MEAT AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Sadly, there is a major narrative in the media at the moment telling us that meat is terrible for the environment — with beef and lamb being particular offenders. 

Methane! They yell.

Fortunately, when examined within context and with accurate numbers, it is easy to see that the narrative it is entirely false. Fortunate because meat is one of the best things you can eat if you want to be healthy. 

The fact is, the only people who claim meat is bad for the environment are driven by agenda or simply ignorant of the complexity, reality and nuance of the agricultural system.

Unfortunately, there are huge commercial interests behind the message that meat is bad for you and terrible for the environment. Story after story, influencer after influencer and celebrity after celebrity have and will come out with very well funded propoganda — with incorrect numbers and information presented out of context.

Fortunately, there’s good information out there and I’m happy to share it with you. The more people that understand beyond the headlines, the less damage will be done by those looking to vilify real food.

If you’re my client, I don’t want you falling for this nonsense — I want you as healthy as you can be. That probably means eating a meat based diet!

This article is basically my own personal cliff notes from what I’ve learned from many articles and podcasts from experts such as:

Dr Peter Ballestedt

Proffessor Frank Mitloehner 

Dr Sarah Place

Alan Savoury

The bottom line is that we need both plant and animal agriculture — particularly ruminant agriculture — and they are intertwined and inseparable. 

To feed the world, we need both. 

To tackle climate change, we need to focus on making improvements, but to keep our focus on the biggest factors that effect human generated greenhouse gases, — that’s new and additive fossil fuel emissions.

From Frank Mitlohner:

“the use of fossil fuels accounts for almost 37 gigatons of the total 49 anthropogenic (human-caused) gigatons of greenhouse gases (GHG) entering our atmosphere each year. In other words, most of them.” — https://ghgguru.faculty.ucdavis.edu/tag/ghgguru/

You may have heard animal agriculture rivals transport in terms of greenhouse gases, but it doesn’t, and it’s not even close.

GREENHOUSE GASES EXPLAINED

The UN estimates the worldwide contribution of animal agriculture to human generated greenhouse gases is 14.5% of the total.

But that’s worldwide. 

In developed countries greenhouse gases and fossil fuel use is much higher, and the efficiency of animal agriculture is multiple times better, thus agriculture is a dramatically lower percentage.

In the US, all agriculture is 9% of total emissions. 5% is plant. 4% is animal. Just 2% is beef.

In the UK it’s a similar story. 

In Europe it’s a similar story. 

That’s far different than the picture often painted. Next time you hear about the harmful effects of eating beef and lamb, please stop and think of the actual numbers, in context and in your region. 

According to Professor Frank Mitloehner, on a surface level, switching to a vegan diet marginally reduces your carbon footprint...a years worth of veganism is about the same as one ticket on a transatlantic flight. But if you consider the deeper context, you’ll see it’s actually impossible to tell the difference. 

Thats because this sort of simplistic statement doesn’t look at the full picture. All these factors need to be considered:

—> There is an important difference between sink gases and stock gases

—> Animal nutrition is higher quality; it’s not about calories, it’s about nutrients

—> Ruminants can actually be carbon negative

—> More food waste is plant food

—> Chronic disease causes more greenhouse gas emissions, processed food causes more chronic disease

—> Food miles

—> Ruminants upcycle and increase the human edible food supply

—> Without animal agriculture, we’d need more fertiliser and there’d be no organic produce

—> Ruminants produce many other products and perform roles that aren’t in the calculations 

—> We can’t use most agricultural land for anything other than ruminant agriculture

When considered in proper context, it’s impossible to say that one type of agriculture — plant or animal — is more harmful than the other. The picture is far more nuanced than that. Greenhouse gases simply shouldn’t be a factor when it comes to choosing what you eat.

SINK GAS vs STOCK GAS

The methane emitted from cows is completely different than the CO2 emitted from burning fossil fuels. 

The methane is part of a natural cycle. 

If cows herd sizes don’t increase, atmospheric methane doesn’t increase due to the cows. 

Cows aren’t alchemists. 

It’s a cycle: the CO2 comes from the sun, down into the grass and plants, it get’s eaten by the ruminants, fermented by the bacteria in the rumen and belched back out into the atmosphere. 

It’s a consistent 10 year cycle that’s been happening for millennia. 

