Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Don't Blame Cows

Don’t Blame Cows for Climate Change
December 7, 2009
UC Davis

Despite oft-repeated claims by sources ranging from the United Nations to music star Paul McCartney, it is simply not true that consuming less meat and dairy products will help stop climate change, says a University of California authority on farming and greenhouse gases.

UC Davis Associate Professor and Air Quality Specialist Frank Mitloehner says that McCartney and the chair of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ignored science last week when they launched a European campaign called "Less Meat = Less Heat." The launch came on the eve of a major international climate summit, which runs today through Dec. 18 in Copenhagen.

McCartney and others, such as the promoters of "meatless Mondays," seem to be well-intentioned but not well-schooled in the complex relationships among human activities, animal digestion, food production and atmospheric chemistry, says Mitloehner.

"Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat," Mitloehner said. "Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries." Read More

Continued research on the impact of livestock production on our climate shows us once again that removing meat from your diet won’t have any affect. It’s just been another attempt to scare people away from eating a balanced diet. Since they don’t have any facts to back up their claim, anti-meat advocates have plotted a purely emotional campaign to make people feel guilty about what they eat. More than ever, we need to be basing our decisions about things like this on facts, not fear.

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