Tag: Environmentalism

Sustainability and meat

I’ve seen a lot of info on the incredible (bad) environmental impact of meat production — the amount of land and water it takes to grow a cow is staggering. Something like 77% of the world’s land that is used for agriculture is used to graze livestock. Lamb/mutton, beef, and cheese (mostly cows still) top the list of inefficient ways to produce a gram of protein. I see plant-based fake meat (Beyond, Impossible, etc) marketing toward this — a lower impact way to enjoy a burger. I’d like to see more focus on using existing food sources to reduce the amount of meat contained in meals — rewriting recipes to reduce meat consumption.

I make a lot of meals where meat is a small component of the dish — additions instead of subtractions from the normal recipe. Enhancements instead of restrictions. Turkey burgers with lots of spinach, some feta, and garlic. Stroganoff with three different types of mushrooms, plenty of onions, and a bit of beef. Tacos and wraps loaded with rice, beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cheese, grilled corn, and a little grilled chicken. Sloppy joe sandwiches where half of the ground beef is replaced with red lentils. Pasta salad that’s more salad than pasta with a little bit of diced pepperoni. We have completely vegetarian meals, and I use the Beyond/Impossible substitutes to make meatball subs or sausage pizza. That all balances out the grilled steak or rack of ribs some other day.

Save The Humans

I am continually astounded by people who think industry should have the right to spew whatever cocktail of toxic chemicals. Bully for you, you’ve got a load of cash and can just move somewhere else. Empathy for others aside, unless you are preparing your own biodome , eventually you are going to run out of “elsewhere”.

I remember reading an article from the American South-East coast somewhere – maybe a Carolina. A local law enforcement officer was discussing how voluntary evacuations work (or don’t), and he said the most effective tool he’d found was an indelible marker. Asked anyone who wanted to remain on site when a hurricane was headed their way to use his pen and write their name on their arm. So their bloated, floating corpse could be identified. Just writing your name is morbid, and a lot of people would start packing. But the mark served as a constant reminder of your poor decision, and people would clear out a few hours later too.

We need to adapt the same idea to environmental protection. Because, let’s be honest, the planet will still be here. A lifeless rock orbiting around the sun maybe, but short of vaporizing a good chunk of the planet … it will be here. I’m not sure what the equivalent of floater ID markings would be for creating un-breathable air or caustic water, but I suspect that type of save *you* approach would be far more successful than trying to engender concern for animals, plants, or grandchildren in people who obviously have no such concern.