• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 200.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

Forums > Social Discussion > Vegetarianism for climate change?

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 123...6
Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:Lord Stern has been quoted as saying we all need to go vegetarian to save the planet
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6891362.ece
br>
some interesting points raised, as well as the fact that on the radio they were saying the average family dog produces the same carbon footprint as a small car - 0.8 metric tonnes per year due to the high meat and cereal diet dogs have.

Is this really a viable option? meat (essentially fish) is the main reason we have such highly developed brains, should we stop to save the planet or are there much better ways to go?


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


Seye
Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:wink The Daily Mash's take on this story...


Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:For a minute Mynci you made me think a little bit about this argument and got my hands on the keyboard. but before I could type anything my motivation gave out.

Anyone with a 'highly developed brain' knows what's going on and has an idea about the problem and solutions. Anyone who is still arguing against the need for drastic action is proving themselves fairly incapable of removing their head from their arse - or is fairly fatalistic / sadistic.


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:^^^ Yeah I'm getting judgemental, but if you think my words are harsh, consider that in some countries people are dying over this issue - and the sh*t hasnt even hit the fan yet.

--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mynci

some interesting points raised, as well as the fact that on the radio they were saying the average family dog produces the same carbon footprint as a small car - 0.8 metric tonnes per year due to the high meat and cereal diet dogs have.



One bloggers take on that calculation



Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:laugh3


Im thinking the dog example is a bit of a furphy. It wasnt in the original article (as linked) so its seems like something conjured up by the climate change sceptics to distract the punters while they do the old switcheroo.


The thing to get here is that there is huge difference between a monogastric digestive system as in a dog, and a ruminant digestive system as in a cow (thats steak and hamburgers folks). Ruminants eat grass and produce a large percentage of greenhouse gasses as a by-product of digestion. Interestingly enough, the gas mostly comes out of their front ends, burp, and not their back ends. Cows also consume large quantise of water, up to 50 gallons a day, which also puts pressure on another scarce resource.


The Other Greenhouse Gas


Be veg, go green, save the planet


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh


Charlie Fox
Charlie Fox

Burinating the village like Trogdor
Location: West Auck, NZ
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2006
Total posts: 156
Posted:Interestingly everyone goes on about Methane, CO2 as being the main green house gases...

What about water?? i.e. Clouds, depending on what side of the climate change coin you live on, the biggest green house gas is water, it's been up there since the beginning of time, and is definitely the biggest contributor to increase/decrease of temperatures...


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
- A.A. Milne

Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!
- Anon (I think)


DoktorSkell
DoktorSkell

addict
Location: Van Diemans Land
Member Since: 11th Jan 2005
Total posts: 475
Posted:ASking everyone to give up meat is unrealistic. It's a nice thought but it's just not going to happen. Far more practical would be to ask people to cut way down on their consumption

Fair luna bright, fair luna moon
it shines at night but fades too soon
fair luna moon, fair luna bright
forever we dance
we dance under starlight


Pyrolific
Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Member Since: 10th Jan 2001
Total posts: 3288
Posted:^^^ Sure I reckon people should be able to eat meat, but like Caviar - it should be priced so its a delicacy, not a staple.

--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!


JayKitty
JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey
Member Since: 7th Nov 2004
Total posts: 534
Posted:I gave up meat only a few months ago. I still eat eggs and supplement with whey and caseain supplements, but I don't miss meat in the slightest. We got out evolved brains from protein and more fats letting us go longer without eating so we could hunt for more food. I can't remember the last time I went out to hunt the plains for herds of roaming tofu.

Don't mind me, just passing through.


Charlie Fox
Charlie Fox

Burinating the village like Trogdor
Location: West Auck, NZ
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2006
Total posts: 156
Posted:Originally Posted By: JayKittyI gave up meat only a few months ago. I still eat eggs and supplement with whey and caseain supplements, but I don't miss meat in the slightest. We got out evolved brains from protein and more fats letting us go longer without eating so we could hunt for more food. I can't remember the last time I went out to hunt the plains for herds of roaming tofu.

