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Leading water scientists from the The Stockholm International Water Institute are issuing a stern warning that food shortages in the future will dictate a global transition to vegetarian diets by 2050.

"There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends and changes towards diets common in western nations," the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at The Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) said.


Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia. More than 18 million people are already facing serious food shortages across the Sahel.

Their warning comes at a time when information about the massive contribution (pdf) of livestock production to climate change has become known.  In fact,  reducing livestock production is one of the most necessary components in mitigating the worst effects of climate change.  And although the water scientists are saying the reduction must be done by 2050 that will be too late to mitigate the most devastating effects of a warming planet.  We must begin the transition now.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.
The benefits and opportunities of a rapid transition to a global plant based diet can not be over stated.   It offers the only rapid reduction of dangerous green-house gases in the atmosphere and also helps to conserve our precious water and land resources.

Originally posted to beach babe in fl on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by Moving Planet, DK GreenRoots, Meatless Advocates Meetup, and Climate Change SOS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But it won't happen. (8+ / 0-)

    You might as well be advocating solving the world food crisis with manna from heaven. Your persistence is touching, but your detachment from reality is troubling. As I have said before, you cannot solve a difficult problem with an impossible to implement solution.

    We'll have to do with meat what we have to do with everything else produced in unacceptably inefficient ways: produce it more efficiently. In the case of meat, that means cloning. Even that will be a stretch for many meat eaters, but it's a better chance than endlessly preaching a message that the vast majority of the world has found singularly unappetizing.

    "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

    by sagesource on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:40:53 PM PDT

    •  I utterly hate to say it (2+ / 0-)

      but you're 100% right.

      I certainly hope people don't make the fundamental mistake of blaming you for simply stating reality.

      I live with a very low carbon footprint for a westerner. I don't see many people willing to live like this.

    •  Not cloning, but cultured meat (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, FG, billlaurelMD, bnasley, SoCaliana

      in nutrient baths. The nutrient baths could certainly contain residual human tissue, in which case the resulting "meat" could truly be considered Soylent.

      Waste not, want not!

      "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

      by Bob Love on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  increase in meat prices will bring rapid (9+ / 0-)

      reduction.  There are already excellent meat subs. available.  No cloning is needed.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:49:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cloning is not a solution either (9+ / 0-)

      quite apart from the fact that in cattle cloning works about once per thousand attempts, the cloned animal has the same nutritional requirements as any other animal. The same amount of feedstock is needed.

      No, this problem will "fix" itself when the price of meat goes so high that most people will not be able to eat it. I imagine that flavored soy products will replace it.

    •  Sorry (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      atana, Miss Jones, alain2112, FG, Lujane, SoCaliana

      but that wont work either.

      Cloning is a mammalian process, it produces offspring the same as normal breeding and those animals eat and drink like any other. Cloning may help with the breeding and propagation of more efficient converters of food and water, but it otherwise can't address the problem.

      Perhaps you mean some kind of synthetic meat production in retorts and chemical factories? Similarly, not going to happen. The capital and energy costs of substituting that much animal protein will be horrific and probably create more greenhouse gases in their total cycle (including refining chemicals for the process, managing temperatures, sterility etc) than just having a cow.

      What WILL happen, because, as you say, we wont be able to make the kinds of choices the diarist describes, is that animal protein will become a smaller part of our diet. Meat will become a flavouring, like in a lot of Italian food, rather than the principle part of it.

      We will eat more vegetable-based proteins (grain plus pulse) and add a meat like prosciutto or create gravies or use stocks to flavour the food and attract the meat-eater palate.

      We'll make that transition because it will be within the current food-production model and can be promoted as "improvement" to the ready-meal mentality. By keeping costs under more control it will also appeal to those whose budgets are already hammered by other costs.

      As a mostly-vegetarian who occasionally eats meat at a restaurant or other people's homes, I can see both sides of the coin. I can produce more of my own food as a vego than as a meat eater, it IS more efficient but it is also more susceptible to climate problems. An animal might scratch through a drought or a flood and be alive to breed and fatten again on the other side. Lose a grain crop and you lose everything, the food, the land and the seeds for next year.

      Vego is a LOT harder work than many people imagine, and its footprint is only a bit (a useful and valuable bit) better than carnivore. For example, Nicole Foss points out that an animal on the hoof is its own storage mechanism whereas grain has to be stored in a clean, dry, vermin-proof place (energy and resoruce costys) or cooked and frozen etc, all of which use fuels and produce climate pollution.

