Carbon Dioxide

The 'War on Meat' Will Make the 'War on Coal' Look Tame


University of Arkansas

Put down that burger, you irresponsible carnivores! Why? Because munching steaks, burgers, and chops significantly increases the carbon footprint of meat-eaters and thus their contribution to man-made global warming. So says a new study, "Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK," in the journal Climatic Change. By how much? The researchers conclude:

We have shown that dietary GHG emissions associated with self-selected diets in the UK are strongly associated with the amount of animal-based products in the diet. After adjustment for sex and age, an average 2,000 kcal high meat diet had 2.5 times as many GHG emissions than an average 2,000 kcal vegan diet…

Assuming that the average daily energy intake in the UK is 2,000 kcal, then moving from a high meat diet to a low meat diet would reduce an individual's carbon footprint by 920kgCO2e every year, moving from a high meat diet to a vegetarian diet would reduce the carbon footprint by 1,230kgCO2e/year, and moving from a high meat diet to a vegan diet would reduce the carbon footprint by 1,560kgCO2e/year…

A family running a 10 year old small family car for 6,000 miles has a carbon footprint of 2,440kgCO2e, roughly equivalent to the annual carbon saving of two high meat eating adults moving to a vegetarian diet…

Analysis of observed diets shows a positive relationship between dietary GHG emissions and the amount of animal-based products in a standard 2,000 kcal diet. This work demonstrates that reducing the intake of meat and other animal based products can make a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation. Other work has demonstrated other environmental and health benefits of a reduced meat diet. National governments that are considering an update of dietary recommendations in order to define a "healthy, sustainable diet" must incorporate the recommendation to lower the consumption of animal-based products.

Look for the EPA to launch its War on Meat shortly!

NEXT: The Price of Pot Peace Looks Pretty Cheap So Far

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  1. You’ll have to take that rib-eye from my cold dead hands.

    1. Does our personal desire have any say in whether a choice is responsible or not? Do our wants define our ethics?

  2. No worries…

    Next weeks polar vortex in July will kill off all the cows anyway.

    And Shrike will have his excuse of why we are in a recession.

    1. “Polar vortex” has turned into the Journolist’s climatic version of “Booooosh.”

      1. Has it? I just thought it meant cold winter. I guess I avoid that kind of shit pretty well at this point. I don’t need the aggravation.

        1. Leftists, trying to protect Obama’s crappy economy, blamed the -2% GDP growth on the Polar Vortex.

          They use to just blame boooosh.

          At least that is what i think Mike M. is getting at.

          1. Fukushima has been out of control for over three years now dumping high levels of radiation into the Pacific, unabated. It’s so bad yet another reactor is in trouble. Another meltdown is imminent. Meanwhile we get climate change hypocrisy.

            1. Uhh, yeah. You could discharge the entire contents of the spent fuel ponds and reactor cores into the Pacific Ocean and you would only be able to detect the contamination mid-ocean using extremely sensitive equipment.

              The only people at risk from the contamination released from Fukushima are in Japan.

    2. Do you like the Remington clippers you linked to in the Links After Dark last night?

      I’ve been using a Braun beard trimmer for years, but I hear something rattling loose inside the body recently and don’t think they’re long for this world. I had a Remington beard trimmer in the early 2000s that survived several drops on tile before it finally broke. The replacement I bought was utter crap, and I’ve yet to find a product that’s as durable.

      1. I’ve been using a Philips one for several years. I keep it at a stubble so it’s not doing tons of work, but it works well for me.

        1. They used to have an entertainingly dirty viral marketing site before viral marketing sites were cool (and before being un-groomed came back into style).

          I tend to keep the neck at stubble (which is no problem) and trim the beard with a 9 or 11mm guard. Even after combing through it I’ve had trimmers get jammed on my beard.

          1. being un-groomed came back into style

            You keep saying that as if repeating it will make it true 🙂

            1. You keep saying that as if repeating it will make it true 🙂

              Shush. I started getting hairy right around the time maximum hairless twinkishness was popular. The fact that WeHo gays are hairless below the adam’s apple rather than below the eyebrows is a big deal for me.

