Ration Meat to Save the Planet?

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Puritans of all stripes are now hooking their agendas to concerns about climate change. For example, the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey in Britain, is arguing that meat and dairy products will have to be rationed in the future to save the planet from climate change. As the Guardian reports:

People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.

Voluntary efforts will not be enough–the government will have to force people to eat a climate-healthy diet:

Tara Garnett, the report's author, warned that campaigns encouraging people to change their habits voluntarily were doomed to fail and urged the government to use caps on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon pricing to ensure changes were made. "Food is important to us in a great many cultural and symbolic ways, and our food choices are affected by cost, time, habit and other influences," the report says. "Study upon study has shown that awareness-raising campaigns alone are unlikely to work, particularly when it comes to more difficult changes."

http://content1.clipmarks.com/image_cache/earthshine/512/63BCFDDA-E52D-4E79-9EF1-1991C7F3E8BD.gif

Whole Guardian article here. See also my colleague Katherine Mangu-Ward's excellent column on the "Hey Meaty, You're Making Me So Hot!" campaign. 

NEXT: The Iraq War, but This Time as Economic Pearl Harbor

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  1. “Raccoon meat? BULLSHIT! That was human meat and I know it!”

  2. Good thing vegetarians wanting to pass laws to lower/eliminate meat eating was just a myth made up in the fever’d libertarian brain.

  3. Reminds me of the scene in Orwell’s 1984 where they cut the chocolate ration, and then shortly thereafter the government announces that they’ve increased the chocolate ration, and no one dares point out it was actually cut, and the most fanatic Newspeakers fervently believe the ration was actually raised.

    The Food Climate Research Network folks would fit in well with the government in 1984.

  4. Do they want us all to live like North Korea or something? I’d rather have the globe fry than have that.

  5. Won’t the mother-of-all-recessions-for-FY08 that is coming, oh any day now, take care of this?

    BTW, has anybody seen their grandparents eating dog and cat food? That is always one of the big signs of a depression you know.

  6. Save the planet…eat a vegetarian.

  7. But meat is a renewable resource!

  8. Save the planet… stop breathing or eating or converting resources into energy… it’s for your grandkids.

  9. See that Canada? You’re nothing but a bunch of fat bitches too!

    Especially you Nova Scotia. Yeah, I’m looking at you, tubby.

  10. You’re all missing the point. They also want to ration alcohol. They’ll have to pry it from my cold, drunk…[slurs] hey, I don’t know where you pixies came from, but I like your pixie drink…[/end slur]

  11. I’m reading Jame’s Hogan’s “The Multiplex Man” right now, and it portrays such a society. The basic plot is that gummit has an brain-reprogramming experiment to change people’s attitudes towards gummit.

  12. So, the Niven/Flynn/Pournelle Fallen Angels world starts in the UK, does it? We’re 2 and 0 against you wankers. Don’t start getting uppity again!

  13. They also want to ration alcohol

    Fuck, I missed that. Ok, time to load the shotguns and go visit these dudes.

    We’re 2 and 0 against you wankers

    I don’t know if I’d call the War of 1812 a win, dude. Maybe a tie. And if any fucking Canadians around here make cracks about burning down the White House it’ll get really ugly.

  14. Ok, time to load the shotguns and go visit these dudes.

    My sentiments exactly. My first thought was ‘oh, this is why you need a gun.’

    And if any fucking Canadians around here make cracks about burning down the White House it’ll get really ugly.

    In an effort to avoid suspicion and potential blacklisting, I think I’ll wear my flag pin today. USA! USA!

  15. Puritans of all stripes are now hooking their agendas to concerns about climate change.

    There’s no “now” about it. Climate change has always been little more than a pretext for statists and puritans to push their pre-existing agendas.

  16. My sentiments exactly. My first thought was ‘oh, this is why you need a gun.’

    There are countless reasons for having a gun, and yes, this is one of them.

    Charlie: Tell me we’re not getting rid of that gun.
    Mac: No way!
    Dennis: Never.

    In an effort to avoid suspicion and potential blacklisting, I think I’ll wear my flag pin today

    Won’t help. We can tell who you are by the way Trey Parker and Matt Stone draw your heads.

