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Fri Jun 1, 2018, 12:43 PM

Avoiding Meat and Dairy is 'Single Biggest Way' to Reduce Your Impact on Earth

This discussion thread was locked as off-topic by Chemisse (a host of the Latest Breaking News forum).

Source: The Guardian

Biggest analysis to date reveals huge footprint of livestock - it provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of farmland.

Avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet, according to the scientists behind the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet.
The new research shows that without meat and dairy consumption, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75% - an area equivalent to the US, China, European Union and Australia combined - and still feed the world.
Loss of wild areas to agriculture is the leading cause of the current mass extinction of wildlife.

The new analysis shows that while meat and dairy provide just 18% of calories and 37% of protein, it uses the vast majority - 83% - of farmland and produces 60% of agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions. Other recent research shows 86% of all land mammals are now livestock or humans.
The scientists also found that even the very lowest impact meat and dairy products still cause much more environmental harm than the least sustainable vegetable and cereal growing.
The study, published in the journal Science, created a huge dataset based on almost 40,000 farms in 119 countries and covering 40 food products that represent 90% of all that is eaten. It assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).

"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use," said Joseph Poore, at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research. "It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car," he said, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"Agriculture is a sector that spans all the multitude of environmental problems," he said. "Really it is animal products that are responsible for so much of this. Avoiding consumption of animal products delivers far better environmental benefits than trying to purchase sustainable meat and dairy."

The analysis also revealed a huge variability between different ways of producing the same food. For example, beef cattle raised on deforested land result in 12 times more greenhouse gases and use 50 times more land than those grazing rich natural pasture. But the comparison of beef with plant protein such as peas is stark, with even the lowest impact beef responsible for six times more greenhouse gases and 36 times more land...MORE..

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth



Updated June 1, 2018
----
More:
"Human Race Just 0.01% of All Life, But Has Destroyed over 80% of Wild Mammals- Study," Groundbreaking assessment of all life on Earth reveals humanity's surprisingly tiny part in it as well as our disproportionate impact. The Guardian, 5/21/18 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/21/human-race-just-001-of-all-life-but-has-destroyed-over-80-of-wild-mammals-study

"What is the True Cost of Eating Meat?" The Guardian, 5/7/18,
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/may/07/true-cost-of-eating-meat-environment-health-animal-welfare

*OBESITY LINKED TO 12 TYPES OF CANCER IN NEW REPORT,* Newsweek, May 24, 2018
Limit processed meats and alcohol..https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142066861

*NEW: COLON CANCER SCREENING SHOULD START AT AGE 45, NOT 50* The Washington Post, May 30, 2018
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/05/30/colorectal-cancer-screening-should-start-at-age-45-not-50-american-cancer-society-says/?utm_term=.e57d6276552f


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Reply Avoiding Meat and Dairy is 'Single Biggest Way' to Reduce Your Impact on Earth (Original post)
appalachiablue Jun 2018 OP
Le Gaucher Jun 2018 #1
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2018 #7
Quemado Jun 2018 #2
jb5150 Jun 2018 #3
appalachiablue Jun 2018 #5
Bernardo de La Paz Jun 2018 #8
IronLionZion Jun 2018 #13
irisblue Jun 2018 #4
bucolic_frolic Jun 2018 #6
appalachiablue Jun 2018 #11
John Fante Jun 2018 #9
deurbano Jun 2018 #14
rurallib Jun 2018 #24
byronius Jun 2018 #25
Rorey Jun 2018 #30
byronius Jun 2018 #34
crazycatlady Jun 2018 #42
Rorey Jun 2018 #43
crazycatlady Jun 2018 #44
MicaelS Jun 2018 #31
Kurt V. Jun 2018 #36
Sneederbunk Jun 2018 #10
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2018 #22
The_jackalope Jun 2018 #12
moreland01 Jun 2018 #17
Sophia4 Jun 2018 #19
Rorey Jun 2018 #45
KPN Jun 2018 #15
Joe Nation Jun 2018 #16
MountCleaners Jun 2018 #23
Rorey Jun 2018 #46
byronius Jun 2018 #26
demmiblue Jun 2018 #18
The_jackalope Jun 2018 #20
demmiblue Jun 2018 #21
byronius Jun 2018 #27
MrScorpio Jun 2018 #28
LittleGirl Jun 2018 #29
TexasBushwhacker Jun 2018 #32
appalachiablue Jun 2018 #33
GulfCoast66 Jun 2018 #35
Nac Mac Feegle Jun 2018 #37
Raine Jun 2018 #38
appalachiablue Jun 2018 #39
EarthFirst Jun 2018 #40
Kaleva Jun 2018 #41
Chemisse Jun 2018 #47

