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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Environmentalists and the Elephant in the Room

Did you know that raising of livestock for food produces more greenhouse gas than all of the automobiles in the world?

Or, did you know that in order to produce one pound of steak requires the amount of water that you would use to shower over an entire year?

So, it would make sense that organizations that care about the environment would encourage people to go vegetarian, or at least decrease their meat consumption. But they don't.

Environmental organizations like to camp out in the Back Bay area of Boston to recruit new members. Somehow, if I'm walking by with a Trader Joe's bag (but not if I'm empty-handed... go figure?), I look like an ideal target. And I ask -- what do you know about meat consumption and the environment? Most stare at me blankly, though one activist who says he once was a vegetarian gave me a good answer.

I care about the environment -- I recycle literally everything I can. I minimize the amount of driving I do. I use as little electricity as possible. I minimize the number of useless goods that I consume. And I'm a vegan, which comparatively may be the biggest thing I do for the environment.

But, in good conscience, I can't join an environmental organization that completely ignores livestock production, one of the greatest toxins to the environment, in order to pacify its members and potential members.


Unknown said...

unfortunately, a lot of "activists" push their own agendas without doing their homework. we can all learn a lesson from my 6yo... just keep asking WHY?

Danielle said...

And it drives me crazy that with all the talk of global warming, nobody mentions how meat production aggravates greenhouse gasses.

The EPA says that runoff from animal farms pollutes the groundwater more than all other industrial sources. Combined, I think.

KleoPatra said...

Concur. Great post, Vegan Doc.