      BTW, we eat eggs which are great sources of protein and fats and I'm planning to move into ducks for both eggs and occasional meat as well as their environmental services.

      All that, and cutting back the WASTE would make a difference. In fact, eliminating the food waste would change the whole calculation. I'm guessing it would set back the clock on both food production and climate damage by a decade.

      Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

      by Deep Dark on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:10:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "They'll have to pry my Whopper from my cold dead (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hands!" - Your Average Joe American.

      The majority of Americans would rather die than compromise their God given right to stuff their porcine faces with as much crap as they can choke down every day. So I guess they will.

    •  Cloned meat would be terrible. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Consider the difference between wild game and factory farmed animals, then multiply that by, like, a million.

      And with all the hullabaloo regarding labeling GMO foods, I really doubt USDA cloned beef is really going to be a hot seller.

      We will have to embrace a far more vegetarian diet or start dying in staggering numbers in the near future.  I expect it will be some combination of the two, given our hominid stubbornness.

    •  What you said makes no sense (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      beach babe in fl

      Cloning is not a magical process in which you put an animal in a tube and you get another animal.  A clone is raised and uses similar amounts of water.

      As far as detachment from reality, I don't think making that statement reflects that.  In order to convince people to try to convince them to do things they won't do now, you have to make your case and say why.  The progressive movement has failed in great part because we haven't effectively done something.

      If people disagree with you, that doesn't mean you should stay quiet.  It means you should go on making your case.  Maybe it's more a case of you not wanting to give up meat?  Just guessing.

      Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

      by martianexpatriate on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 01:50:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  just had some (4+ / 4-)

    corned beef for lunch (yum) . . . to reduce methane emissions I skipped the cabbage.

    Not that skipping the cabbage will have even the slightest effect on reducing methand emissions from clathrates and permafrost melting or from termite mounds in the tropics . . . or on global warming.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:46:59 PM PDT

    •  hope you find something better to do with (8+ / 0-)

      your life

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:53:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There always has to be at least one person (6+ / 0-)

      that shows up in these diaries to be a dick.  Take a donut.

      There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:00:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I fail to see what makes this comment dickish (5+ / 0-)

      Therefore I am uprating.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:32:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's kinda borderline... (0+ / 0-)

        Showing up on a vegan blog and extolling the virtues of corned beef would be out-and-out trolling. This is not a vegan blog, so I think I'll uprate too, although I don't think this is a really good or constructive comment.

      •  agreed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, kalmoth

        I'm a vegetarian, eat sustainably and local... But I think his argument that, on scale, beef maybe isn't number one on the list of climate change threats, is fair. Also... I sometimes struggle with the idea that, as an American, being a vegetarian is a great lifestyle and great for my health. But if I were poor and malnourished and somebody put a factory-farmed cow in front of me, I'd fire up the BBQ.

      •   "Participating in someone else's diary" Kos (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dirkster42, atana, bnasley

        The "guest in someone's house" rule

        Walking into someone's diary is like walking into someone's home. You are a guest. Act accordingly. That doesn't mean you can't disagree. It just means you have to be civil and courteous and limit your arguments to substance.

        That level of courtesy must be even higher in group diaries. If people want to hang out and talk about X, and you are anti-X, then either be on your bestest of best behavior or just stay away. You are always free to write your own response diary or start your own anti-X group.

        So, my tolerance for dickishness will be least in group diaries, followed by personal diaries, followed by your own diaries.

        Bottom line: If you don't like someone, ignore or argue PURELY on the facts. If you refuse to heed and seek out your foes to shit all over their diaries, I will zap you. You don't need to go after the same people every day to remind them that yes, you still don't like them.

        "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

        by indycam on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 04:43:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I take global warming seriously. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pete Cortez

        I don't much care about dietary fetishism . . . people can eat what they want.  I believe in "choice".

        But I find the borderline-fraudulent use of the very real threat of global warming to promote dietary fetishism dangerous and disgusting, since it trivializes the very real problems that need to be addressed.  Nothing constructive come of it (and we all look like nutcases) if DKos gets the reputation of a place that promulgates the nonsense that the "cure" to global warming is to kill all the cows.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 09:17:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's probably a more (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          beach babe in fl

          useful comment than your first one, although I disagree with your point of view.