Conversely, the fossil fuel emissions are a ‘stock gas’, they are additive. 

So any comparison of animal agriculture to fossil fuel use is an apples to oranges comparison. Cows are part of a natural 10 year cycle. Fossil fuels are an additive that adds new CO2 that lasts 1000 years. 

The number of ruminants roaming the earth is way down on what it has been throughout history, but fossil fuel emissions are way up. Do we seriously think beef is the problem? Is the smog over the farms or over the city? The rise in methane is the atmosphere is due to different factors — fracking and leaky African swamps!

The funny thing is, that without the ruminants getting rid of waste crops and eating grasses, ultimately these things would die and release methane anyway — plus we’d have to burn more fossil fuels to get rid of all the waste from crops which is usually fed to animals.

If you want to understand this properly, I suggest you listen to Frank Mitlohener: https://sustainabledish.com/podcasts/sustainable-dish-episode-83-the-truth-about-greenhouse-gas-emissions-in-livestock-production-with-frank-mitloehner-2/

IT'S NOT ABOUT CALORIES; IT'S ABOUT PROTEIN AND NUTRIENTS

The problem with most comparisons of plant agriculture to animal agriculture is that it doesn’t take quality of nutrition into account. 

Humans don’t just need calories, we need nutrients, building blocks from the right amino acids, and we need minerals and we need essential fatty acids. 

Any comparison of greenhouse gases between plants and animals needs to take that into consideration. Thus the differences are actually non-existent if you compare diets of equal quality. It takes more calories from plants than it does animals to get the same amount of nutrition.

(that’s ignoring the many things you can’t get from plants of course).

The fact that animal foods are superior to plant foods for human nutrition is scientifically undeniable, although sadly the public narrative is quite different. 

The DIAAS — (digestible indispensable amino acid score), has been developed to look at the availability of essential amino acids in different foods.

It will show you that animal protein is superior. The protein value reported in plant foods are calculated from crude nitrogen, and are not reflective of the amount of protein available to your body.

Firstly, plant proteins don’t have the right amino acids in the right quantity.

Secondly, we cannot digest much of the protein in plans as it’s locked up in cellulose or it’s bound to anti-nutrients.

The same holds for many minerals. They end up in the toilet!

So in fact, by eating all meat, or all plant diet, you make no difference whatsoever in terms of greenhouse gases unless you eat an inferior diet. 

In effect, it’s as simple as saying that if you eat more food, your carbon footprint will be higher than if you eat less food. 

With plant foods, it takes more calories to get the stuff you need. 

So if you want to help the environment: don’t eat more food than you need to thrive. 

But don’t let anyone tell you that eating one thing or another is bad for the environment. It’s over simplistic and incorrect. 

EFFECTS OF HYPERINSULINEMIA ON GREENHOUSE GASES

In the US the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries cause more emissions than all of agriculture. 

A event chunk of this is caused by the rapidly growing epidemic of 'diabesity' and the many other diseases that are being linked to the all too common problem of chronically elevated insulin. Experts are realising that this chronically elevated insulin is linked to industrial seed oils and processed carbohydrate consumption (amongst other things).

The processed food industry causes ill health. Ill health causes healthcare. Extra need for hospitals and drugs cause the burning of more fossil fuels. These things aren’t separate, they are directly linked. 

It’s hotly debated but it shouldn’t be. Processed grain, processed industrial oils and too much added sugar is making people sick, and that is causing more greenhouse gas emissions.

Eat more meat (and other whole foods), eat less processed junk, and you’ll likely be healthier, need less healthcare and be responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions over your lifetime.

It’s a shame that isn’t factored into the beef / environment discussions. Emissions 'saved' by eating processed carbohydrates are likely lost due to increased healthcare requirements.

MORE FOOD WASTE IS PLANT FOOD

Of all the food we produce, 40% of it is wasted. It’s thrown away. Nobody eats it!

While some waste is inevitable, that number is too high and is the single greatest thing we can look at to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food production, or to feed more people as populations expand. 

Of the food waste, X% is from plant foods. The nature of these foods makes it more likely. 

Again, factor this into the meat vs plant emissions and it’s impossible to place one over the other in terms of what’s better for the environment.

