August 29, 2007

The new global warming message: eating meat is worse than driving.

Horrors! But didn't you know this already? And don't whine that this means you have to be a vegetarian. Animal rights folk are trying to make it look that way:
“You just cannot be a meat-eating environmentalist,” said Mr. Prescott, whose group also plans to send billboard-toting trucks to the Colorado Convention Center in Denver when Mr. Gore lectures there on Oct. 2. The billboards will feature a cartoon image of Mr. Gore eating a drumstick next to the tagline: “Too Chicken to Go Vegetarian? Meat Is the No. 1 Cause of Global Warming.”
But no one tells you to give up driving, only to drive less or drive a car that uses less gas. So eat meat less often and eat smaller portions.


The Drill SGT said...

This is simply more folks hitching their pet cause to the GW cult.

losergrrl said...

My parents are strict vegetarians. I have become a vegan. All those horrid people who eat meat frighten me.

What shall I do?

blake said...

If we allow every single point made by the AGW crowd, this boils down to: Your existence destroys the planet.

And the solution would seem obvious.

But you know what? If every last human were gone, we'd be replaced by methane belching MOOSES!

Joe R. said...

Shouldn't we, at least in the short term, be eating more meat?

I think we have a new alternative: environmentalist, the other white meat.

What wine goes best with hippy?

Looneyoldson said...

grrl...You should eat a cow. Maybe you are one already.

Blake..You ARE a methane belching moose.


reader_iam said...

We Are Meat.

Paul Ciotti said...

Cutting back on meat is fine. Polluting less is fine. The best solution to most of our problems though is cutting world population. Al Gore talked about the CO2/temperature hockey stick curve. What about the population growth curve? That's a lot more scary than a 2 degree rise in temperature (which will probably start dropping in a few years anyway--see "Canadians For Global Warming").

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Original Mike said...


The sober GW crowd has got to be thinking, "Ohhhh. Who invited these guys?"

Harsh Pencil said...

Joke: If God wanted us to be vegetarians, He wouldn't have made cows out of steak.

Serious: Like all good jokes, there is a bit of insight. Humans crave meat. We ARE naturally omnivores. We need protein. Peanut butter, especially for children, just doesn't cut it, so we crave meat.

Why is that I'm repressed if I don't give in to my carnal sexual urges, but lauded if I don't give in to my carnal culinary urges?

Tim said...

"But didn't you know this already?"

Yes. Old news.

Comment at 10:10 p.m.

Palladian said...

"What wine goes best with hippy?"


Palladian said...

"Why is that I'm repressed if I don't give in to my carnal sexual urges, but lauded if I don't give in to my carnal culinary urges?"

Why not find a way to combine the two?

A puffy, pedantic ex-Vice President once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Pogo said...

I'll start believing the GW and Meat-is-Murder crowd is right if they start committing suicide en masse.

reader_iam said...

The best solution to most of our problems though is cutting world population. ... What about the population growth curve?

Interesting topic.

Between now and 2050, there surely is predicted (alway barring x, y, z etc.) a growth in population of something like a billion and third. But at least according to one source, the net growth at the 2050 mark in more developed countries is estimated to be at about 6 million individual people. In developing countries, it's estimated to be something like ... well, a billion and a third (the 6 million being essentially insignificant).

How do you plan to deal with that one, pardner? Huge-ass snake's nest, don't you think?

For starters, in terms of even speaking to (speaking up about) the challenge--not exactly OK, on many, many, many levels, in the current political climate here, or anywhere in the world.

And that'd be just part of the lead-up for getting to the point where it'd be possible to actually address the issue at hand.

Duscany said...

"How do you plan to deal with that one, pardner? Huge-ass snake's nest, don't you think?"

Right, but putting your head in the sand is no solution. Gore, and virtually every other politican, won't talk about the issue.

froggyprager said...

Althouse, I am glad to see your sensible comment to the article, less meat in your diet can make a difference. You do not seem to agree with the point by many of your readers that GW is a joke and a cult. The environmental benefits of eating less meat are beyond global warming; less water pollution, less deforestation, and more.
I think that these groups are trying to advance their cause through the GW tie-in; I am disappointed that the environmental groups are not also pitching this point but I bet they don’t want to turn away the trendy environmentalist (financial contributors) who still like their prime rib and big macs.

reader_iam said...

FWIW, I'm a practicing omnivore--who doesn't require or eat meat every day. My husband is a philosophical vegetarian. My son was raised vegetarian for his first few years, and then fish was added to his diet (and it stopped there), though not on a daily basis.

