Sunday, March 21, 2010

TO MEAT OR NOT TO MEAT

tamworth-pig-and-piglet


This question was recently raised in my home community of Fortaleza where pigs were being raised as one component of a larger program of agricultural production. There was much discussion and various opinions were put forth. In the end, it was decided that it would be hard to align increased pig production with Fortaleza's broader goals of conservation and preservation of nature and the project (which was scheduled to expand) has been stopped. The general area that had been dedicated for pig production will be replanted with native trees and the lake will be developed for recreation.

The official announcement from Saturnino Brito is here.

The Earth Island Institute recently took on the question of the eco-print of meat eating and presented an interesting debate that reaches beyond the black vs white oversimplifications.

[UPDATE: For an illustration of how exaggerated the debate over meat can get see Treehugger's story about Michael Pollan retracting his statement that "A vegan in a Hummer has a lighter carbon footprint than a beef eater in a Prius."

Money quote is:

Way back in 2005, Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin from the Department of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago published a paper that compared the carbon footprint of both a meat-based and a plant-based diet. As Reuters reported:

They found that the difference between an heavy meat-eating diet and a vegan diet was about 2 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per person per year. The difference between a Prius and an SUV (they used a Suburban, which gets about the same mileage as a Hummer) was 4.76 tons per year.]



2 comments:

Cameron and Wayne said...

Gorgeous, loving picture to go with your great story, Lou!! Blessings, Cameron

Lou Gold said...

Yes, great photo but not mine. Not sure who took the photo. I found it at http://animalblawg.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/the-pig-the-cafo-the-flu/