  17. I for one am looking forward to trying some Victory steak and a glass of Victory gin.

  18. Epi,

    I don’t know if I’d call the War of 1812 a win, dude. Maybe a tie. And if any fucking Canadians around here make cracks about burning down the White House it’ll get really ugly.

    That settles it. I am having evening drinks at the Old Ebbit Grill, rather than the Capitol Grill tonight.

    Um, you guys do know the connection, don’t you?

  19. And lest anyone think that they will stop with a carbon tax, consider this:

    A carbon tax structured to impose a price penalty on certain types of food impact behavior by dramatically raising the price of that food.

    The problem is that even if you raise food prices by an order of magnitude, there are lots of rich people who won’t notice the expense. [Well, OK, they’d notice it and would bitch – but then they’d still buy the same approximate set of foods.]

    This would mean that the entire cut in consumption would have to come from the poor.

    But that will be seen as politically unacceptable.

    So about two weeks after the carbon tax on food is imposed, outright food rationing will have to be introduced to make sure that the poor “get their fair share”.

  20. USA! USA! USA!

  21. I suggest we move the focus from food to fiber. If we all go naked we won’t mind the heat and we can eat as much meat as we like. Oh, and who are we supposed to be shooting, Canadians or polar bears? I’m losing track.

    By the way, Episiarch, you’re funny, but you’re no Allen Vanneman.

    Hahahahahaha! Genius!

  22. By the way, Episiarch, you’re funny, but you’re no Allen Vanneman.

    You’re a funny guy, Alan. I like you. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.

  23. There are countless reasons for having a gun

    Absolutely. I was playing a bit with the childless, soulless, selfish urbanite stereotype; nothing to protect but my mind-altering substances, etc, etc. If I wasn’t such a spazzy chicken, I’d get a gun myself.

    We can tell who you are by the way Trey Parker and Matt Stone draw your heads.

    In that case, I’m a goner. Blame away, Yankee.

  24. This would mean that the entire cut in consumption would have to come from the poor.

    But that will be seen as politically unacceptable.

    So about two weeks after the carbon tax on food is imposed, outright food rationing will have to be introduced to make sure that the poor “get their fair share”.

    I don’t know. They’ll probably just sell it as the government providing a healthier lifestyle for the poor. Getting rid of any nefarious temptations by the big nasty corporations.

    Don’t forget the lack of protein from less meat will make the masses more suggestible to more beneficial environmental regulations. It’s a win-win!

  25. People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.

    How about we start consuming global warming hysterians? They will stop expelling CO2 and consuming valuable resources, while I can keep my vow of not eating intelligent beings.

    Everybody wins.

  26. If I wasn’t such a spazzy chicken, I’d get a gun myself

    It’s easy–just go to the sporting goods store and buy one.

    Blame away, Yankee.

    “You can hear them sharpening their hockey skates, ready to come over here!”

  27. That’s why I’m going to kill you last.

    You lie.

  28. How about we start consuming global warming hysterians? They will stop expelling CO2 and consuming valuable resources, while I can keep my vow of not eating intelligent beings.

    I’ll forgo my cannibalism taboo for that.

    Why is it again that the most meddling of our species are also usually the most unarmed and we just roll over for them?

    In another time, that whole idea would have been a very short, but polite, conversation. “Please shut the hell up about how you are going to restrict my liberty before I shoot you where you stand.”

  29. screw rationing. no meat or milk at all for people who believe in global warming, all you can eat and drink for those that don’t. let everyone walk the walk.

  30. I laughed at the cartoon twice. First at the thought of bears chasing some of the fatties I know. Again, when I thought about how indigestible some of us armed humans are going to be.

    //Munger!

  31. All right, this CROSSES THE LINE! You might take away our cars, our central heating and air, and our artificial, but I will fight to the death before you make me take up vegetarianism.
    SIC SEMPER TYRANNUS

  32. “You said you were gong to kill me last!”

    “I lied.” (governator drops short villian over cliff)

  33. I want to mention that I do not celebrate any past presidential assassinations, but that’s a great line, isn’t it?

  34. I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!

  35. that’s a great line, isn’t it?