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 12:50 PM

1. we cannot force people -- what should happen is that Meat and Diary should reflect true cost

 

the cost should include cost of production and environmental impact.


Right now we have tons of subsidies that shields customers from the cost.

I say give the money to customers as debit cards that can only be spent on food - and let meat, diary & Veggies what the cost what they truly do ( Plus any carbon credits)


I bet you 80% of the USA will become vegetarian

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Response to Le Gaucher (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:13 PM

7. Yes. Unreimbursed costs simply drain resources that have to be replaced later at hellish expense.


It's a free ride for corporations and 237 pound pigs.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 12:52 PM

2. My wife and I became vegan 11 months ago

No meat, fish, or dairy. I don't eat eggs, but my wife will eat one occasionally.

We did it to lose weight. I lost over 30 pounds on the vegan diet. My wife lost 35 pounds.

We both feel better physically.

We have to be a little more careful in what we eat, in order to get proper nutrition, but it's not that hard. We take vitamin B-12 and get some of our protein from vegan protein powder.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 12:59 PM

3. I will not become a vegan ....

However I think the Asian style of eating is the way to go, with meat used as a flavoring agent rather than the main course. That, I could learn to live with .. but most Americans are never going to give up their taste for huge steaks. Standard American portion sizes are out of control.

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:05 PM

5. A sensible, doable approach for many people, meat added to healthy courses.

American portions and plate, rather 'platter' sizes are gigantic! I remember 8" standard dinner plates, now long gone.

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:14 PM

8. Never say never. It is just defeatist. . . . nt

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Response to jb5150 (Reply #3)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:25 PM

13. Agreed. I've cut back for health reasons too

I like meat, but in smaller quantities than a typical American. Many of my meals are plant based

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:02 PM

4. Meatless Monday Meals. nt

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:05 PM

6. Soon Trump will executive order us to eat hamburgers

and use nuclear-generated power to cook them

It's called the free market - Old Time Soviet Style

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:22 PM

11. Lol!

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:19 PM

9. Synthetic meat will replace livestock in the near future. I can't wait.

A few startup companies are even producing leather just with animal cells!

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Response to John Fante (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:26 PM

14. I hope it's soon!

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Response to John Fante (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:56 PM

24. do you have a website that talks about the progress in that area?

I was just thinking about the other day and your post tweaked my interest again.

Is there an actual product in the works? Will people eat it?

Thanks

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Response to John Fante (Reply #9)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:57 PM

25. Funny thing about that is -- current vegans hate the meatiness of the new synthetics.

Beyond Meat makes a near-synthetic that's just too close for comfort -- I can't stomach it. Gardein's plant-protein meat substitutes have become my standard, just a thrilling flavor and texture -- and now I've lost my taste for anything close to the real thing.

I think it's great, synthetic meat. I'd love to see vat-grown beef and chicken take over the market; soon enough it'll be cheaper, tastier, and healthier than the hoofed version. I'd invest in Beyond Meat if I had extra cash.

But for vegans that have already made the transition -- the greasiness, the stringiness -- the things that will attract an actual carnivore -- I've come to find to be quite gross.

Odd.

Fake lumber, fake meat, and fake dairy are exciting and powerful tech that can save the world. I'm on board. I just started ahead of everyone else, and now I crave the not-so-realistic stuff that Gardein makes.

Gardein is the bomb. The gods of vegan meat. The Best. I worship at their altar.

Artisan's good, LiteLife is okay, but Gardein!! Damn!!