              1. Oh, body hair is whole ‘nother story…. I was just thinking of beards and especially the recent full-grizzly trend. Do us a favor lads and try to make some attempt at being presentable.

                1. Oh, I generally keep it trimmed and presentable. I start looking homeless pretty quickly if I don’t. I’m at 70 or 80% homelessness right now, but I’m at work, don’t have to interact with patients and don’t care. Pl?ya and Sudden may judge me at lunch though.

                  1. I’m all about maximum return for minimum effort. Clippers on top with the shortest attachment, and beard trimmer also at minimum.

                    1. For a while I was doing the beard with the longest attachment and then the neck unguarded. Now I generally go for the 9mm because it looks a more kempt.

                      Having a very full, well-maintained beard has put me in the odd position of having a lot of ostensibly straight men walk up to me in bars and ask to touch my face.

      2. I use my dog’s clippers. Seriously. Works great.

      3. I recently got a set of Wahl balding clippers. When the package came and I saw that the box cover was full of pictures of well-groomed black men, I knew I had bought the right one. It’s fucking outstanding.

        1. Damn it Warty, now my coworkers are wondering why I’m laughing so hard.

        2. ah the key to successful advertising..use well groomed brothers. This post makes me smile.

          1. Seriously. If it’s powerful enough for black hair, it can easily deal with my pitiful balding cracker-ass hair.

            1. Strong enough for a black man, PH balanced for a sensitive cracker.

        3. I have a set of Wahl clippers (that take various guards) for the top of my head, and I use a set of Andis (the Pivot-Pro) on my face. Except when I want to actually shave my head bald, in which case I just use the Andis for that, too. I have far fewer problems with the Andis than with the Wahl, regarding ingrowns on my neck.

      4. Yeah sure…but I use then to shave not trim. I don’t want razors of any kind…no need for a ‘close’ shave in my world.

        I guess I have used them to clip my regular head hair…they seemed to work fine for that.

        They are so cheap I just use em for a year or two then throw them away and get new.

  3. They are seriously underestimating the carnivorous nature of the American people. What a stupid hill to die on.

    1. Just like they underestimated the car driving nature of the American people….

      *looks at gas prices*

      *looks at the complete lackadaisical response to them*

      Oh wait….

      1. But I need this giant SUV to commute on a highway because safety!

        1. You sound like a liberal.

      2. Dude. Compared to New Zealand, our gas prices are fucking amazing. I spent three weeks over there last year, and after all the conversion factors, it was something like $7.50 a gallon.

        I’m also not sure that the current price of gas in America has all that much to do with anything other than the decreasing value of our currency.

        1. I pay close to five bucks up here in Canukistan.

        2. all that much to do with anything other than the decreasing value of our currency.

          I agree…

          Still high gas prices of decades past has taken down presidencies.

          This current one has had no effect. The American public has just given a collective shrug.

        3. *Dude. Compared to New Zealand, our gas prices are fucking amazing.*

          Dude, I’d be willing to bet the price of gas in NZ is higher because of taxes there, not increased costs of delivery.


          1. You’d bet wrong. They import over half their petroleum and have a grand total of 1 refinery.


    2. It’s not just American people. Pork consumption has risen in China and in India, known for it’s tradition of Holy Cows, beef is en vogue.

      They are seriously underestimating that sometimes, eating grass is good for you and, sometimes, eating grass makes you good food for something faster, smarter, and stronger.

      1. It just happens to be a fact that cows are really efficient at turning cellulose into protein. Humans are not. So it makes sense for us to get our protein by eating cows.

    3. Yes.

      The progs and/or envirotards (often being the same people) share one crucial flaw = they always go at least 2 steps too far in their control-freak grabbyness. They have some mild success in one area? and instantly go for broke trying to impose themselves on something else that they’ve longed to crush under some bureaucratic control-machine.

      Its partly why they’ve gotten such a hard-on over Keystone XL. It has *nothing* to do with the pipeline itself, or any actual impact on the ‘environment’ at all. its about getting something in the W column, full stop. They’ve gotten so upset at not completely legislatively handcuffing the energy industry under Obama, that they are drooling with desire for some kind of symbolic victory.

