Author Topic: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?  (Read 636 times)

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Offline Reiey fpi Sìtaron

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Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« on: February 06, 2014, 10:20:45 am »
http://matadornetwork.com/bnt/why-vegetarianism-will-not-save-the-world/

Interesting. I wonder if James Cameron knows about this.
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Offline Niri Te

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Re: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 10:34:12 am »
 That was a good, truthful article, and why I have no problem walking out the door of my house to go hunting or fishing. The BIGGEST problem that we, as a species cause the Earth is that there are FAR TO MANY of us that are far to willing to make FAR TOO MANY offspring. What this planet NEEDS is for the human species to have NEGATIVE population growth for about a century.
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Offline Tìtstewan

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Re: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2014, 10:48:47 am »
Yeah, I've suspected that. As Niri Te said, we are too many people on this Planet.
The area of all continents are 150mio km², 7 billion people...that make 46 persons per 1 km² (on this planet), now give them all to eat what we do eat here in rich countries...

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Offline Raiden

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Re: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2014, 11:41:13 am »
That article is a steaming pile of bulls***.

Ecologists/environmentalists/climatologists have known that agriculture has been one of the main problems for decades now. It is a proven fact that in the food industry, the greatest carbon emissions and water use comes from meat, specifically, beef and lamb.

The main flaw in the article is the sentence about the soy burger. That's not really the point; if you want to eat in an ecologically sound manner, you need to stay away from processed foods that were produced in a faraway place, you need to reduce you consumption of meat dramatically (if you eat meat as often as a typical U.S. citizen), and you need to stay away from restaurants, especially fast food places. The guy who wrote the article ate a soy burger, which is mostly processed food, from far-away places, and was likely purchased at a restaurant chain.

If the person who wrote the article knew what he was talking about, he would have known that the way to go is to eat mostly fruits and vegetables that are organic and locally produced, and to try to eat beef/lamb only once or twice a month (poultry and fish can be eaten slightly more often, as they do not have as large of a footprint, and hunting deer or elk is also better than beef or lamb, as they are overpopulating many areas in the US and are automatically a more sustainable source of meat).

I'd also like to add that the article is a few years old already, and there are a bunch of comments beneath it that pretty much tear it to pieces. It's not a very well thought out article, and completely misses the point on several extremely important facets of sustainable eating.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2014, 11:48:56 am by Raiden »
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Offline Clarke

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Re: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 12:35:26 pm »
I don't think the problem is population as such, but waste produced, both in relative terms and absolute numbers. Because of the efficiencies and networking effects involved, high technology and densely packed cities can mean the ecological damage per person is lower than the same number or fewer people living "green" as Niri mentioned.

The problem there is essentially that the majority of people are neither engineers themselves, or willing to trust the engineers' word over their own opinion of what is safe or optimum. The various large businesses take advantage of that to avoid having to spend lots of money (Selfridge is right, sadly - most people don't think far enough in the future to realize that bad PR is worse than a bad quarterly) and therefore we get the mess we're in now.

For instance, if the world was ran by engineers rather than politicians, there would likely be much less debate over, say, how to generate the world's power. Although I've not done the exact calculations in terms of cost per Watt, it's probably quite one-sided:




Offline Raiden

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Re: Vegetarianism = bad for the environment?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 02:01:00 pm »
I don't think the problem is population as such, but waste produced, both in relative terms and absolute numbers. Because of the efficiencies and networking effects involved, high technology and densely packed cities can mean the ecological damage per person is lower than the same number or fewer people living "green" as Niri mentioned.

Yes and no.

The damage caused by population can't be entirely mitigated by forming ultra-dense cities, because you need space to grow food.

Which, I'd like to point out, is something you ignored, despite it being the focus of this thread, not energy production. If you could ask a machine what kind of energy resource it likes the most, it would shrug and tell you it couldn't tell the difference, because electricity does not have a flavor.

The big problems with ultra-dense cities are that humans will only be comfortable with such settings up to a point, and even the best design and engineering tricks can't change human psychology. The other one, which, again, is the focus of this thread, is food. Even the best dense cities (Portland, OR is one) need thousands of acres of land in order to produce food, and then some of that land is invariably farmed to produce things that are just being farmed to make money, not to feed people locally.

The thing is, "green living" doesn't necessarily mean living in the middle of nowhere and living off the land. You can do that and be incredibly damaging to your surroundings, even causing the local extinction of some organisms (extirpation). In order for city living to be ecologically feasible, food production would have to be pulled inwards (think like stacked terraces, or drawers on a conical dresser or nightstand), and any waste water would need to be recycled, along with nutrients and other useful materials from any industrial, commercial, or human waste.

Buildings and infrastructure would also need to be constructed with the average citizen in mind. There was an article I read recently that pointed out that currently, very tall buildings are mostly very expensive apartments and business suites built by very wealthy tycoons, and they command equally high price tags. If nobody can afford to live anywhere, than the dense city defeats itself. The richest people would need to be controlled somehow (or they would need to be some system to prevent them from hoarding resources and money) so that a divide between rich and poor doesn't form.
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