Eating some meat is better for the environment than going vegetarian, new study finds

Lou

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The article starts with this sentence, "A flexitarian' diet which includes one portion of meat a day has a lower carbon footprint than a vegetarian diet that includes dairy, according to a major new study."

However, if you read the whole article you discover that they make a questionable assumption. Their vegetarian diet includes more diary than their flexitarian diet. I don't think that is a safe assumption. When I was flexitarian I ate almost no dairy.

More ever, when you finish reading the article you discover that a vegan diet is like 10 X better than the average diet and something like 2 X better than their flexitarian diet.

Full article here
 

Forest Nymph

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A lot of meat-eating rationalizing hinges on being "more sustainable than x..." It always has to have a qualifier. Like, if I hunt, it's more sustainable than eating factory farmed meat. If I'm a flexitarian who eats fish and very little red meat, that can be more sustainable than a lacto-vegetarian diet heavy in cow's milk/cheese (because cows).

The constant rationalizing is really difficult to deal with. Today in class (not a traumatic class, just a normal discussion) I pointed out that factory farming as an agricultural system is also oppressing Native Americans, primarily due to the water diverted to meat animals (especially cows, poor cows they get blamed for being alive even though humans breed them into existence) which should be in the river for the salmon runs, salmon being important to numerous tribes in the Pacific Northwest both from a dietary and spiritual standpoint. In fact lots of Native Americans are obese or have diet related diseases, due to poverty, lack of education and depression-related eating. SO....then, an indigenous man in the class agrees with me, talks about how many indigenous people are lactose intolerant, and how hard it is to get away from. Then a non-indigenous woman in the class says to him with a laugh, yeah, what can we do, we can't get it away from it. And (inside my head) I'm just like....HELLO? PLANT-BASED? But I decided to play my cards close to my chest. I'm afraid if I have outbursts like that they won't listen to me later.
 

TofuRobot

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I hate the word "flexitarian." I mean, isn't that just an omnivore? You know - the omnivore that actually eats their vegetables? A typical omnivore that might have a salad for lunch and chicken for dinner? My son (almost 17) asked me what that was the other night and I had a difficult time explaining it to him.

I think this article just does a good job of confusing people, along with giving people the sense of having more good news about their bad habits.
 

Lou

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The definition of flexitarian is very broad. But I think that is ok. Technically they are omnivores. Then again, keep in mind that technically (biologically anyway) we are all omnivores. But I think there is an important difference between the "average omnivore" and the flexitarian. the flexitarian is self-identifying as flexitarian. that means he doesn't want to be associated with the average omnivores. Its a matter of intent. He wants to eat less meat. And he wants people to know it.
I self-identified as a flexitarian as soon as I learned the word. I see flexitarians as proto vegans.

@TofuRobot
I agree that the article may be misleading. I think the study itself was biased in their assumptions. The study may include explanations on the assumptions. But that bar graph depicting the vegan diet pretty much says it all.
 

TofuRobot

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@Lou Yes... I suppose you're right. I mean, it's someone who is trying, which is always a good thing.
 

Lou

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@Lou Yes... I suppose you're right. I mean, it's someone who is trying, which is always a good thing.
I like that they have a haiku poem as their definition.

Eat food,
not too much,
mostly plants.