      It also explains why their overreaction to the failure of Hobby Lobby, or Obama’s last efforts at Gun Control. It really has Zero to do with the real-world impact of their laws, and everything to do with ‘winning’ itself. Moar control.

      i completely agree = they will be completely destroyed if they try imposing new costs on meat-eating. There are many among them, however, stupid enough to try.

      1. You need to look at it like this. Liberals are like teenage boys. They got their hands under our sweaters in 2008, so they figured they could go all the way.

      2. The resource cited in the main portion of the text is just the data on how meat in someone’s diet is related to greenhouse gas emissions — nearly all extrapolations are completely speculative, and ad hominem attacks on large heterogeneous groups of people are completely unwarranted.

        If diet and GHG emissions are linked as the data says that they are, what reason would there be to not let that information inform personal choices, or policy choices?

        You mention that there is often a disconnect between various policy battles and the actual impact they have on the environment, but I think here we have clear, quantifiable data as to what the impact is. The big picture is much more complicated, of course, but this is one fairly clear piece of the puzzle.

    4. The thought of iving without a good ribeye and or porterhouse makes me wanna coal roll.

  4. Going and living exactly like the cows would decrease your carbon footprint even further.

    PS: Nice alt-text.

    1. Umm…you know how many greenhouse gases are in cow poop?

      1. Didn’t somebody try to invent a cow fart box to collect methane?

  5. You can have my meat when you pry my cold, dead hands off my meat!

    If ya know what I’m sayin’….

  6. Between controlling costs of socialized medicine and fighting AGW, is there any personal preference that the state can’t regulate out of existence for the Greater Good?

    1. The choice to have sex.

      1. Right. That will be regulated out of existence by campus consent codes.

        1. No that is only heterosexual sex and maybe some male gay sex. Sex done by and for women will of course remain legal, however there will be strong regulations against women who men find generally attractive from having sex with each other because some male somewhere may derive sexual pleasure from that and lipstick lesbians are really just tools od the patriarchy anyway

      2. Creating more carbon based life forms, how repugnant

    2. Gay sex.

      Other than that, no.

  7. The next motherfucker that tells me how much carbon is emitted by one of my personal behaviors is going to eat their own teeth. It’s the new morality gauge and it’s getting on my nerves.

    1. Teeth emit zero carbon when eaten, making people eat them…

    2. Trigger warning next time, your post made me feel bad…

    3. “The next motherfucker that tells me how much carbon is emitted by one of my personal behaviors is going to eat their own teeth. It’s the new morality gauge and it’s getting on my nerves.”

      hear hear! This is no shit. Fuck these people.

  8. “Cows! I hate cows worse than coppers!”

    1. “Oh, George. Not the livestock!”

  9. Too funny, I just started clearing over-grown thorn shrubs to increase my pasture size and therefore make it able to sustain more cattle. Also I just bought a big diesel tractor to go with my big 4×4 truck. Eat shit and die greenies.

    1. So does the Foo.

  10. Obvious solution: Eat vegans.

    1. Nahh…too tough and stringy. You have to cook them for hours to make them edible. Although, with potatoes and carrots and a nice brown sauce…..

      1. This is why sous vide is so en vogue now.

        1. Nah, you gotta use a slow cooker on them suckers.

      2. Crock pot. For crocks. 😀

  11. What the hell are dietary GHG emissions? Are they talking about farts?

    1. I wondered about that too. What else could they be referring to? If it was the animals or farming, it wouldn’t be dietary.

      I started eating paleo, so 2 or 3 times as much meat as I ate before. And I have much less stomach gas.

      1. same, except for beer/alcohol, which i’m not giving up. and if i don’t eat that way, it’s just awful.

        1. I fart and burp significantly more when eating a high vegetable/cereal content diet.

          And most vegetarians I’ve known are gassy stinky bastards.

    2. More like burps, I think.

      1. So – farts

    3. I think they are blaming the cow farts on the people eating the cows.

  12. The beef lobby is a lot more popular than the EPA (both among regular voters and among members of congress), so I doubt the EPA will acknowledge this study.

