Don't shame people for eating meat...

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
856
Reaction score
873
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
This is not the kind of headline we need right now.... Thoughts?

Don't let vegetarian environmentalists shame you for eating meat. Science is on your side.

Go ahead, grill a burger. Going vegetarian can help our climate a little bit, but it's an inefficient policy to try to push on people worldwide.

 

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
2,534
Age
64
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
There are a number of inaccuracies in this. I was thinking about taking the time to take the article apart piece by piece, but it's not like anyone here is going to say, "oh, I'm glad this guy has clued me in, pleast pass the meat. "

Forest Nymph is going to blow a gasket when she sees this.
 

Nekodaiden

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2017
Messages
1,077
Reaction score
534
Age
46
Lifestyle
Vegan
There are a number of inaccuracies in this. I was thinking about taking the time to take the article apart piece by piece, but it's not like anyone here is going to say, "oh, I'm glad this guy has clued me in, pleast pass the meat. "

Forest Nymph is going to blow a gasket when she sees this.
No, do it. This is a public forum and "anyone here" might not be a member, regular member and may just happen upon it in research. I know some about the climate arguments, but personally feel way unequipped to argue this area.

The article is said to be written by Bjorn Lomborg. If it's the same Bjorn, here is his wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjørn_Lomborg

Climate science is what this person's "rewards and recognitions" is in (though not his degrees). This is your @Lou and @Forest Nymph 's chance to put him out of a job.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Forest Nymph

TofuRobot

Active Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2018
Messages
856
Reaction score
873
Location
Southern California, USA
Lifestyle
Vegan
I wonder what Mic The Vegan would have to say... I'd love for him to rip this article to bits
 
  • Like
Reactions: Forest Nymph

Emma JC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2017
Messages
1,095
Reaction score
1,156
Location
Canada
Lifestyle
Vegan
I think the line that bothers me the most is this one...

....but it blithely ignores the reality that elsewhere on the planet, 1.45 billion people are vegetarians today not because they prefer veggie burgers, but because of poverty. Those people desperately want to be able to afford meat.

If that statement is even remotely true (which I doubt) it is because that eating meat became a status symbol of wealth, a long time ago. In the old days (and even now) kings and heads of state were/are fat and that was an indicator of their wealth and status. It also may have made them die earlier. Many had gout and digestive issues.

People that are hungry and poor are not desperate for meat, they are desperate for food full stop. Check out the rates of heart disease, diabetes etc in the poorer countries. Almost non-existent, they live on a starch based diet.

The author does not have a good reputation in certain circles. A vegetarian that is cheese addicted and sublimates his guilt? maybe.

Emma JC
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Oh no. Yeah OUTDATED science is on their side. The grassfed beef thing has been debunked twice since 2016. Grazed and Confused from Oxford first, then a study at Harvard last year. And this is what I have to say not even reading it yet. I will probably have to return to this disaster later (the article, not the thread!)
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
I think the line that bothers me the most is this one...

....but it blithely ignores the reality that elsewhere on the planet, 1.45 billion people are vegetarians today not because they prefer veggie burgers, but because of poverty. Those people desperately want to be able to afford meat.

If that statement is even remotely true (which I doubt) it is because that eating meat became a status symbol of wealth, a long time ago. In the old days (and even now) kings and heads of state were/are fat and that was an indicator of their wealth and status. It also may have made them die earlier. Many had gout and digestive issues.

People that are hungry and poor are not desperate for meat, they are desperate for food full stop. Check out the rates of heart disease, diabetes etc in the poorer countries. Almost non-existent, they live on a starch based diet.

The author does not have a good reputation in certain circles. A vegetarian that is cheese addicted and sublimates his guilt? maybe.

Emma JC
That's what I'm wondering even outside of his convenient factual errors, why an "ethical vegetarian" would write an article for USA Today defending meat eaters. That's like a Mormon writing an article for the New York Times telling people not to shame others for smoking and drinking. Like, why would you want to encourage something you find morally reprehensible? One of my friends who is a long-term ethical vegetarian and who raised her son that way since pregnancy despite the father being a meat eater, is a card-carrying, donating member of PETA and would be all about shaming people for cooking animals when there's plenty to eat. It doesn't add up, it's verrrrry strange.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

Lou

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
2,523
Reaction score
2,534
Age
64
Location
San Mateo, Ca
Lifestyle
Vegan
Oh no. Yeah OUTDATED science is on their side. The grassfed beef thing has been debunked twice since 2016. Grazed and Confused from Oxford first, then a study at Harvard last year. And this is what I have to say not even reading it yet. I will probably have to return to this disaster later (the article, not the thread!)
If you can send me the links or the info on the grass-fed studies. That has been one of the things i have been really curious about.
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
No, do it. This is a public forum and "anyone here" might not be a member, regular member and may just happen upon it in research. I know some about the climate arguments, but personally feel way unequipped to argue this area.

The article is said to be written by Bjorn Lomborg. If it's the same Bjorn, here is his wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjørn_Lomborg

Climate science is what this person's "rewards and recognitions" is in (though not his degrees). This is your @Lou and @Forest Nymph 's chance to put him out of a job.
I'll be back on another day soon to post some academic studies that debunks what he's saying. I've posted them on the forum before I think in my grad school thread. I'm also considering writing in to USA Today. I actually hope some very esteemed PhD level "real" scientist does so first.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Emma JC

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
If you can send me the links or the info on the grass-fed studies. That has been one of the things i have been really curious about.
Yeah I thought of you when I found the Harvard study. I thought you knew about Grazed and Confused. My bad. I'll send them soon! I'm running out of time right now...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Jamie in Chile

Active Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
619
Reaction score
317
Age
39
Lifestyle
Vegetarian
Bjorn Lomborg, the author of this piece, is, as can be seen if you followed the link to his wikipedia page posted above, the author of the Skeptical Environmentalist, which is probably what he is best known for. Yes, it's the same person. The book got a lot of press after arguing against global warming (and other environmental issues) being a serious issue and basically saying instead of global warming we should worry about other issues instead. The book's claims were trashed and debunked. It's disappointing that USA Today would write an article from him.