Ditto, i'm a pretty new vegetarian also, the common question is where do you get your protein?? I simply reply where do the cows/pigs/chickens etc get theirs?

Quinoa rocks my world!!

I train pretty heavily (6 - 12hrs a week in various things), and now have more energy, have built leaner muscle mass, and just feel so much better, no more migraines!! smile


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
- A.A. Milne

Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!
- Anon (I think)


Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:Fair point re - the dog equation wink but what's been forggotten to take into account was gases produced by the cow the dog was eating wink each dog is fed by at least 1 cow over it's life so eeach dog requires several cows to keep it going, the transport and production of the food via mechanisation as the food doesn't miracluously appear in the stores, it is processed, canned and transported using large diesel trucks, these things are already factored into the carbon footprint of car fuel.

I'm not defending this statement only that it's something else the green lobby is pouncing on.

Charlie, cows , pigs and chickens used to get their protein from sheep sorry not grass that's how BSE proliferated from scrapie in sheep, I'm sure they must get it somewhere else now. However meat animals are fed to get bigger, a cow on grass alone is in fact very thin. Chickens eat worms (if they can) Pigs eat swill.

No more migraines? that's impressive, I find I get them from Cheese.

I find vegetarianism to be an odd concept, Veganism I understand but not vegetarianism (unless you just don't like the taste of meat) I Eat meat very rarely but I see it as an important staple especially in growing children so living with one I tend to ensure we have meat at least once a week.

I wonder what the carbon footprint is for growing a wheat field compared to it's dietary output compared to that of a field of cows, I'm not talking about methane that they produce as it's obvious that wheat would win, I'm wondering about the massive combine harvesters, the watering the chemicals the seed production process taking both back to the very basics.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


hamamelis
hamamelis

nut.
Location: Bouncing off the walls.
Member Since: 5th Jan 2006
Total posts: 756
Posted:Bearing in mind that the grain cows are largely fed on is grown in the same way the grain you would eat, it's a lot more efficent to 'cut out the middle man', whichever way you look at it. I had a militant vegetarian biology teacher..

Cows fed on *good* grazing are pretty healthy, though yes, they will munch on pretty much anything higher protein they can find given the chance- I've seen pretty healthy looking cows that are not fed supplements, but have a lot of grazing space.

So, why do you think it's an odd concept to not eat any animal you have to kill? Healthy chickens lay eggs whether they're fertilised or not- I'll agree milk is a little more difficult to argue, but I don't get what's supposed to be unethical about eating eggs which are not going to hatch, laid by well-cared for chickens.

Not that I'm implying all chickens are well cared for, but that's a whole new can of worms. Some of them are, they lay eggs, and that's what I try my best to buy.. the fact some are not well cared for doesn't make them all bad. wink


THE MEEK WILL INHERIT THE EARTH!


If that's okay with you?


Nikadi
Nikadi

newbie
Location: Oxted, UK
Member Since: 10th Nov 2008
Total posts: 40
Posted:I'm a veggie, but also a realist. I think people cutting down on meat is a good idea, but suggesting that everybody gives it up completely just makes people more argumentative about it and is stupid to suggest.

It is possible for a vegetarian to have a good diet and obtain everything they need from vegetarian foods (not that I do *heh*), but if people don't want to change their diet then okay, their choice! However I don't think that one can truly be concerned about the environment unless they at least cut down on meat, because meat production and growing food for meat production cause a lot of methane and takes up a lot of space, etc etc.

I'm not really that bothered tbh tongue2


I'm a nanny and a poi person (well, I attempt the latter!)


Charlie Fox
Charlie Fox

Burinating the village like Trogdor
Location: West Auck, NZ
Member Since: 2nd Jun 2006
Total posts: 156
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mynci
Charlie, cows , pigs and chickens used to get their protein from sheep sorry not grass that's how BSE proliferated from scrapie in sheep, I'm sure they must get it somewhere else now. However meat animals are fed to get bigger, a cow on grass alone is in fact very thin. Chickens eat worms (if they can) Pigs eat swill.