MEAT AND DAIRY FROM DIFFERENT REGIONS HAVE VASTLY DIFFERENT CARBON FOOTPRINTS

I was amazed when I first heard this, but a cow in Brazil, or India, or even China may be 20-23 times less efficient at producing dairy or beef than a cow from the USA, with Europe and the UK not too far behind the US. 

This is down to differences in breeding, vetinary practice, healthcare and other things that I can’t think of right now. 

The world number may be 14.5% of human generated greenhouse gas emissions are created by animal agriculture (but remember all emissions aren’t equal), but in the US, Europe and the UK, the number is waaaaay lower — around the 5% mark. 

Want to make a difference? Concentrate on the bigger factors, the fossil fuels!

Don’t let anyone tell you that meat or dairy is bad for the environment without identifying where that meat comes from. It’s not all the same. 

If anyone tells you that meat is one of the ors, they are either misinformed or promoting from agenda. 

CARBON SEQUESTRATION

The other MAJOR factor often overlooked or ignored in discussing emissions from animal agriculture, is the ability of ruminant animals to increase carbon sequestration on the land they are pastured on. 

When properly managed, by grazing and hoofing the land, the ruminants can make the soil and grasses healthier, and this can cause more CO2 to be drawn out of the atmosphere and into the ground.

Depending on who you listen to, this means that the net carbon footprint of these animals would be nothing ... or could even be carbon negative!

Most animals aren’t raised this way, but many could be, and it’s a major area we could focus on in the future. 

So the often maligned cows could actually be one of our biggest environmental saviours, restoring the health of the worlds grasslands — our largest biome. Ruminant agriculture could be our greatest hope of pulling a significant amount of carbon out of the atmosphere. 

If you just measure and report emissions, this is completely ignored. 

This completely changes the equation and makes regeneratively raised ruminant meat the best thing you can eat if you care about the environment. Rather than seeking to do less harm, you can actually do good. 

This regenerative agriculture and has been discussed by the likes of Alan Savoury and the Savoury institute for years. 

Properly managed ruminants are essential for health of the worlds grasslands, and that’s the best hope we have for drawing more CO2 out of the atmosphere and back into the earth. 

Look out for the movie “Kiss the Ground” that will be released soon and will focus on this. 

Regenerative agriculture: If you want more of it, spend more money on it, they say...Supply will follow demand. 

There is no moral high ground or good to the world to be done by avoiding meat or eating more plant foods. It’s just an incorrect narrative. Whatever the food, it’s how it’s raised / grown, the methane, the health effects, the necessity of it and the ecology and the sociology that effects if it’s ‘sustainable’ and it’s good or bad for the environment. 

AGRICULTURE CAN GET MORE EFFICIENT

Over the last 60 years, dramatic improvements in the efficiency of beef and dairy agriculture has been made. 

The US heard has shrunk dramatically, but the output of food has grown. The carbon footprint of ruminant beef and dairy has shrunk dramatically. 

The experts have shown they can make improvements and are currently working on many more improvements to reduce methane production and increase efficiency further. Rather than demonise the dairy and beef farmers, they should be praised and their efforts to make further improvements should be supported. 

If the rest of the world made the same efficiency gains as the developed countries in this area, we would be able to feed a lot more people or produce the same amount for a much lower carbon footprint. This again shows the importance of focusing on where the food was produced.

Support improvements, don’t eat fake foods under the illusion that you’re doing anybody any good. You’re not. 

50% OF ALL CROPS USE ANIMAL MANURE AS FERTILISER

All crops need fertiliser. 

About half of that fertiliser comes in the form of animal manure. The other half comes from petro-chemicals. Yum. (So there is no such thing as organic and vegan).

Side note: All fertiliser rerelease nitros oxide, a potent greenhouse gas. The only way to avoid that is to eat more grass fed grass finished ruminant beef. 

Without animal agriculture the crops would have to be fertilised entirely by fossil fuel based petro-chemicals. 

It was just recently discovered that the fertiliser firms have been under-reporting the amount of methane release in their production by 100 times (https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2019/06/07/study-fertilizer-industry-emits-100-times-more-methane-than-thought/). 

So the carbon footprint is actually higher than we currently think. All the processed foods and ridiculous meat replacement products will thus have to be re-evaluated and the claim of being able to produce protein more sustainably will be questioned severely (that’s again ignoring the fact that the plant proteins are inferior and impossible to digest — there’s a reason they call it ‘the impossible burger’).