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Response to byronius (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 03:02 PM

30. My favorite: dr. Praeger's Black Bean Quinoa

I like some of the other offerings from that brand, but the Black Bean Quinoa is probably my favorite.

I haven't eaten meat in a couple of decades and I don't care for the products that try to replicate the taste.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #30)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 03:58 PM

34. I like Praeger's well enough. Kale burgers are good.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #30)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:14 PM

42. Trader Joe's Quinoa Cowboy burgers are great

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #42)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:16 PM

43. Thanks!

If I ever get to a Trader Joe's I'll check it out. We don't have one where I live.

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Response to Rorey (Reply #43)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:17 PM

44. There's a similar one at Aldi

I can't remember the name though. I have to head there tomorrow (no TJ's here).

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Response to byronius (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 03:33 PM

31. I am waiting for vat-grown fur coats.

I always wanted to look like a pimp.

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Response to byronius (Reply #25)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 04:29 PM

36. good info.

thanks

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:20 PM

10. Better yet, don't be born.

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Response to Sneederbunk (Reply #10)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:50 PM

22. NOW you tell me! NT

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:24 PM

12. I'm on a High Fat Low Carb (HFLC) diet for my health.

I eat a lot of fatty meats, oily veggies like avocados and olives, and salads. My weight, BP and GERD are all down. I have a different insulin metabolism than the pasta-eaters I guess.

My cynical side says that going vegan is a great way to feel good about yourself while making no difference to the actual problem. That problem is 7.5+billion people all eating their way through the planet - and driving to the store to pick up this week's crunchy-good ration of the biosphere.

If you want to make a real difference, get sterilized. Then eat whatever the hell you feel like eating, knowing that the eating will stop with you.

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Response to The_jackalope (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:31 PM

17. I'm with you!

I've been on a HFLC way of eating for over a year and have lost 10% of my body weight. I feel tons better. Carbs/Sugar are the enemy and I can't live on veggies alone. Yes, it's an insulin resistance problem and that is not helped when you eat sugary fruits, carbs (grains), etc.

God bless the vegetarians! More bacon for me!

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Response to The_jackalope (Reply #12)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:44 PM

19. My ancestors came from the North -- countries in which vegetables barely grew

 

if at all in the winter.

I tried a vegetarian diet when I was young and became very weak.

I think that what you need to eat may depend on your DNA and where your ancestors lived including what they ate. Just a theory, but my experience with a vegetarian diet, much as I love vegetables and fruits, was really bad.

On the other hand, I don't eat anything with gluten in it. Really bad for me.

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Response to Sophia4 (Reply #19)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:20 PM

45. You may have a point.

I never liked meat and finally decided that I would give myself permission to eat what I wanted, rather than what others thought I should eat. We're all different.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:29 PM

15. Vegan is here to stay and growing in leaps and bounds.

My wife and I have been 90% vegan for a year and half now (so we're not really vegan). I am amazed at how delicious vegan meals can be and typically are. I'm at my lowest weight since my junior year in HS which was 1966/67 and in the best physical shape I've been in since my mid-twenties. We still eat some meat on occasion (well, I do), fish/shell fish occasionally, and cheese. There are so many excellent vegan products in the supermarkets these days and literally thousands of great recipes can be easily found on line.

We didn't go mostly vegan intentionally. We've just sort of ended up here after years of cutting back more and more over time on meat consumption and unhealthy dietary choices. It's just where we've ended up -- happily and without a whole lot of effort or commitment.

The side benefits beside health and weight control: environmental per guardian article and humane treatment of the most vulnerable among us -- animals.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:29 PM

16. There are so many benefits to Veganism

It is tough to do though. It is also worth it. The most common comment I get from non-vegans is that "I could never give up [Fill in blank]" Actually, it isn't that hard to give up meat and dairy and eggs. You feel better almost instantly. I've been a vegan for a year and a half. And it is true that it is easier to be a vegan 99% of the time rather than 100% of the time just because you don't always know what is in foods that you don't prepare. If you find out that your favorite Mexican restaurant uses sour cream in their Guac, just don't order it next time, don't beat yourself up for "straying" off of the path of veganism. You're good.