          I'm not a vegetarian, but I do think there is evidence that the total process of farming animals for food contributes significantly to the production of greenhouse gasses. One of the linked documents in the diary contains the following:

          Livestock are already well-known to contribute to GHG
          emissions. Livestock’s Long Shadow, the widely-cited 2006
          report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization
          (FAO), estimates that 7,516 million metric tons per
          year of CO2 equivalents (CO2e), or 18 percent of annual
          worldwide GHG emissions, are attributable to cattle, buffalo,
          sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. That amount
          would easily qualify livestock for a hard look indeed in the
          search for ways to address climate change. But our analysis
          shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account
          for at least 32,564million tons of CO2e per year, or 51 percent
          of annual worldwide GHG emissions.
          But also, this diary is not just about global warming, but about water usage as well, as you can see by the title.

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 10:16:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is, on the face of it, nonsense . . . (0+ / 0-)

            and nobody in the climatology community takes it seriously.  CO2 "production" by animals is part of a zero sum loop . . . every ton of carbon excreted is balanced by a ton of carbon consumed, with no net increase in atmospheric CO2.  It is catagorically different from the CO2 released by the mining of sequestered carbon (fossil fuels).  The same is true of the constantly recycling Methane, which is a constantly recycling component of all biological systems like the marshes and peat bogs that sometimes get "converted" to farmland and pasture (and including me when I eat cabbage with my CB).  It is again catagorically different from sequestered Methane being released, for example, by the melting of Arctic (what was) permafrost.

            And if you think (as you should) that it's hard to get people out of their gas guzzling cars (which can at least be replaced with cars powered by non-fossil-fuel alternatives) . . . well . . . it's just a tiny fraction of the difficulty to be faced if one really wants to change culturally established dietary patterns.  It ain't going to happen.  Even proposing it is a real (and I think deliberate) impediment to actually dealing with global warming in any serious way (and it would be even if it did make any sense, which it doesn't) . . . it makes laughingstock (pun intended) those who suggest it, and anyone who has the misfortune to be associated with them.

            It would indeed be inappropriate to "eat corned beef" in a "vegetarian diary" . . . but but it's not inappropriate in a diet fetish diary that insults and demeans anyone who takes the threat of global warming and climate change seriously.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 11:21:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  As long as we own Canada ... no worries! nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:48:06 PM PDT

  •  Considering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Miss Jones, dirkster42

    that there's growing evidence that USDA-recommended high-carb (not high-fat) diets are what's been fattening us all up since the 70s, this is going to get really interesting.  If we conserve by not eating meat or as much meat, we have to find ways to get fats into our diets so that we aren't all driving our metabolisms backwards and walking around with diabetes.

    (The paper linked suggests that excess carbohydrate in the diet essentially downregulates the pathways that make energy available in the cell).

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:56:05 PM PDT

    •  I'm no expert, but (6+ / 0-)

      I think there's a pretty huge difference between beans/whole grains and the refined, processed wheat/corn products that are giving people diabetes, though the term "carbs" can refer to all of these things.  I think a person could live quite well on beans and whole grains and nuts with a high vegetable diet that is suplemented with animal products here and there.

      •  All those studies that match up the USDA recs... (4+ / 0-)

        ....with obesity rates ignore the fact that nobody follows the USDA recs.

        It they did, you wouldn't have convenient stories filled with edible garbage on every corner.

        If Obama didn't get Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger; then Bin Laden didn't take down the World Trade Center because he didn't fly the planes.

        by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 02:50:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  God, I need new glasses. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "......IF they did, you wouldn't have convenient STORES filled with edible garbage....."

          If Obama didn't get Bin Laden because he didn't pull the trigger; then Bin Laden didn't take down the World Trade Center because he didn't fly the planes.

          by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:30:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I read an article about "vegan Atkins" (5+ / 0-)

      The researchers were able to meet that program's carb limitation for the open-ended maintenance portion, though not the more extreme early stages.  I even went onto Fitday and challenged myself to design a bodybuilder's diet (20 calories per pound of bodyweight, 2 grams of protein per pound, and 20% of calories from fat) using only plant foods and was able to do it, though I don't know how much fun (or affordable) it would be to eat.