400 OTHER PRODUCTS ARE MADE FROM COWS

From leather, to adhesives, to wallpaper, to photographic film, to deodorants, crayons, pharmaceuticals, to many, many other products, cows provide us with a whole lot more than just meat and dairy.

These things aren’t in the the usual calculations. 

Without these products, we would need petro-chemical and plastics with the associated greenhouse gases they would need anyway to replace the many products besides dairy and beef that are being produced by cows. 

Dr Frank Mitlohener is working on a consequential life cycle analysis that will show a very different picture to the usefulness of cattle than we are being promoted at the moment. 

Those with an anti-animal agriculture bias seem very reluctant to do the hard work to consider the full impact of not using ruminants.

BEWARE: VEGANS WILL PROMOTE FAKE NUMBERS

The false belief that meat is bad for the environment can be partly traced back to a document released by the FAO in 2006 called Livestock’s Long Shadow, which stated that the carbon footprint of animal agriculture was larger than that of transport. 

This document was critiqued by Professor Frank Mitloehner, who pointed out that they had used a full lifecycle analysis for animal agriculture but had not done the same transport — here they used only direct emissions. 

The FAO acknowledged the mistake, published revised numbers showing transport having a significantly larger carbon footprint and set up measures to avoid such mistakes in the future. 

Unfortunately, the horse had already bolted, and every single vegan activist still promotes these outdated and incorrect numbers, if in fact they aren’t promoting other even more incorrect numbers that they pulled out of their arse. 

Thus, cows and methane became a thing. 

Not armed with better information, the general public have been brainwashed that meat is ‘terrible’ for the environment. But, of course, it isn’t. 

WATER, EXPLAINED

Shortly on the coat tails of the methane story, you’ll hear those who have something against real food or animal agriculture cite arguments about the amount of water it takes to produce a pound of meat. But there’s just a few problems with their stats...

FIRSTLY, ERM, IT’S MOSTLY RAIN WATER YOU DICK HEADS

They call it green water. If the cow wasn’t there it would have fallen anyway, and not contributed anything towards human nutrition. Anyone using these stats as an argument to put you off eating beef is being disingenuous. Unless they were gonna be there with a bucket to catch it and put it to a better use.

SECONDLY, ERM, THE WATER COMES BACK OUT!

The water that goes into the cow...it isn’t gone. Most of it comes out the other end and still goes into the soil! Thus the stat is mostly irrelvant.

THE RUMINANTS HELP THE SOIL — ‘THE SINK EFFECT’

In fact, depending on the region, farmers say that the ruminants are beneficial,  as water that may have run off during heavy rains are held in the animal and released more slowly over the next couple of days, so it’s more likely to be held by the soil. 

THERE IS SOME BLUE WATER USED DEPENDING ON THE REGION

The blue water refers to tap water / irrigation used in the animal production. It is legit to use this in the stats, but environmentally it’s only a problem if it’s depleting reservoirs. 

And once again, that water isn’t gone. It goes back into the ground. 

It’s not about how much water goes into producing a pound of beef, it’s about whether the way that particular cow is being raised hurts the water supply in that area, and the answer normally no. If it concerns you, check out how your cow is raised and make sure it’s sustainable.

Blue water is only a small part of the water involved in meat production, apparently the cost of irrigation makes it financially not worth raising the cattle which is a business of very tight margins anyway. 

ALL FOOD PRODUCTION TAKES A LOT OF WATER — ARE YOU BEING CONSISTENT OR HAVE YOU BEEN TAKEN IN BY THE PROPAGANDA?

Besides, all food has a huge water footprint. 

An almond, 

A bottle of wine, takes 750 litres of water. 

Doing good has nothing to do with being plant based and everything to do with what specifically you are eating, where that water came from and what the local ecosystem can handle. 

Are you avoiding all high water using foods or just beef because you heard it was bad? Are you avoiding wine? You could hydrate yourself 750 times more efficiently just by drinking water you know. Are you avoiding any nuts grown in California?

YOUR DIET (PROBABLY) HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRAZILIAN RAINFOREST

Recently there was a lot of fuss in the news about how the Brazilian rainforest is being cut down to grow crops to feed cattle, and so we should all stop eating meat. 

Now this is of course a big problem. But as always, the story we are first presented with is over-simplified and incorrect, and unless you eat the food coming from the Brazilian rainforest, your nutrition has nothing to do with it anyway.