Animals are fed slightly differently down under wink

But fair comment on the Chicken/birds in general.


One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
- A.A. Milne

Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects!
- Anon (I think)


Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Originally Posted By: MynciCharlie, cows , pigs and chickens used to get their protein from sheep sorry not grass that's how BSE proliferated from scrapie in sheep, I'm sure they must get it somewhere else now. However meat animals are fed to get bigger, a cow on grass alone is in fact very thin. Chickens eat worms (if they can) Pigs eat swill.


Mynci, I have edited because what I said previously didn't make much sense.

The fact is cows are herbivores, not carnivores, and as such are designed to eat and process grass (well the bacteria in their gut are) not sheep. Cows grow well on grass, it was the insatiable demand for meat and profit that led some unscrupulous English farmers to feed their cows uncooked sheep. Locking up cows on factory farms, like battery hens, is a animal right issue.


EDITED_BY: Stone (1256866502)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh


This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:Isn't rice paddies meant to be just as bad? if not more so?

What about organic foods being bad for the environment? It's been a hot topic for the past 5 years and still hasn't be resolved. I'd like to know what you guys think? I know of two people that are veggies but neither are politcal about it.


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"


JayKitty
JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey
Member Since: 7th Nov 2004
Total posts: 534
Posted:Any time humans change the environment, its going to have an impact, its just about having less of an impact. As far as milk from cows, sure, we are domesticationg the cows, but I see it as the cows aren't being hurt by it, they will produce milk for as long as we need it and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't need to be a vegan, I just like the idea of a karma free diet.

Don't mind me, just passing through.


OuchStaff
OuchStaff

journeyman
Location: The netherlands
Member Since: 12th Sep 2009
Total posts: 65
Posted:technicly the meat is a byproduct of the milk industry.
because cows have to keep getting pregnant and give birth in order to produce milk tongue2


Ouch o.O


This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:Yes one of the veggie friends is also into animals rights and has some seriously messed up photos/vids of Cows with massive, and I mean MASSIVE udders. Bleeding and oozing from wounds and stuff. They alluded to the cow being used for milking the same as any other, and it constantly being reimpregnanted without resting periods. I'm not sure if it was an isolated case or what but yeah, pretty nasty.

alot of people think cows give milk all the time as just a natural course of things and to be honest I thought too as well at one time.

Karma free diet... I like the Kitty. It speaks on interesting things.


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"


JayKitty
JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey
Member Since: 7th Nov 2004
Total posts: 534
Posted:I was under the impression that cows are like people and will lactate as long as the milk is being used. Seriously there are stories of people breast feeding their kids until 5, and in poorer countries where better food is in short supply, breast feeding is common until 2. Do cows need to be inseminated repeatedly do continue milking?

Don't mind me, just passing through.


Nikadi
Nikadi

newbie
Location: Oxted, UK
Member Since: 10th Nov 2008
Total posts: 40
Posted:Altpersona: I think that is common in factory farms? Don't quote me on it though! I personally prefer to use organic and free range foods because I want to avoid eating things from animals that are potentially abused like that!

I'm a nanny and a poi person (well, I attempt the latter!)