Finally, it is far, far, easier to think of yourself as a plant-based diet adherent rather than a vegan. People have a lot of weird ideas about who vegans are and sometimes those weird ideas are right. Avoid the labels and the lumping yourself in with the vegan Nazi-types.

Benefits:
Better health
Weight loss
Environmental protection
A finger in the eye of corporate farming
Animal cruelty reduction

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Response to Joe Nation (Reply #16)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:55 PM

23. More and more supermarkets are making it easier

Walmart stocks vegan cheese now. It's delicious, and only 60 calories a slice.

I lost 60 pounds since going vegan. I'm a size 4 down from a 14 now.

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Response to MountCleaners (Reply #23)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:22 PM

46. Chao cheese is delicious!

But pricey.

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Response to Joe Nation (Reply #16)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 02:00 PM

26. Easier every day for me. Seven years.

Got it dialed in. Plus, Gardein. Can't rave enough about Gardein.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:41 PM

18. A lot of people simply don't care about cruelty/enviro impact. Especially 'ugly, greedy Americans'.

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:46 PM

20. Whole lotta shamin' goin' on... nt

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Response to The_jackalope (Reply #20)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 01:48 PM

21. The truth hurts...nothing I said is false. n/t

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #18)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 02:13 PM

27. I try hard to be the vegan I would have wanted to meet before I became a vegan.

I was born in Texas, so -- meat and dairy for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Plus two tablespoons of white sugar in ever glass of iced tea.

Now, I'd never go back. Becoming vegan was like turning on a light switch. Holy shit is it powerful.

But -- the shaming, I think, drives people further into their behavior. Lots of studies about that.

So better to be friendly and informative about it than finger-wagging. Human psychology is a delicate thing.

Handle with care.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 02:56 PM

28. The only way that you're going to get my cheese and yoghurt...

Is by prying them from my cold, dead fingers.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 02:59 PM

29. My husband is nearly vegan

but I cannot be vegan. I am allergic to wheat, corn, eggs, dairy and a few fruit like bananas and cherries and pecans. I tried to eat vegan when he switched but I didn't realize how much gluten and dairy was in vegan meals. I eat a paleo type of diet minus all of the allergens like nightshades and seeds. It's called the auto immune diet and it keeps me healthy. I have several auto immune diseases and this meal plan works best for me.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 03:40 PM

32. The world population is unsustainable no matter what we eat

There are just too many people. Also, animals can often be raised on marginal lands that aren't suitable for agriculture. But I'm all for ending crop subsidies so that food would cost what it really should cost. It's obscene that I can buy whole chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound. Crop subsidies primarily benefit large agribusinesses like Cargill and ADM.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #32)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 03:46 PM

33. WELL SAID

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 04:28 PM

35. There are lots of ways to make a difference

That do not include veganism.

Much of the land in the US is not suited to row crops but for livestock. A big part of the problem is what we do with the animals. Florida has a ton of cattle, mainly brood cows. If those cows calves were fed on pasture here in Florida then slaughtered and consumed by Floridians the impact would be way reduced. Because now the 1000lb calves are sent on train out west, fed for 4 weeks on corn in humongous feed lots, slaughtered and shipped all over the country.

I eat mainly Florida raised and fed chickens, beef and pork, but it is not cheap. So I end up eating less meat.

If we stopped subsidized meat and let the price we pay reflect the true cost people would reduce their consumption.


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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 06:43 PM

37. A Vegan Crossfitter walks into a bar

What does he start talking about first?







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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 07:27 PM

38. I've been a vegetarian since I was 9yrs old. I'm working

toward veganism but it's harder then I thought it would be.

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Response to Raine (Reply #38)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 07:35 PM

39. That's excellent, you must be in very good shape.

Never a meat lover, I'm pretty much a vegetarian. It's not difficult, esp. since I've always loved green things, plants.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 08:19 PM

40. "...but I drive a Leaf and reuse bags at the grocery." nt

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:08 PM

41. The title is inaccurate. It would have no impact at all.

It should say "Many millions of people avoiding meat and dairy products is the single biggest way to reduce their combined impact on Earth.".

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Jun 1, 2018, 09:23 PM

47. Locking

This is analysis. Please post in GD or Health.

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