That shouldn't make any difference in terms of the point I was trying make ... but just in case it does ... .

David53 said...

What movie am I?

It's the year 2022, global warming, overpopulation, unresolved pollution issues and depleted natural resources plague the world. E.G. Robinson makes his last film appearance. His character, Sol Roth, marvels over a small tough steak.

I hope Chuck Heston wasn't

Bonus points for the last line in the movie.

Revenant said...

I'm going to continue to eat meat. Meat is delicious.

Within the next decade or two we'll be eating cloned beef from laboratories, anyway.

From Inwood said...


Soylent Green. (Not to be confused with Soylent Night.)

I think that the last line was

"In 2007, 34 years from now, no one will watch this movie because it's crap."

Chris said...

“You just cannot be a meat-eating environmentalist”

Oh yeah? Watch me.

The Drill SGT said...

"Soylent Green is people!"

Fen said...

that U.N. report is an impartial, unimpeachable source of statements we can quote


Wish they had compared emissions generated by livestock to agri. We run a farm outside of Houston - cattle, cotton and grain - and I would be surprised if the difference was that significant. Sorry, but the GW warnings seem like saving your spare pennies to pay off the national debt...

But hey, if YOU feel that strongly about it, go ahead and conserve - don't drive SUVs, don't eat meat, don't reproduce.

This is all going to wind up like the Muscovites burning their own furniture to survive the winter, because the politburo elites diverted all the timber to build dachas on the Black Sea. We'll all be veggies peddling our bikes to work, while people like Gore and Edwards zoom past in their SUVs on their way to the local Steakhouse.

Fen said...

That's a lot more scary than a 2 degree rise in temperature (which will probably start dropping in a few years anyway--see "Canadians For Global Warming").

Actually, the Iranians are working on a solution to Global Warming as we speak. A few mushroom clouds over Tel Aviv, Paris, and New York should dust up and cool the planet by a few degrees.

ada47 said...

Oh, cool. Because this whacked-out position on meat eating is used as a justification for GW zealotry, I get to ignore the actual threats associated with climate change and keep on wasting energy.

Awesome. I was so afraid that I would have to, like, change my behavior to conserve energy or something.

Fen said...

Because this whacked-out position on meat eating is used as a justification for GW zealotry, I get to ignore the whacked-out threats associated with climate change


Fen said...

BTW, why are you wasting energy posting on the net?

Think of the Polar Bears!

Fen said...

I was so afraid that I would have to, like, change my behavior to conserve energy or something

Valid point. I'll contribute to conserving energy by producing less food.

Gedaliya said...

I get to ignore the actual threats associated with climate change...

What are these "actual threats"? All I've seen is chicken-little alarmist nonsense.

Why don't you GW hysterics ever worry about GW not occurring. I look forward to a warmer world. Longer growing seasons (cheaper food)...fewer deaths from winter storms...cheaper timber (lower housing costs)...more time at the beach.

As such, I've doing all I can to put more CO2 in the atmosphere...that's why I recently bought a Toyota Tundra (V8, 13 miles to the gallon) and eat as much red meat as possible.


AllenS said...

80% or more of what a dairy cow eats, is inedible to humans. Look at all of the products that come from dairy. Then when the cow's milk production falls, you can eat the cow. Win, win.

comatus said...

Is there no concern whatever for the amount of greenhouse gas the vegans themselves emit? Is there no way to harness it--for the children?

jane said...

A person riding alone, not wearing hemp, and idling his Hummer at a McDonald’s drive-through to get a double Quarter Pounder with cheese and an order of Chicken McNuggets should get quadruple anti-GW hysteria credits.

Ann Althouse said...

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow.

Peg said...

Does this mean all environmentalists will give up/kill their cats? Because all felines eat meat -- THEY HAVE TO. Checked out the multi-billion $$ catfood industry lately?

Jami Hussein said...

Environmentalists and human extinction

Agent Smith, the ultimate environmentalist ~ ''I tried to classify your species and I realized that you aren’t actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply, and multiply until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague, and we... are the cure.''

Rich said...

Vegetables are not food.

Vegetables are what food eats...

p.t. fogger said...

Is it okay now to start socially ostracizing anybody who identifies themselves as an "activist"? Because I swannee it's like everybody I meet / read about / see on tv so self-identified is a noisome intrusive busybody horrified by non-conformity and pathologically incapable of closely examining their own beliefs, much less taking a honest measure of other's.

Tully said...

Hye, I'm doing my part to cut down on the rampant overpopulation of deer! Picked up two permits this week.