Mynci
Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free...
Member Since: 27th Apr 2005
Total posts: 8735
Posted:Originally Posted By: OuchStafftechnicly the meat is a byproduct of the milk industry.
because cows have to keep getting pregnant and give birth in order to produce milk tongue2

Not quite correct, beef cattle are raised for meat and have no direct correlation to milk cows generally (in the UK at least)the by product of the milk industry is really only Veal with regards to the meat market. However because of militant vegetarianism in the UK and the bad press Veal has due to poor European standards most male calfs are now killed and burnt at birth as there is such a small market for Veal it's not worth the money to feed them or keep them alive. It's a shame really when you consider british Veal by law is no longer white meat but ros

In fact the lack of Ros veal market in the UK means many even get shipped out to the continent where they will be treated more poorly than they would have in the UK, so essentially the poor veal trade in the UK is actually causing WORSE conditions for male calves as they either die immediately or are shipped abroad for confinement frown this is why I eat british veal, because I like cheese.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/veal.shtml
br>
On the Plus side I suppose it means less cows polluting our atmosphere eh can't let those boy cows grow up and produce all that methane


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


This Jaded Flesh
This Jaded Flesh

One soul is as good as another...
Location: England, Durham
Member Since: 30th Oct 2009
Total posts: 323
Posted:To be seriously honest JKitty I'm not 100% sure but I have trust in the face of disgust and terror my friend had when she was telling me these stories lol And if I find out otherwise I think the whole milk industry is tainted for me. I can't look at it the same way as I used to when I was younger. I'll see what sites she gave me and post them here sometime this week.
EDITED_BY: Altpersona (1256900716)


"I may lack virtue, but I'm penitent"


Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: Stone


Im thinking the dog example is a bit of a furphy. It wasnt in the original article (as linked) so its seems like something conjured up by the climate change sceptics to distract the punters while they do the old switcheroo.


The thing to get here is that there is huge difference between a monogastric digestive system as in a dog, and a ruminant digestive system as in a cow (thats steak and hamburgers folks). Ruminants eat grass and produce a large percentage of greenhouse gasses as a by-product of digestion. Interestingly enough, the gas mostly comes out of their front ends, burp, and not their back ends. Cows also consume large quantise of water, up to 50 gallons a day, which also puts pressure on another scarce resource.


No, but the dog thing was in the OP. I'm not seeing at as something conjured up by AGW deniers, I'm seeing it as the opposite in fact.

That's interesting about the cow burps and methane. I didn't know that and now I'm conjuring up images of fire-breathing cows. duck



Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: Mynci
I wonder what the carbon footprint is for growing a wheat field compared to it's dietary output compared to that of a field of cows, I'm not talking about methane that they produce as it's obvious that wheat would win, I'm wondering about the massive combine harvesters, the watering the chemicals the seed production process taking both back to the very basics.

There's a bunch of information on that over on the hippies and flying thread. In a nutshell, the vegetarian diet comes out way ahead when it comes to the carbon footprint.



Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: JayKittyAny time humans change the environment, its going to have an impact, its just about having less of an impact. As far as milk from cows, sure, we are domesticationg the cows, but I see it as the cows aren't being hurt by it, they will produce milk for as long as we need it and there is nothing wrong with that. I don't need to be a vegan, I just like the idea of a karma free diet.

You do need to be a vegan if you want to go down that 'karma free" road.



Stout
Stout

Pooh-Bah
Location: Canada
Member Since: 12th May 2004
Total posts: 1872
Posted:Originally Posted By: MynciNot quite correct, beef cattle are raised for meat and have no direct correlation to milk cows generally (in the UK at least)

This is only partially correct. Steaks, roasts etc come from cows raised specifically for meat, hamburger OTOH comes form old, clapped out dairy cows, so called "E grade beef".

If I were to buy a cow and stick it in my back yard and just let it do it's thing, that cow might last up to 30 years. Dairy cows have "life expectancy" of about five years until they become useless in that capacity and end up at McDonald's.

So there is a connection between the two industries. Sure you can get grade A hamburger, as well as getting grade A dog food, but *most* hamburger is a byproduct of the dairy industry.



Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13919
Posted:I have heard this, too, and it makes perfect sense. If a pound of cow requires 100 pounds of veggies to make, then it makes sense that with that comes all the CO2 from harvesting and transporting and processing the veggies.

I was vegetarian for a while. I don't think I can go back to it. But I do eat very little red meat, very little poultry, and very little fish. But I got tired of being a pain in people's butts to have over to dinner.