      It boils down to the fact that all plant foods are "dirty" with carbs.  You need to treat things like rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread as empty calories and basically cut them out of your diet completely.  Focus tighter on higher protein foods like lentils, extra-firm tofu and tempeh, peanuts, seitan, and dark leafy greens.  Fat is definitely a challenge to get from a vegan diet, but it's there: olives, avocados, [pea]nuts and seeds, coconut milk (for curries), etc.

      Consider any calorie surplus to be an invitation to get more exercise.  There's a limit to how far you can stay healthy with diet alone.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:12:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hear you Beach Babe- (8+ / 0-)

    "meatless Mondays" is starting to catch on.  Yesterday I was in a Barnes and Noble that had a cookbook display of Vegetarian books focusing on Meatless Mondays.  Not nearly enough, of course, but its a pretty good start.

    Intellect and romance triumph over brute force and cynicism

    by Hill Jill on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 01:58:47 PM PDT

  •  I've tried (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the vegetarian diet thing. Ethically, it makes sense on a lot of levels, and some people can do it.

    Unfortunately, it turns me into a raging, ill-tempered monster asshole. If I don't have at least some meat every day, it's not a pretty sight.

    That might even be a man thing, because I've heard that story from other guys as well.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:04:09 PM PDT

    •  probably mind over matter...or you need to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lost and Found, atana, MBNYC, dirkster42

      learn to cook satisfying veggie meals.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:10:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  not all plant foods are created equal (6+ / 0-)

      Protein is not something the meat industry made up to move more product, and neither is fat some kind of poison.  Take a close look at what you eat and you may be surprised to find out it's deficient in both protein and fat, either of which will make you feel bad.

      Don't think it all has to be "health food" either.  Nothing but diet-sized portions of light and fresh salads and pasta would drive anyone crazy.  Full-fat coconut milk curries, caramelized onions, roast tomatoes, peanut butter and peanut sauce, avocados, olives, baked fruits, dark chocolate, etc.: there's lots of flavor out there.

      To those who say the New Deal didn't work: WWII was also government spending

      by Visceral on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 03:21:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is a subcontinent of vegetarian males (7+ / 0-)

      in India.

      I can make a killer Butter Chicken with Paneer (cheese) instead of chicken -- and IMO it tastes better with the cheese than with chicken. True,  eating that dish frequently might murder your lipids panel numbers, but it's an example of just how good vegetarian can be.

      In fact Indian cuisine has countless delicious vegetarian dishes. It does tend to be spicy though -- you have to like that.

    •  The "man thing" sounds psychological. (5+ / 0-)

      We are bombarded with advertisements to make us think that eating huge hunks of meat is the "manly" thing to do.  Eating meat does not make the meat in your pants bigger or function better.

      •  Um. (0+ / 0-)
        Eating meat does not make the meat in your pants bigger or function better.
        Yes, that is exactly the argument I would make to get someone to give up meat: talk about their dick and question their masculinity. The ad copy practically writes itself.

        Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

        by MBNYC on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:42:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People who think that eating meat... (0+ / 0-)

 "manly" are already questioning their masculinity.  Of course eating meat has not one single thing to do with being a man, but for some reason there are a ton of super insecure men in this world.

      •  It has been shown in studies. Meat eating is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl

        seen as both a sign of wealth and virility. A manly thing to do indeed!
        In one study, men who were given meat substitutes, but told it was the real thing also showed higher taste satisfaction.

        Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

        by the fan man on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 03:10:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe I have Oppositional Authority Disorder... (0+ / 0-)

          ...or whatever it's called, because that makes me want to say, I'm a vegan and I'm more of a man than you'll (the proverbial "you") ever be.

          Here's something I've heard plenty; take note men.  Being vegetarian apparently (again, I've been told) changes the taste of your cum by making it sweeter.  So, if you want your cock sucked more, eat less meat.

    •  I think that is absurd; (4+ / 0-)

      speaking as a male who grew up hunting and fishing and has spent the last decade in the military.  At most, it is all in your head.

      I went vegetarian for the first time when I was stationed in Greece and training for the Athens Marathon.  I had never felt better in my life.  Actually, right now I'm reading a book by an ultramarathoner named Scott Jurek called Eat and Run.  He's a vegan and runs footraces of 100+ miles.  You might enjoy reading the perspective of one of the toughest men on the planet.  :-)

  •  We're not going to transition to vegetarianism. (0+ / 0-)

    There isn't any plausible narrative of such a transition that isn't premised on totalitarianism or collapse.  

    Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:34:57 PM PDT

    •  Collapse simply means wild animals get killed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FG, beach babe in fl

      along with domestic.
      We are going to transition to a lower % meat diet, and that will be by price if not by choice.  Beef eating will again be a sign of wealth and prosperity. Reducing meat consumption won't be as boring as the old days, we're much more sophisticated culinary, as BBoF's diaries attest.

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sun Aug 26, 2012 at 05:44:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you won't but people who will make a positive (0+ / 0-)


      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:22:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  thank you for your persistence w/these diaries (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, SoCaliana

    every voice helps nudge us all in the right direction.  i know i've re-thought some of my own food choices based on reading your diaries.  

    •  thanks, it's very difficult advocating reduced (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man, bnasley

      consumption.  People like to complain about the problems but don't want to change to be part of solution...they are part of the problem.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 05:25:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I go back and forth about your message as it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beach babe in fl, bnasley

        pertains to reduction vs elimination. People who have problems with your diaries seem more upset about elimination of meat as opposed to reduced consumption. Would you catch more flies the other way? This isn't quite like quitting smoking, where elimination is really the only choice. If Americans cut back 50% on meat consumption (beef HAS been going down fairly steadily for a decade) it would make a tremendous difference for global warming, but would probably force the concentration of meat production even further.

        I've decided this is your take, you have your reasons beyond global warming for advocating a vegetarian diet, and more power to you for advocating for your beliefs and thanks for the recipes!

        Made cauliflower mac and cheese (First Lady's recipe), last night, quinoa potato croquettes (Deborah Madison) the night before. Yum!

        Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

        by the fan man on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 06:27:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we need as many as possible to eliminate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          meat & dairy to mitigate the worst effects of climate change and we don't have much time.  Somehow that message needs to get across.  I'm losing some patience with some who have to be carried to make a small effort to make a safe planet for future generations.   Seems almost republican to me as repubs.  only consider themselves and short term thinking.

          Turning climate change into a shit sandwich doesn't make the sandwich more palatable.

          Macca's Meatless Monday

          by VL Baker on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 06:46:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not Republican, it's human nature. Not many (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            people take to radical change easily, and telling people to stop eating meat or the planet get it, is radical.  Tell someone they can't you get one response. Show them another way you get a different one. That's what i like about your Meatless Monday diaries. Damn tasty stuff and it does make people change their habits.

            I've started spreading the word, though I make it a choice based discussion. (I know you've stated this in other ways, but somehow it gets seen as a "command" not alternative.)

            "We have to start doing something about global warming. We need to get off fossil fuels immediately, reduce, reuse, recycle our material resource streams,  convert to carbon sequestering agriculture, create alternative transportation systems, etc. All this should have been done yesterday"
            "Well that's going to take a huge change in our way of life as well as time and money"
            "Yeah, or we can cut out eating meat, that's the easiest and quickest way".

            Now it's a choice, a simple one. Much easier to handle.

            Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

            by the fan man on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 07:24:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  A more productive way of talking about the issue. (0+ / 0-)

    I've noticed that whenever people talk about things like vegetarianism being good for the planet, everyone immediately becomes extremely absolute in their thinking.  

    That's true, but so what?  Is that really the only meaningful reaction you can have?

    In the future, as we run out of water and land, and the growing seasons get shorter and more erratic, food will get more expensive, especially the meat.  Since that's going to happen, maybe you'd be better off getting used to eating more fruits and vegetables, and a little less meat?  If you consume less meat, isn't that better than consuming the same amount you eat now?

    You don't have to go out tomorrow and swear off every sort of meat in your diet and eat nothing but fruits and vegetables.  That seldom works, because that isn't the way people do things.  The easiest thing to do is to cut down on your portions and eat less meat over time.  

    It's the same as with fad diets that never work.  When you try to go on a diet, if you make huge changes to your eating habits, you might be able to do it for awhile, but eventually you'll have a bad night and you will go on an eating binge.  Most doctors these days will tell you to just make some gradual changes you can actually sustain, rather than trying to change everything immediately.

    If you don't, and at some point in the future our food production hits a cliff, it will be much more difficult for you to adapt to suddenly not having any meat at all.  And frankly, unless you are in the upper 1% of the population, it's likely that coming changes in the climate are going to lower your intake of meat whether you like it or not.

    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

    by martianexpatriate on Mon Aug 27, 2012 at 02:24:08 PM PDT

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