But they breed faster than I can shoot and eat them.

El Presidente said...

In the socialist paradise we have reduced consumption of beef to 0.25 kilos per person per week.

the wolf said...

And here I thought I was being conscientious by taking public transportation to my favorite steakhouse.

MadisonMan said...

That meet your meat ad still looks delicious!

I think it's a good idea to know where your food comes from, and alter your choices appropriately so your food is coming from someplace close by. That's what I do, sometimes.

SGT Ted said...

You just can't be an oxygen using know what to do next.

Tim said...

It seems the global warming alarmist movement is exceedingly close to jumping the shark...

I can't wait.

Bruce Hayden said...

Maybe with this threat to the meat industry, the farm lobby will climb down off the GW bandwagon that they had climbed upon in order to sell corn for ethanol.

The next step is abolishing having children, because that is one of the worst things that you can do for carbon emissions, etc.

Of course, it is the countries that need young people the worst to support their aging populations that are most likely to fall for this. And note that though the Earth hasn't hit ZPG yet for its human population, it is sliding in there. Most of the world's population is now in countries that have seen their growth rates plummet, including, notably, the biggest two. For most of the countries on the Earth, no longer than 40-50 years from now, and their populations are going to start dropping - in many cases preciptitously.

But since I am a GW sceptic, and I like meat, I don't see myself changing my actions in the near future.

davidc. said...

Some of you have touted the healthy effects of eating less meat. Let me point out the problem with that assumption. What you are likely concerned with is the fact that a high cholesterol diet would raise your total cholesterol and LDL numbers. This has yet to be substantiated despite many years of observation. Even if such a diet did raise these numbers, your risk of a cardiac event over a 10 years period is only elevated by about 1 to 2%. Now if you did eat a diet rich in meat, one of your many cholesterol numbers would go up. That happens to be your HDL cholesterol. This element is known as "good cholesterol". You desire to have it as high as possible. If your HDL cholesterol is low that is associated with a risk of a cardiac event over 10 years of about 10 to 15%.

You see, as with much of our perception of the way things are, we are very much misinformed. This is not your fault as the government is active in this misinformation as are organizations such as the American Heart Association and the various drug companies that sell statins or drugs that are intended to lower cholesterol but have little effect on HDL.

Some studies have even pointed to rather harmful effects of not eating enough cholesterol and fats but these are not popular in our society. A high protein, high fat diet is actually better for you than the high carbohydrate foods that we are forced to eat.

Cedarford said...

Too Chicken to Go Vegetarian? Meat Is the No. 1 Cause of Global Warming.”

Modernization and population growth drive CO2 buildup. The world is running out of available fossil fuel, arable land, and in some regions/continents, water.

Habitat loss is putting us on the verge of a new wave of mass extinction of wildlife - again, driven by population growth and modernization.

All the "exciting new alternate power sources" besides being unreliable, drops in the bucket - do not allow us to escape population growth and modernization.

Even nuclear power, if accepted, does not allow us to escape this Malthusian trap.

Conservation means little when population growth wipes out gains. And all conservation and "use less" means if carried out further and furher, is lowered standards of living and everyone living like a family in Malawi. America's environmentalists have mostly decided that immigration and global population growth are taboo subjects.

Supply side Republican religious right whackos now have a creed that America going from 300 million to 363 in 2030 to 420 million in 2050 to 700 million in 2100 - is "great"! It will make America "richer and more competetive and better able to 'win" over China. But mention state-imposed population control like China's may be needed to save civilizations and prevent mass extermination of species - and they look at you like you are dunking a crucifix in a jar of urine.

We are headed into ugly days ahead.

Meat-eating is another trivial distraction. It won't matter if no one eats meat if it just delays the day when mankind grows enough in population to wipe out any such conservation - and the days where major ecosystems are destroyed for both us and other species begin...

John said...

It's not simply the eating of meat, but the raising of meat that causes the problem. Meaning that its' really the animals that are the issue. Because while they are being raised to be slaughtered they are just farting too much and releasing massive quantities of methane.
Clearly the solution then is to kill all the animals that are causing this catastrophe. It's not an overabundance of humans that are the cause but the overabudance of cows and sheep. Do away with them all.
Does the world really need all those cows? When the environment is at stake?
And since we're going to kill them anyway I say steaks for everyone. Wear a leather belt to fight global warming.
Since we can't kill all the cows at once (well we could but then we'd be worse than Michael Vick) in a massive bovine genocide, we have to kill them where we can.
Eat a cow to fight global warming. Stop the cows wanton destruction of the environment. Do it for the children.

