Dear Partners in Green,

I’m going to get right to the point. There are so many ways we can mitigate Climate Change, that is, reduce its effects by changes in our lifestyles: reduce use of plastics, limit our shopping, flying and driving, conserve water, plant a tree, etc.…, and yes, we must do these things. 

But, over and over, in studies I have found from the United Nations and beyond, the greatest contributor to greenhouse gases, that is to Climate Change, is beef.

We must reduce our consumption of beef. It is obvious that we are addicted to it and to meat in general, and it is killing our planet. I am reminded of a line in a song by the artist Meatloaf (apropos name), popular a number of years ago. “I’ll do anything for love, but I won’t do that!” There was debate at the time as to what he was referring to; it seems today he could have been singing about giving up beef.

We’ll do anything for love, but we won’t give up our beef.

The beef industry (factory farms) is responsible for emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. (The methane and nitrous oxide are up to 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.) 

In the U.S., animals on factory farms produce an estimated 885 billion pounds of manure each year, none of which is treated or regulated by government agencies. 

In the Texas panhandle, there is a vast constellation of feeding farms that account for one-fifth of the entire U.S. beef supply. If you have ever eaten a hamburger, there’s a good chance the meat came from there. And, as an aside, it is illegal to photograph these operations. Not surprising. I have driven through the panhandle of west Texas, seen and experienced the dust, the stench, the miserable life and death of cattle with no space in which to turn around and little sunlight shining through. And just down the road a piece, a giant billboard challenging people to eat a 12 oz steak served at a local eatery.

And despite the economic slowdown caused by the COVID pandemic, atmospheric greenhouse gas levels continued to rise in 2020, in large part because of an emissions increase in the Amazon as rainforests were changed into land for cattle to satisfy the global demand for beef. 

Dr. Klaper, a plant-based physician, believes that giving up beef is like fighting an addiction. A thick, juicy steak can be addictive because the blood in red meat contains albumin, hemoglobin, and gamma globulin, chemicals that activate the body’s opioid receptors – just like heroin, but on a smaller scale.  And the “addiction” can begin at infancy with that jar of baby food. And when the child is two or three, it’s the Happy Meal. He also believes two reasons a person may return to eating meat are the social pressure of getting tired of being the odd person at a restaurant and being the one at home who requires an alternative meal. *

Jonathan Safran Foer, Interview Ecologist, January 2011 on the question
“is it possible to be an environmentalist and a meat-eater.”

We know it (meat-eating) is indisputably the number one cause of global warming.  So, what does it mean exactly to be an environmentalist on a daily basis if you are not thinking about the number one cause of global warming or one of the top two or three causes of all other environmental problems? Does it mean you are necessarily someone who doesn’t care about the environment?  Obviously not, but it might mean you have a blind spot for something big.

From the United Nations

Food and Climate Change: Healthy diets for a healthier planet  

Please, seriously consider.

Thank you for being on this journey.

Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones. 

Till next time,