Diet & Climate Change

This post over at Prettier than Napoleon (cool name for a blog, no?) about the carbon footprint of various dietary regimes bears noting.  Commendably, it cites the high carbon footprint of meat-based diets.  It then claims, however, that since the carbon footprint of eating chicken is lower than that of eating beef, the data put environmentalists and animal rights folk at odds.  This reasoning is mistaken for a number of reasons.

First, the world’s carbon crisis demands drastic changes in lifestyle — changes of a scale that simply eating more chicken will not address.  Few if any knowledgeable environmentalists would advocate shifting to chicken from beef as an effective way to mitigate climate change.

Second, the idea that animal advocates’ wish to see fewer animals (including chickens) killed and environmentalists’ desire to reduce the world’s carbon footprint generates a fundamental conflict between the two camps (such as they are) is simply illogical.  Putting aside the fact that many environmentalists (including your blogger) are also animal advocates, it is impossible to escape the fact that the ideals of eating less meat (of whatever sort) and saving the planet are not at variance.

Just a few thoughts for a Friday afternoon.

dnc