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Animal agriculture and environmental decline

personperson Where is my mind?'Merica! Veteran
edited September 2015 in Diet & Habits

I just watched a good documentary on Netflix called Cowspiracy about how animal agriculture causes a little over half of all environmental pollution yet is hardly acknowledged at all by environmental protection groups. Their focus is on things like energy, transportation, personal water usage, etc. even though usage by farm animals dwarfs these causes. Michael Pollen, author of "Omnivores Dilema" guesses that since these environmental groups depend on donations they don't want to raise an issue that would put off so many people, namely eating meat.

The personal takeaway from the movie is that if you want to make a difference in your environmental footprint then going vegan is way more potent than things like short showers, bike riding or changing light bulbs. After watching I googled about the impacts of different animal based foods and found out that last year a study came out investigating the differences between 5 different animal sources and found that beef is 10 times worse than any of the others. So while vegan would be the best, if you're like me and can't seem to give up the meat than if you can at least cut out the beef you'd be making a big difference in your footprint.

silverEvenThirdkarastiVastmindShoshinseeker242Earthninja

Comments

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran
    edited September 2015

    Just a little infographic from the movie's website

    *Ok, maybe a BIG infographic

    Shoshinmmo
  • Down with Hindus and cow worship! [I gets it wrong again?]

    I recently saw a UK idea of filtering slurry (cow muck from indoors) through small reed filter beds instead of direct into rivers.

    Eating less meat is a good plan.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I iz already there, thanks. ;)

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I blame the Americans. ;)

    VastmindEarthninja
  • @SpinyNorman said:
    I blame the Americans. ;)

    Don't they all. :p o:)
    Industrial animal farms and super mono-crops.. Sing along:
    "What's good for Monsanto is good for the World..." >:)

    Not really.

    Now back to my coffee.

  • personperson Where is my mind? 'Merica! Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    I blame the Americans. ;)

    Blame isn't a skillful emotion. You need to look deeper into causes and conditions, for example America has a severe lack of both tweed and English gentlemen, what else could you expect from us?

    lobsterEarthninja
  • @federica said:
    I iz already there, thanks. ;)

    Does that mean you are still eating meat? If you give a shit, don't care about the mass production animals, you can still be selfish being a vegan. The most dangerous pandemias are spread from the overdense livestocks to the overdense human populations.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    No, I mean I'm vegetarian. I have been for some considerable time....

    seeker242
  • I've been a vegetarian 33 years now. Feeling some guilty not being a vegan.

  • I've been trying not to eat meat for several months, missing meat badly and ended up eating ham sandwich and hot dogs... and milk. Not eating beef is quite easy for me since I don't like the taste and looking at cows I just feel not eating them. and chicken I feel guilty I could be eating a whole life all by myself. but then again I think of shrimps and other little living things..what to do! but I never thought of environmental reason. Very good point to encourage me not to eat meat. but I know that I will eat some from time to time. maybe one day will I be able to become a vegetarian? I don't know. maybe, hopefully...

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @Pöljä said:
    I've been a vegetarian 33 years now. Feeling some guilty not being a vegan.

    I say all is veganity...J/K @Polja: ;)

    I myself can't be sure if it makes any difference what we eat - the world just keeps on turnin'.

  • I am not a vegan, nor a vegetarian. I'm a "reductionarian" - is that a thing yet? -, but that isn't the topic of this discussion. I haven't seen the documentary you shared, @person, but I certainly will.

    I also have a recommendation for a documentary of another type of agriculture practiced by a farmer from Denmark. I find it interesting that this type of agriculture is very similar to the one practiced by my grandparents and might still be practiced in some areas of my country.