—> The driver behind rainforest is resources: timber, steel, transport, infrastructure for workers. 

—> Once the damage has been done, the soil is not as good, all you can do is plant crops and run animals on the land. 

—> According to Frank Mitlohener this is driven by Brazilian governmental policy about the tax due on land and the owners need to make it more productive. 

—> Firstly, the primary driver for soy crops is human consumed soy-bean oil. The waste product soymeal is then fed to animals, however most of this goes to feed pigs in china and certainly not the cattle on your plate in the UK, that’s for sure. 

—> It’s the policy that needs to change, not your diet. There is a lot of land in the world crying out for properly managed ruminants to make it healthier, the problem isn’t the food, it’s the policy. 

—> Fire’s in the rainforest are UP!! On last year. Not on the many previous years. A picture very different to reality is being painted in the media. Plus the amazon isn’t ‘our lungs’ — https://ghgguru.faculty.ucdavis.edu/2019/09/02/use-your-head-the-amazon-isnt-our-lungs/

It seems to me that the picture is always more complex than what we are presented with by the media and by the activists.

FEEDLOTS ARE EFFICIENT, THAT'S WHY THEY ARE USED

Feedlot cows live about half as long as grass finished cows. Grain finished are typically killed at 18 months to 2 years. Grass finished more like 3-4 years. This dramatically reduces their carbon footprint. You may hear warnings about ‘intensive farming’ framed in a way that sounds like it’s harming the environment, but again, this can be misleading.

If you’re saying you have a problem with intensive farming, you can choose to avoid this system, but the carbon footprint won’t necessarily be any better, unless of curse, you seek out regenerative agriculture. Then in fact your carbon footprint will be zero or even negative.

In simplistic terms: Your grass finished cow will omit more methane than your factory farmed cow, but your factory farmed cow needs crops and they have their own carbon footprint. The grass-finished cow may or may not aid more in sequestering more carbon too though, depending on how it is raised.

To say one is better than the other misses the nuance.

Contrary to popular knowledge, all cattle spend most of their lives on pasture eating grass. Even grain fed only spend 10-30% of their lifetime in a feedlot.

There are arguments that the grain finished is less healthy, but the science certainly isn’t clear cut, and this section isn’t about that anyway.

——-

Side note, factory farm cow animal health note:

—> The rumours about them being unhealthy are not true. Not for the vast majority of cases.

—> If thee animals are sick, they get antibiotics and can’t be used until the antibiotics are out of their system. This usually eliminates any profit the rancher would make, thus, they look after the animal welfare with all their might.

—> The omega ratio is basically irrelevant. Beef isn’t a major source of Omega 3s, but arguably can supply enough. You get more in grass fed than grain fed, but it’s not a large amount compared to other sources either way.

—> The hormones found in meats are minuscule and much less than many plant foods.

MOST LAND ISN'T SUITABLE FOR GROWING CROPS ON

Of the earths surface, only 12% is suitable land for agriculture.

(You could arguably go up to about 25% if you include a lot of forest land).

Of the agricultural land, only 1/3 of that, that’s just 4% of the earths surface is suitable to grow crops on. That’s the ‘arable land’.

The rest is ‘marginal land/forest land, and it’s too wet, too hilly, too dry, or too something else to grow crops on. It can’t be used to grow crops. It’s grassland.

There are huge amounts of energy stored in the grasses of these grasslands and some forest land, there’s only one way we can use it towards human nutrition — and it has 4 stomachs per animal!

Those who say they stick to chicken and fish should remember that — they are good and useful and important, but they are not as good and useful and important as ruminants — they can’t convert the grasslands to high quality human nutrition and they can’t improve soil health in the way that ruminants can.

The ruminants consume the grass, the millions of microbes in their rumen digest if for them and the ruminants consume the fatty acid byproducts. These fatty acids are then ‘upcycled’ it into the highest quality most bioavailable nutrition for us.

Oh, and the major problem with us all going plant based, is that out of the 4% of the earths surface suitable for cropping...it’s almost all already in use and it’s not all reliable.

Many crops don’t turn out good enough for human consumption. Many parts of those crops can only be used by ruminants with their 4 stomachs and army of microbes in their rumen. Without ruminants eating grain, feed and crop by-products, much of these crops that are grown but fail to meet human standards would go to waste.