One problem with this article is that it's cherry picking. There is other data suggesting that vegetarian diets are more expensive, but of course that's ignored. The data about the % of carbon emissions saved is incredibly low. I can't link through to his estimate but a reasonable estimate is that you cut your global warming by 10-30% depending on how you measure it. He just ignores all the higher figures and quotes the lowest one he can find.

Another is that the rebound effect is not a moral argument. If data showed that stopping criminals from stealing caused them to get frustrated and carry out more violent attacks instead, that would not be a defence of stealing.

Perhaps Lomborg's basic idea here is to just to take advantage of how easy it is to get attention and make money from going against the consensus, but that is just speculation really. But don't be surprised if he appears on Fox News in a while talking about one of his books.

In a way, this is a kind of progress. 5-10 years ago people didn't even realize meat caused climate change, and now at least almost everyone admits that it does and the debate is just how serious this issue is. At least the issue is in the mainstream a bit more. Someone, somewhere just clicked on this article and just discovered for the first time that meat causes climate change, that vegetarianism therefore reduces climate change, that this is not in dispute and the only argument is about how much of a problem this is.
 

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
Bjorn Lomborg, the author of this piece, is, as can be seen if you followed the link to his wikipedia page posted above, the author of the Skeptical Environmentalist, which is probably what he is best known for. Yes, it's the same person. The book got a lot of press after arguing against global warming (and other environmental issues) being a serious issue and basically saying instead of global warming we should worry about other issues instead. The book's claims were trashed and debunked. It's disappointing that USA Today would write an article from him.

One problem with this article is that it's cherry picking. There is other data suggesting that vegetarian diets are more expensive, but of course that's ignored. The data about the % of carbon emissions saved is incredibly low. I can't link through to his estimate but a reasonable estimate is that you cut your global warming by 10-30% depending on how you measure it. He just ignores all the higher figures and quotes the lowest one he can find.

Another is that the rebound effect is not a moral argument. If data showed that stopping criminals from stealing caused them to get frustrated and carry out more violent attacks instead, that would not be a defence of stealing.

Perhaps Lomborg's basic idea here is to just to take advantage of how easy it is to get attention and make money from going against the consensus, but that is just speculation really. But don't be surprised if he appears on Fox News in a while talking about one of his books.

In a way, this is a kind of progress. 5-10 years ago people didn't even realize meat caused climate change, and now at least almost everyone admits that it does and the debate is just how serious this issue is. At least the issue is in the mainstream a bit more. Someone, somewhere just clicked on this article and just discovered for the first time that meat causes climate change, that vegetarianism therefore reduces climate change, that this is not in dispute and the only argument is about how much of a problem this is.
Yes I have more than one study I posted in my grad school thread which shows that vegetarianism has about half the impact on the environment as optimum meat consumption. Optimum meat consumption would be something like a flexitarian, or a Mediterranean or Asian person who only eats fish for dinners, or mammal flesh once or twice a week, and not on a daily basis, or who uses meat regularly as a "flavoring" with extremely small portions (sometimes seen in Far East Asian cooking). This is not the SAD where people gorge on multiple meats two to three times in a day.

Veganism does indeed have the smallest carbon footprint, even factoring in things like transport and packaged foods (yes there are studies on this, this is one of the attempts to deride veganism I always hear...that if you eat Tofurky a few times a week, or keep bottles of Vegenaise in your fridge you're still using non-local foods and packaging)...except for specific regions where it is actually easier to raise cattle or goats for milk/cheese, and chickens for pasture eggs. I've often questioned if where I live dairy is more sustainable, because cows do actually roam here, they literally walk around large tracts of land and have for a century, this isn't a new development and they aren't confined and forced to eat buckets of imported grasses in a stall. However, I think this becomes far more relevant in areas where veganism may actually be practically difficult, in developing countries where B12 supplements aren't readily available and food variety is limited, or in areas with rocky steppes where fruit and vegetable ag is too challenging.

Thank you for sharing the history of this person. It makes sense then that he'd write an article like this if he's a conspiracy theorist dead-set about climate change. I mean I know there are vegetarians who "don't want to push their beliefs on others" but that doesn't seem like a reasonable excuse here, since he's writing an article in a major newspaper forcing his beliefs on others about global warming.

He appeared to have a bone to pick with vegans in particular. I picked up on his ire, where he repeatedly said it's veganism not vegetarianism that's the most sustainable, and who the heck is gonna do that? (He's certainly not, from his tone).

I also was annoyed by his weird assumption that people who save money by going veggie would spend that money on activities that burn more fossil fuels. Like...what? I mean, if they go out to dinner, they'll still be vegetarian. If they go to a movie, the movie is already playing for other people in the audience, so it's not like they're using the theater's electricity exclusively for themselves. Does he mean they might take a vacation? And if so, why would he immediately cancel out the possibility that they'd take a train, or buy carbon credits for their flight?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lou

Forest Nymph

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
1,659
Reaction score
1,315
Age
37
Location
Northern California
Lifestyle
Vegan
I'm sorry, the computer I'm using in the town's library, isn't allowing me to open files from my flash drive for some reason, and the college library that would let me do so is closed on weekends during the summer. I can't wait to get my laptop back! Aargh!

I'll post the files on Monday.