    The documentary is called "Good Things Await" and you can see a trailer here:

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @person said:After watching I googled about the impacts of different animal based foods and found out that last year [a study came out

    Cows are nice and deserve not to be eaten, but I hope people won't start eating more pigs and chickens and seagulls and things.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    .... 'things'.....? :scream:

    personseeker242
  • Watch out for those "things" - they might bite back! :p
    In some parts of the world, a vegan diet is a good way to starve to death. O.o
    In other parts, it makes perfect sense. o:)
    Oops! Another truism! Sorry :3
    Good news - vegetarians get to eat CHEESE (and sometimes, ice cream or something very close to it). :)

    @federica said:
    .... 'things'.....? :scream:

    Some 'things' are grasshoppers/Locust, crickets, worms, beetles, caterpillars, ants,.. basically insects and other bugs and slimy things.
    Don't forget opossum, raccoon, rat, mouse...

    Waiter! Check please!

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @federica said:
    .... 'things'.....? :scream:

    Maybe jugged hare?.....

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @person said:
    environmental footprint then going vegan is way more potent than things like short showers, bike riding or changing light bulbs.

    Not only is it more potent, it's about 500 times more potent.

    Of course this is a joke, but it's still quite relevant. :)

  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    @federica said:
    .... 'things'.....? :scream:

    Like seafood! Some people, not SpinyNorman of course, consider fish to be "things"! I had one guy tell me once that fish aren't even animals... Alright then...lol

    But seriously, there was a recent report that was just published by the World Wildlife Fund and the Zoological Society of London. It reported that ocean fish populations have been cut in HALF... since the 1970s. Populations of some commercial fish stocks, such as a group including tuna, mackerel and bonito, had fallen by almost 75 percent...The majority of that decline is from over fishing the oceans. Good reason to not eat seafood either.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-fish-numbers-cut-in-half-since-1970/

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran

    Alan watts says he eats vegetables. Because they don't scream as much as animals. Tough but fair comment.

    On another note, as long as humans think of themselves as separate from their environment. They will continue to try dominate it.
    The only way to fix all this is each person to wake up.
    But ofcourse it's easier for us to pass the buck. Blame the world for not fitting in with our personal ideas of right and wrong.
    This would be fine if we all agreed!

    Free ourselves from delusion, maybe then we stand a chance. Well our grand kids anyways ;)-

    mmo
  • We live on a horse ranch and yesterday, twenty feet from a pasture with fourteen horses in it, our neighbor shot and butchered four cows. I was out there trying to calm the horses during the process... few things will lead one to a vegetarian diet as effectively as being witness to that slaughter and the anxiety of the horses.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @yagr said:
    We live on a horse ranch and yesterday, twenty feet from a pasture with fourteen horses in it, our neighbor shot and butchered four cows. I was out there trying to calm the horses during the process... few things will lead one to a vegetarian diet as effectively as being witness to that slaughter and the anxiety of the horses.

    Oh gosh. Did that neighbor ever do that before that you know of? What would possess someone to do something that obviously wrong? (why only 20 feet away)

    Ugh. I remember back when I was just a kid, driving with my family out in the toolies, we had just passed this scene: a cow had been strung up on the opening of a small barn obviously being prepped for butchering and things like this will trigger that scene. But, I'm still a meat eater.
    :confused:

  • yagryagr Veteran
    edited September 2015

    @silver said:
    :confused: Did that neighbor ever do that before that you know of? What would possess someone to do something that obviously wrong? (why only 20 feet away)

    Yes, it's standard operating procedure. As far as why, I do not know, but I have a theory...
    e saw a cow killed and butchered as a child on the family farm. He cried. He was subsequently told to 'cowboy up', grow up and to 'be a man'. Parental approval being the sought after commodity that it is, he learned to ignore how it felt. Then he learned to ridicule those who felt as he once did. Now he does it as publically as he can to elevate his opinion of himself by basking in the squeamishness of those who have not yet attained his level of maturity.

    There were some children here on the ranch taking equestrian lessons who were very upset by the whole thing... and whose mother, ironically, consoled them with a promise of stopping at McDonalds on the way home for a Happy Meal.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    That is profoundly sad, @yagr. If it's true - probably is. It would be really nice if someone (even you?) who could demonstrate somehow - by word or deed - to serve notice that it may or may not upset the people around there, but to upset children or horses is not cool at all. If his image is so important to him, maybe some how someone can help him to see clearly what he is doing is just plain dumb and sadistic even.

    yagr
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