So if you ever hear about field after field of crops being grown for animals, remember that if they were suitable for human consumption, they would be used for human consumption. The humans pay more.

Only 10% of human-edible grains world wide go to animal feed.

So not only does the food we eat make no difference to the greenhouse gases, but if we all try and east plant based, we won’t be able to produce enough calories, we won’t be able to produce enough quality nutrients, and we won’t be able to produce any human nutrition from two thirds of all agricultural land. Madness.

WE DON'T COMPETE WITH COWS, THEY INCREASE THE QUANTITY AND QUALITY OF FOOD AVAILABLE TO US

The myth goes that there are endless fields that are mono-cropped to produce wheat, soy, corn, grains etc purely for the purpose of feeding cattle in feedlots, and that if we just stopped doing that we’d have more calories available to feed people.

Simply cut out the middleman, go ‘plant-based’ and we’d be much better off.

Unfortunately that is just more factually incorrect drivel produced by us city dwellers who have absolutely no clue about the agricultural system.

Only about 10% of all potentially human edible grain is consumed by ruminants.

But the ruminants give us way more calories back than they consume and the food they give us back is much higher quality and more bioavailable.

For every 0.6kg of (arguably) human edible protein that goes to feeding ruminants, 1kg of much higher quality, more digestible, less toxic protein comes out.

A lot of grain intended for human consumption doesn’t meet quality standards, and thus is fed to ruminants. Without them it would be useless to us and very difficult to get rid of — (where is that in your greenhouse gas comparisons?).

Without the cows we’d have a massive nutrient insecurity problem and less calories total in the world.

RUMINANTS INCREASE NUTRIENT SECURITY

Animals provide increased food security in regions where it’s needed. A flood or a drought can completely wipe out a successful harvest far more easily than it could a small number of animals. The animals are more transportable and offer more options.

This also offers a better chance of new wealth generation in developing countries.

Supporting animal agriculture also helps the little man and helps us avoid the food supply being controlled by a small group of people who own and control the large processed food companies.

PLANTS DO SERIOUS HARM TOO: ECOLOGY AND SOIL HEALTH

There is more to food production and simply focusing on greenhouse gases misses the full picture. All food production takes it’s toll in many ways, and we need all kinds. But mono-cropping, as much as we need it, is still more harmful than animal agriculture:

Methane — cropping is worse than animal agriculture. Look at the fertilisers.

Chemical run off — cropping is worse than animal agriculture.

Damage to the ecology — cropping is worse than animal agriculture when you consider fertiliser, damage to the ecosystem and the damage to the soil.

Importing of foods — drives prices of those foods up in the places they come from and makes people starve/struggle more.

BEFORE YOU ATTACK OR AVOID THE MEAT...

Which is an essential part of healthy human nutrition, what about the stuff that isn’t?

HORSES, CATS AND DOGS — In the US there are around 170 million cats and dogs, and they eat the equivalent food that could feed 70 million people. The vast majority contribute nothing to our survival, we just like them. I’m not saying you should get rid of them, I’m just saying they are less essential to us than ruminants. Don’t target ruminants before you target pets.

BOOZE

TEA AND COFFEE

JUNK FOOD

FOOD FLOWN FROM AROUND THE WORLD

CHOCOLATE

When viewed in context, the demonisation of animal agriculture becomes even more silly and harmful.

Should we stop producing, packaging, transporting all these things that we don’t need in order to save the environment?

CARE ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT? WHAT CAN YOU DO?

Focus on the stuff that has the biggest impact: Fossil Fuels.

When it comes to your diet, there's not a huge amount you can do, but, in order of importance...

—> Eat to maximise your health.

—> Don’t consume more than you need.

—> Don’t fly food unless you have to.

—> Don’t waste food.

—> Fast more often.

—> Support regenerative agriculture.

—> Consider more than fossil fuels. It’s not the only thing, and it’s impossible to say what is the bigger factor when you consider the full context.

—> Look beyond agenda driven headlines.

—> Don’t repeat ignorant narratives — you’ll do more harm than good.

SUMMARY

This is such an important subject, simply because if you don’t eat meat, or if you eat less meat, you’ll be less healthy than you would have been otherwise.

There is huge money going into the demonisation of eating meat, and it’s going to do a lot of harm to a lot of people if the correct information isn’t spread.