    Yes. Yes it is.

  36. The bears may be faster, but they do not have our ability to move laterally and change directions. Do you think that OJ wouldn’t be able to put a juke on a bear and get away? After all, bears do not have our athleticism.

  37. You know, I thought I was a hardcore meat eater through and through, but I must admit I didn’t really start to sweat until I read the word “alcohol”… Of course, I’ll hopefully never get to the point where I have to choose between being a sober carnivore or a drunk vegetarian. Hopefully.

  38. On a side note, it appears that the lefty environmentalists finally realized they’re being out-fearmongered by pro-Wall Street politicians and have decided to fight back. Good for them; there’s plenty of fear to go around!

  39. Ironically, as I think of it, I have eaten bear while drinking alcohol. Fuck you, Baloo!

  40. Meat eating was the beginning of the end for our overlords. Now the genie is out of the bottle and we’ll never go back to grain eating subservience.

  41. FEAR! DOOM! FEAAARRRR! DOOOOOOM!

  42. If worst comes to worst, I will be found holed up in my basement with my guns and my lifetime supply of beef jerky.

  43. Did none of you notice they would also go after chocolate? Chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!

    I don’t know which I shoot them for first- trying to take away my whiskey or my chocolate…

  44. Just because of this news I resurrected my sponsor a vegetarian lunch (props to Maddox) and had some extra meatloaf, plus butter on the steamed veggies and mashed potatoes.

  45. Can I still get high?

  46. Polar bears are not a threat. Just put out some bowls of anti-freeze.

  47. Did anyone else notice that the URL for the article ends with “food.ethicalliving”? I’m not sure what is so ethical about fascism, but I’m sure environmentalists believe it.

  48. GW activism is annoying also since polar bears have had significant population increases over the last fifty years and have undergone several periods of dramatic warming and cooling (even greater than that predicted now) since they evolved.

    How about we start consuming global warming hysterians?

    Ah, environmentalists. The Least Dangerous Game.

  49. Hogan,
    Did you ever see the “liberal hunting” strip from Bloom County?

  50. economist,

    No nukes! No nukes! I think Bloom County was hands down history’s best comic strip. Second place C&H.

  51. Hogan,

    Wrong again. Though Bloom County was a good one.

  52. I personally consider C&H and Bloom County to be equally good.

  53. Libertate prefers Snuffy Smith.

  54. Odd. This is being discussed in another thread. Anyway, my favorite is definitely C&H.

  55. Bloom County and Calvin and Hobbes are completely different styles of cartooning. There is no need to decide which is better–they are both excellent.

    I used to have a Steve Dallas t-shirt. It died, unfortunately.

  56. What I liked about Bloom County was that everyone thought that Bill the Cat didn’t speak. Which, of course, was entirely wrong.

  57. Britain descends even further into insanity.

    I assume the alcohol ban is a sop to Britain’s future Islamic overlords.

  58. What the hell is Bill Watterson doing with his time now?

    Come back Bill. If your country ever needed you in a time of crisis, it’s now.

  59. If they actually instituted this kind of bullshit, I would go from taking one hunting trip a year to getting hunting/fishing tags for every creature that crawls, walks, swims or flies.

  60. JW, I’d take Gary Larson too.

  61. I personally consider C&H and Bloom County to be equally good.

    What? No love for Nancy? Man, that Sluggo cracks me up. Or those hilarious multi-cultural scamps in Wee Pals? They always have a heart tugging moral about the wonders of tolerance and diversity. Don’t get me started on the wholesome humor of Family Circus. When Billy fills in drawing the strip, it’s ROFL every time. And how about the sophisticated drama portrayed daily in Mary Worth? The comics aren’t all fun and games you know.

    The above is offered as a testament to Sturgeon’s Law.

  62. Is it just me, or has the UK really gone overboard with the “nanny state” business in the last 5 years?

  63. Angry Sam,

    The last hope for a free U.K. ended when Scotland banned swords.

  64. PL,

    That’s “s-words”, as in “I shall select S-Words for $50 Alex”.