  13. Ok so here is a slapfight I’d like to watch.

    So lets assume for them moment an alliance of animal rights vegans and evironmental vegans manages to put together a coalition and gets a law making the eating of meat illegal.

    What do we do with all the livestock?

    The zoophiles will of course want the farmland turned into free range pasture for them to live out their lives in bucolic bliss. The Envirowackos however will see the livestock as major emitters of CO2 not to mention all the pollution of the waterways their urine and shit creates so they are going to want at least most of the animals killed off and the carcasses buried deep so they don’t release all that CO2 as they decay.

    So who do you think wins that fight?

    1. The Columbian Meat Cartel.

  14. Fucking price of meat has gone way up thanks to ethanol mandates, now they’re going to make it worse?

    1. I buy my meat in bulk (1/4 at a time) and I can’t imagine how fucking expensive it must be for people who buy it in stores. My last pick up was…$2.98/lb, which is really high compared to just last year.

      1. You don’t just get to eat ribeyes, filets, and skirt steak that way.

        1. I can’t remember the last time I ate a steak. Can’t afford it.

          1. We got lucky, the supermarket here has been running a sale of sirloin for $3.99 /lb making it cheaper than just about any meat but chicken legs/thighs

        2. You only buy those cuts?

          1. For straight steak, yes. If I’m doing a Lomo Saltado or stir fry, I’ll go with chuck/sirloin.

            Also, I do chuck short ribs pretty often, in sous vide for 48-72 hours.

            1. Ah, Mr. Moneybags.

              In between my Porterhouse meals, I do have to suffer through ground beef and top round.

    2. The price of meat has just gone up and your old lady has just gone down.

  15. Richard Branson just gave up beef to “save the planet”. No word yet on if he’s going to stop taking his private jet to his resort/home on Necker Island.

    1. I’m sick of Branson. All the articles and interviews with him in Forbes and Inc and every other bullshit “business” magazine have gotten old. Yet, people still listen to him like he’s some god.

  16. Am I allowed to be a libertarian and vegetarian simultaneously? If not, well, been nice knowing you folks! Except shreek and tulpa, but that’s sous entendu.

    1. Sure. Gale from Breaking Bad was a libertarian vegetarian.

      1. Jesus christ, and I’m a chemist, too.

        1. How’d that work out for Gale?

          Oh, yeahh…

          1. Death may now be my best friend.

        2. Do you have your own coffee contraption, too?

          1. Oh god yes. Used to be a special pipe.

    2. No.


    3. Well, you’re allowed to but we’re probably gonna laugh at you behind your back and treat you like a redheaded stepchild.

      1. I’m OK with that.

  17. Remember, heart attacks are God’s revenge for eating his little animal friends.

    1. If God didn’t want us to eat them, why did He make them so delicious?

      1. And why did he make them out of meat?

        1. That’s why I’m a 2nd order vegetarian; I only eat things that eat vegetables.

  18. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

    1. You mean albino animals?

  19. Of course, eating plants reduces the number of plants that exist to absorb carbon dioxide. So once they turn us all into vegetarians I’m sure they’ll be back here telling people to stop eating completely.

  20. Liberals all want us living in high-rise concrete block houses, shivering in the dark, eating sprouts….while the nomenklatura slurps down champagne and kobe beef in their 4000 square foot homes with the heat cranked up to 80.

    This has been their plan for 50 years at least.

  21. The most chilling term appears in the first sentence of the researcher’s statement….’self-selected diets’…as if someone else will be selecting my diet soon.

  22. For once, I would like to see some actual proof from the government that eating meat creates more carbon! And just remember, there is proof that a certain amount of extra carbon is good for the planet.

    And I’ve yet to be able to find any proof from the government that there is any global warming. Just remember in the 70s these same scientists said we were in great danger of going into an ice age. They were wrong then and since they release no proof of warming they have to prove they aren’t wrong now. That will be hard because we now have actual proof that for nearly 20 years this planet has been in a cooling phase.

    I am much more prone to believe that all this brouhaha is nothing more than the government’s power mad attempts to control our every move.

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