The last few weeks, months I have been thinking about what we eat and how we eat. By we I mean the world, humans.
This all came to a head when i saw this video. My first but brief reaction was the norm, disgust and revulsion for the inhumane treatment. Then i thought….well how do WE think we can treat them any differently when WE are the source of demand? WE are the instigators of it all, WE supply the demand.
Some of the questions I ask myself are:
If all or most humans were to eat a paleo, whole food based diet would humans be healthier? I think yes, people should eat more whole food rather than processed food.
If people ate paleo, whole food diets then how in the hell could the world support all that meat and veg? Carbs and processed food such as corn and soy are easy to make, easy to grow, take up little space (relative to cattle, poultry..), and keeps for a long time.
How can people expect industries to kill and slaughter animals humanly when having to supply an already over demand of meat? I don’t think they can
We all cry about global warming, do our best to recycle, use less water, use less electricity, drive less..but how helpful are we really.
- Do you know that cows contribute methane to the worlds green house gasses.
- If you line the worlds pigs, chickens, and cows end to end they will reach the moon 5 times!
- Not from their bum by farting but by their burps.
- Methane is about 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. So 1 ton methane equals 23 ton carbon dioxide.
- Methane is number two contributor of green house gasses behind carbon dioxide.
- Agriculture is responsible for 14% of the earths green house gasses.
- In Australia sheep and cattle contribute 14% of our total methane
- In New Zealand it is 50% of total methane
- The Australian agriculture industry produces about 3million tonnes of methane a year
- The US predict that by 2030 the methane output will increase by 60%
And remember methane is 23 x that of carbon dioxide!
Now keep in mind that not only do they produce methane they inversely add to carbon dioxide emissions. Once they are slaughtered they need to get to your plate. First they go to the slaughter house, then a processing plant, storage, maybe storage again and again, the supermarket, then your home. All this requires transport and with transport comes carbon dioxide.
There are some ways to mitigate the methane produced by cows.
- Feed them their natural feed of grass. Cows are feed on corn, soy and other grass to speed up the process but this creates more gas.
- Give cattle drugs which increase their digestion to cut down gas production. However it contributes to Bactria resistant bugs.
- Breed cattle to produce less emissions which can reduce emissions by up to 3%
- A vaccine by the CSIRO may reduce methane by up to 20%
- Selective breeding to produce more meat per cow, such as the Belgium blue cow. Still has its associated problems such as increased cost, no impact on reducing meat consumption, same amount of methane released…
- OR we can simply eat less meat
Do you want your meat genetically engineered, given drugs or vaccines? Cows feed on good grass costs a lot more and is hard to find.
We eat far to much meat, and also carbs in the form of processed food products. Simply we eat to much now!
From 1961 to now the worlds population has more than doubled from 3 to 7 billion. Meat has quadrupled from 70 to 300 million tons! By 2050 this will have to increase by 60%.
For these reasons I am going to try to switch to a mainly vegetable diet with some fish and little meat. It is going to be hard as I love meat but I think it will just take patience and time to work it out. Once I come up with recipes, food options that I can have then it should be easy. I’ll take it slow, set goals and let you know how I go.
At least I’ll feel better about doing my part for the worlds health and mine at the same time.