John said...

paul ciotti wrote:
Cutting back on meat is fine. Polluting less is fine. The best solution to most of our problems though is cutting world population

So then clearly the solution is to kill the environmentalists. Someone has to go. Since they are the ones highlighting the issue they should make the sacrifices necessary to combat the issue. I don't drive an SUV, the least they can do is give up their lives for something they believe in.

Isn't this kind of like the chicken hawk argument but for the environment? The antiwar crowd says that senators should be sending their sons and daughters to war, and if they don't or if they believe in the war and dont' serve they are chicken hawks. Shouldn't the same hold true for environmentalists, especially those saying we should have less population?

Environmetalists first my friend.
In the meantime, I'm about to have a nice steak for lunch.

Naked Emperor said...

In the '70s we were going to run out of energy by the '90s, and we were all going to die in a man-made ice age.

In the '80s we were all going to become homeless.

In the '90s we were all going to die from AIDS.

Now, in the 2000s, we are all going to die from global warming.

What are the commonalities?

1) All of these were vastly over-hyped.

2) They are just the current version of why capitalism in general, and America specifically is EVIL.

Notice that each trend lasts about a decade. Also notice that we are 75% done with the 2000s.

So have faith, this too will pass.

So what will the 2010s bring?

Lately, scientists have discovered a huge void in space, a dead zone.

I think it is caused by a giant Pan-Galactic Rabid Aardvark that can only be dissuaded by, of course, giving more control of your life to the government.

I just ask that you remember that it was thenakedemperor who raised the alarm first.

DirtCrashr said...

This is a post-rational argument where ideology drives biology.
It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken

davidc. said...

Naked Emperior,

Well said and true.

Gabriel said...

I'm getting a little tired of the "population bomb" nonsense. People, it is debunked. In the last century we've gone from one to six billion producing more food per person and getting richer the whole time.

It's kind of funny now, to go back and read "The Caves of Steel" about the horrors of a world with... EIGHT BILLION people!

Population growth rates are falling all over the world, and First World nations are seeing a net decline.

This is not 1974. Nothing that the population alarmists claimed would happen has.

Because more mouths to feed means more hands to work and more brains to think.

junyo said...

Eat meat, don't eat meat; drive SUVs, drive hydrids, walk; ultimately the planet has a finite amount of resources for an ever expanding number of people. All strategies seem to be based around stretching those resources, but this ignores the core problem, all of humanity's eggs are in one basket. Whether the catastrophy of the week is valid or not, you still have to pay it some attention, since it's a zero sum game. You'd think environmentalists would be in favor of building an escape hatch, building enclaves off planet, if for no other reasons than a)no native fragile ecosystems to screw up, and b)giving humanity an alternate place to live reduces the pressure on this ecosystem since all of us don't need to live HERE. That, by the way, is what answers the population question.

Andy said...

I would like to purchase some "meat eating credits" so I can eat meat and feel as smug as the limousine liberal crowd.

AlphaLiberal said...

a) I suspect there's some double-counting in the FAO study. Tractors, animal shipping, etc.

b) a big part of the problem comes from nitrous oxide emissions from nitrogen fertilizers, as well as methane. Both gases are powerful global warming gases, much more so than CO2.

The problem is not meat but the way it's raised. We need more efficiency and reduced fertilizers. Different cropping practices would change the equation, methinks.

AlphaLiberal said...

Andy, why are you so opposed to market solutions?

Andy said...

I am against market based solutions based on arbitrary and contrived markets. I was trying to be funny and sarcastic. To the global warming alarmist crowd, the entire global warming script is their religion. They have a high priest in Al Gore, they have scriptures in "consensus and peer-reviewed studies" and they have indulgences with carbon credits. They could expand their indulgences to include meat consumption.

blake said...


Obviously you're not aware of the scientific consensus concerning overpopulation. They have computer models showing how there will be 20 billion people on the planet by 1996. You can run them yourself on your Apple ][. Don't be a denier.



AlphaLiberal said...

Doing some thinking over this topic, I have a hypotheses. I think PETA is distorting the data.

This FAO result is based on global figures. That is a different figure than comparing to the average American's diet and transportation choices.

Is a diet with some meat worse than a driving 20-30,000 miles per year in a glutinous gas guzzler? I suspect not. But, unlike PETA, I will wait to see some actual data before pronouncing such.

Michelle Hudson said...

Now a day global warming controversy is very hype. NASA sciencetists completely work on global warming research. According the sciencetists after 30 year earth is completely effected by global warming.