Pyrolific and Katinca, if I recall, only eat meat that has been hunted, not meat that's been farmed.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura


steambug
stranger
Location: Adelaide, Oztralia
Member Since: 16th Sep 2007
Total posts: 21
Posted:Yes, Dairy cows have to be got pregnant at least every couple of years, industry average is about every year, especially in more factory type farms as cost efficiency/ profit is pretty much the sole decider in that environment. frown I find milk products to be ethically difficult, though admittedly still consume them.

It makes sense to me only eating hunted meat, it's more sustainable than farmed meat having had less resources ploughed into it, and the animals experience heaps better quality of life. I just dont at the moment feel I could kill an animal, thus don't think I should eat them, so have been a vegetarian for 12 odd years.

Kangaroo, has got to be about the most enviro friendly meat, at least in Australia. Kangaroos, whilst also herbivores (thus more energy efficient than something like a tuna which is a third order consumer), produce much lower amounts of methane than cows, are more water efficient cos their native habitat (the oz bush) is a generally dry place, are not hard hoofed, thus do less/ no damage to the rather ancient, fragile aussie soils, and are hunted, not farmed. But I don't see the governments putting much effort into encouraging us to choose Kangaroo over other meats... Just shows how much power the meat boards here yield... frown

Water consumption is another important thing to consider, to feed the average meat eater requires about 15000L of water per day, which is 3 times more than a vegetarian, 8 times more than a vegan. Tho I dont see my local government suggesting we eat one less serve of meat per day... instead they introduce home water restrictions (note: I agree with water restrictions, but think we need to do a lot more, and not build a censored desalination plant) and we get to feel all warm and fuzzy from spending 3 mins less in the shower... which makes f*** all difference in comparison. ooh that was a bit of an angry rant... sorry rolleyes

I'm not opposed to meat consumption but agree with Pyrolific: it should be priced so it is a delicacy... simply because it is, based on the vast amount of resources that go into it, and its otherwise negative impacts on the environment.



Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:
Originally Posted By: AltpersonaIsn't rice paddies meant to be just as bad? if not more so?

What about organic foods being bad for the environment? It's been a hot topic for the past 5 years and still hasn't be resolved. I'd like to know what you guys think? I know of two people that are veggies but neither are politcal about it.

I think it depends on what you mean by bad. In general, plants are our friends. They take carbon dioxide, water and light energy and convert then into carbohydrate and oxygen in the process of photosynthesis. Big polluters know this, and have devised a scheme where they plant trees in an attempt to offset their production of greenhouse gasses. This works well up to the point where they need to reduce emissions, and not rely solely on planting more trees.

I have never heard of organic farming being bad for the environment, usually the opposite.




Another problem with the unbridled consumption of meat is that greedy developers are ripping down the Amazon (the lungs of the world) to plant pasture in an attempt to satisfy an ever increasing lust for hamburgers, steak and frozen dinners. Every hamburger patty from the rainforest means 55 square feet of rainforest land has been destroyed.

Originally Posted By: stoutNo, but the dog thing was in the OP. I'm not seeing at as something conjured up by AGW deniers, I'm seeing it as the opposite in fact. That's interesting about the cow burps and methane. I didn't know that and now I'm conjuring up images of fire-breathing cows.

Ok, the dog example is legit, and I was having a go at Cocoa the dog for being too smart. It is an excellent point taking into account the eco-pawprint of the pet dog. As to fire-breathing cows, umm, Im sure like most people we would rather forget the rather unsavoury and dangerous school boy practice of lighting farts.

Originally Posted By: stoutYou do need to be a vegan if you want to go down that 'karma free" road.

Im not sure I agree that you have to be a vegan, from a Buddhist perspective . In Precepts it says undertake to abstain from harming living beings. This leaves much open to interpretation. As part of a useful guide written by Thich Nath Hanh it says Be aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, be committed to cultivating good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming

Cheers wave


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh


Page: 123...6