  65. I’ll take The Rapists [ed. Therapists] for $5,000, Alex.

  66. I was about to say that ‘rationing’ is a heck of a strawman, but Fluffy makes a good point.

  67. Guy,
    “BTW, has anybody seen their grandparents eating dog and cat food? That is always one of the big signs of a depression you know.”

    That’s one reason the fed mandates that dog and cat food be “human” grade…

  68. BTW, has anybody seen their grandparents eating dog and cat food?

    I really think that’s an urban legend (unless they’re buying 50 lb bags of Purina). Canned dog food ain’t that much cheaper than regular people food.

  69. mike,
    “Do you think that OJ wouldn’t be able to put a juke on a bear and get away?”

    Shit, OJ put a juke on the whole goddamned legal system and got away: He can deal with a few bears.

  70. “I really think that’s an urban legend (unless they’re buying 50 lb bags of Purina). Canned dog food ain’t that much cheaper than regular people food.”

    Not now, but before it was “human” grade…

    The idea came to the national spotlight in the 70’s, IIRC…

  71. Maybe we can eat the polar bears.

  72. The idea came to the national spotlight in the 70’s, IIRC…

    Yep, and it was bullshit then, too.

  73. This is a serious problem, because there’s an increasing amount of scientific data that points to humans not requiring vegetables/fruit/grain to survive, but that eating meat and as few plants as possible as the solution to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So not only are governments starting to try and legislate how much you should weigh, but they’re also taking away the thing that is the healthiest solution for humans.

    No doubt if we all ate just rice and soybeans we’d have “more food” but we’d all be a hell of a lot sicker, as is growing pretty evident.

  74. Which actually produces more GHG – bovine excrement or the flatulence of shit-for-brains bureaucrats/politicians?

  75. Q. What would the price of meat and dairy products be if our governments stopped subsidizing agriculture and fossil energy?
    What would be the effect on greenhouse gas levels?

    You guys seem oddly willing to ignore common interests with greenies.

    Pleas put aside your anti-green tribalism, and listen to Reason.

  76. Example of Green libertarianism:
    http://tinyurl.com/4dhwj4
    “Joel Salatin is a farmer at the forefront of the trend toward local food and grass-fed meat. Many people first became familiar with Salatin’s complex and eco-minded approach to farming when he was featured in Michael Pollan’s bestselling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. But Salatin also is well known within pasture-based farming and libertarian circles. He’s especially vocal about government regulations that make life difficult for the small farmer – his most recent book is titled Everything I Want to Do is Illegal. He’s also the author of You Can Farm and Holy Cows and Hog Heaven (excerpted here in Mother Earth News). Salatin kindly agreed to answer some questions for us about Polyface Farms. Hold onto your hat! Here are Salatin’s candid thoughts on government regulations, high grain prices, vegetarians and making money at farming.”

    yes…Mother Earth News.

    Chew on that for a while.

  77. You guys seem oddly willing to ignore common interests with greenies.

    Speaking strictly for myself, I’m no more interested in their brand of preaching then I am the Christian variety. And you can’t seriously expect me to overlook that either would orgasm at the prospect of forcing everyone to their viewpoint. Sooooo, even if I might consider that some subset of our respsective policy preferences actually overlap, it’s a little hard to put up with the zeal of a true believer.

  78. Juris,

    Reason suggests that Reasonites overstate the statist tendencies of the greenies for the sake of equally zealous tribal identity. This causes them to ignore and thus lose actual progress with practical achievable Libertarian policies.

  79. p.s. Much the same can be said for greenie complaints about the Free Market.

    So far Statism and Corporatism have won by playing the two tribes against each other.

  80. KD,
    Yeah, we’d all get vaginitis until we turned into giant pussies.

    Sam-Hec,
    Most greens that aren’t statist are left-anarchists whose ideas repel most libertarians almost as much as authoritarianism. That’s why there will never be a libertarian-green alliance.

  81. economist,
    I would interested in seeing an analysis showing as much,as that is not the impression I am getting from reading the popular greenie blogs and news. ( I am not ruling it out, I am just not seeing what you are saying.)

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