Over the past few years, it has become cler that eating (too much) meat harms the environment. Whether it is deforestation in the Amazon, methane fumes from lakes of manure, pollution of the waterways or the transportation implications – the evidence is in, we eat too much meat.
Right now, I am working out of Beijing where people are becoming wealthier by the day. With that wealth comes a desire to eat meat – and eat it often. It is very hard to see how this country can eat meat like us and not destroy the planet. China is already the largest producer of aquaculture raised seafood, and I imagine they have other solutions for their land based meat needs.
By far, the worst meat to consume is the cheap factory raised beef, pork and chickens. If you stick to locally grown pasture raised animals, you can sleep a little easier. An interesting op-ed in the New York Times discusses the various issues. One item that is made clear in the article is the importance of the animal feed – that is the biggest factor in the impact of the animal. A study has even shown that eating New Zealand lamb in England is more eco-friendly than eating British lamb as it is raised on feed, unlike the pasture raised New Zealand lamb.
I do not know enough to comment much more, suffice to say that a solution must be found that allows people to eat what they like without compromising the future of their children. Lest we fail, Gandhi’s statement might come true, ““God forbid that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the west… keeping the world in chains. If [our nation] took to similar economic exploitation, it would strip the world bare like locusts.”