global warming is considered either moot or not a problem, then how about the 5,000 gallons water it takes to produce one pound of meat?
Or about 10 lbs of feed, like corn, to make a pound of meat?
Farting cows is one thing, but fresh water is an issue, and so is that fact that we are using so much land to feed animals.
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