ANIMAL AND PLANT AGRICULTURE IS — AND NEEDS TO BE —INTERTWINED

It isn’t about one vs the other, it’s about improving both

As a species, we didn’t evolve to eat meat; we evolved because we ate meat.

Ruminant animals and humans, we have a wonderful mirroring of nutrient requirements: we have essential fatty acids, we have a number of essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and we have no essential carbohydrates. Ruminants have no essential proteins or fats but do have 2 types of essential carbohydrates (thank you Dr Ballestedt).

Everywhere we have settled, we have hunted or domesticated ruminant animals. Our development and survival as species go hand in hand.

The further we move away from our natural species appropriate minimally processed diets, the more we are hit with disease and poor health — surviving longer, rather than living better. Look around you, how many healthy 40, 50, 60 year olds do you see running, jumping, living well without health problems? What percentage are lean, strong and muscular? Not enough I’d say.

If you want your health back, in my opinion and that of many experts, you need nutrient dense animal products in your diet. The fewer animal products you consume, the more you must rely on potentially harmful stuff such as the industrial seed oils,  and the processed grains and sugar that we are force fed by the giant food companies who make millions of our suffering.

Time and time again I hear people reluctant to eat meat ‘for the environment’. So they eat other stuff and it costs them muscle and it costs them health. That’s why this matters.

REMEMBER

--> By promoting the myth that meat is bad for the environment, you do more harm than good.

—> people influenced will be less healthy

—> processed food companies will become more powerful

—> people in third world countries won’t be able to afford the food grown in their countries

—> essential functions of ruminants will be weakened

—> the world will lack quality nutrition

—> soil health will deteriorate quicker

—> regions will lose food security

The difference between greenhouse gases is minuscule to non-existent.

—> The environmental impact of animal agriculture is misrepresented, oversimplified and overstated

—> when you consider the numbers in the right region, by nutrient rather than calorie and when you consider food waste and the other products and roles of nutrients.

Cattle emit methane as part of a natural cycle, and are not responsible for the rise in atmospheric methane levels. Numbers of ruminants has gone down. Methane rise is down to fracking and leaky African swamps. Scientists can measure it. 

The burning of fossil fuels release new and additive greenhouse gases, they are very much the problem.

Anyone that promotes it as different is ignorant or has vested interests. If we focus on the wrong areas, we can’t fix the problem.

It’s not about plants vs animals. It’s about improvements to the whole system.

Eat what makes you healthy. Support regenerative agriculture.

Animal rights activists belong in an insane asylum and will grasp at anything to support their misguided agenda. Trying to save the pigs, cows and chickens from death while millions more rabbits, field mice and entire ecological systems are killed to produce the plant foods they eat anyway. Be very wary of anything they say, misrepresenting of health, environment, ethics, and evolutionary biology are all commonplace.

If you care about the environment, improvements to agriculture can be made, but really, it’s industry...it’s a fossil fuels thing.

Placing attention on the wrong area does more harm than good.

ONE LINERS TO HELP YOU REMEMBER OR SPREAD THE WORD

It’s not the cow, it’s the how.

Seek to improve the environment, not do less harm...support regenerative agriculture.

Methane is part of the carbon cycle. Fossil fuels are new and additive.

Environmental nuance is too simple for damaged vegan brains to understand.

Cattle consume 10% of human edible grain, soy and wheat, but they still increase the volume and quality of human edible food. Without them, more people would starve.

If you’re carrying too much body fat, don’t talk about food and the environment. Eat less.

Animal products are essential for human health. Pets aren’t. Alcohol isn’t. Tea and coffee isn’t.

Ruminant animal agriculture is the truly sustainable agriculture.

PODCASTS

These are my favourite 6 videos if you want to listen to some of the people who taught me most of this info.

Here’s Dr Frank Mitlohener explaining the difference between cows and cars:

https://youtu.be/RW8BclS27aI

Here’s Dr Peter Ballestedt giving his tried and true talk on the importance of ruminant agriculture.

https://youtu.be/zemiuEwVpww

Here’s Alan Savoury giving a TED talk on regenerative agriculture.

https://youtu.be/vpTHi7O66pI

Bobby Gill from the Savory Institute

https://youtu.be/O1tAm_n6dIE

Joel Salatin

https://youtu.be/4Z75A_JMBx4

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