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Meat and dairy companies to surpass oil industry as world’s biggest polluters, report finds

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level 1
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level 1

As well as creating antibiotic resistant bacteria.

level 2
Original Poster295 points · 1 month ago

And being the number one cause of species extinction and Amazon deforestation.

level 3
Comment deleted1 month ago(More than 30 children)
level 4
145 points · 1 month ago

All of this is humans, not cows

level 5

That's what a cow would say...

level 6

Jokes will always appear 3 or 4 levels into any thread that's not heavily moderated, no matter how serious the topic.

The only difference between tragedy and comedy is time...or about three comments.

level 6

As much as I love jokes, reddit will never learn to stay serious when talking about serious stuff.

level 7

It is the internet my dude. A lot of people have conflicting idea's but I believe they generally want the same thing. It would be badass if people banded together but that takes A lot of work and some would rather be divided.

level 7

Knock knock!

level 8

Who's there? :)

level 9

Interrupting pollution cow.

level 10

Interrupting pollution cow. who?

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level 6

moo?

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level 4

That deforestation is primarily happening to support omnivorous eating. A lot of it is soy, and you hear these ridiculous arguments—your tofu is killing the rainforest!—but 70% of soy is grown to feed livestock.

level 5

70% seems low to me, but i went to look it up on wikipedia and learned something.

The oil in the soybeans will be extracted first and used for biodiesel and the leftover will be processed to make it edible. Of the leftover, 98% goes to livestock (the number I originally expected) and 2% to human consumption.

Soybean seef contains 18-19% oil, so I guess 70% for livestock is accurate enough if we assume some percentage points get lost during different parts of processing.

Percentages are from the german article on soybeans on wikipedia (couldn‘t find them in the english one) and I did no further research if they are correct, because they are what I expected.

level 5

The solution is simple, we shall feed the livestock to the soy to create balance.

level 6

Manure is a start.

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level 4

Oh, I thought the executives of meat and dairy companies were primarily cows.

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level 2
8 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Could you explain this link between antibiotic resistant bacteria to pollution?

level 3
24 points · 1 month ago · edited 29 days ago

Cows produce vast amounts of methane, and in order to feed them land that would otherwise be forest (a carbon sink) is converted into pastoral land for grazing, or turned over to make feed crops like soybeans. So not only is forest being destroyed which captures CO2, it is being converted into something that produces CH4, which has greater heat-retention properties than CO2 in regards to climate change. Also, the amount of land and water required to produce a given level of energy from meat would produce significantly more energy from plant-based agriculture.

Meat is incredibly inefficient as a food stuff, and doesn't give you anything a plant based diet couldn't

EDIT: misread the question, but fuck it it's staying.

level 4

I was referring to antibiotic resistant bacteria

level 5
11 points · 1 month ago

Copy-pasted from below:

The vast majority of antibiotics in the US are fed to livestock. This is because, not only do other animals get sick like humans, but the extreme conditions, hormone force-feeding, close quarters, and general mistreatment of livestock leads to a much higher incidence of sickness. To compensate, enormous levels of these antibiotics are pumped into livestock.

Antibiotic use on this scale, in such extreme conditions, leads to basically an accelerated development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It's essentially accidental artificial selection. The bacteria are evolving resistance to the antibiotics because the conditions livestock are subjected to provide a great breeding ground for essentially limitless bacteria to keep reproducing, mutating, and evolving.

Now, that's very scary in itself, but even worse is that then we've got these livestock animals being chopped up and shipped off to supermarkets everywhere, so we're eating meat that's seething with super-bacteria that's getting more and more resistant to antibiotics every year. It's pretty much the most direct method of delivery possible.

Because of obvious differences with plants (they're not cramped together, they don't breed disease as easily, they don't really get sick the same way that livestock does), this is only a problem with meat and other animal products.

level 5

Exactly, I was kinda confused reading that. I'm interested so if someone has a proper answer reply pls

level 6

The vast majority of antibiotics in the US are fed to livestock. This is because, not only do other animals get sick like humans, but the extreme conditions, hormone force-feeding, close quarters, and general mistreatment of livestock leads to a much higher incidence of sickness. To compensate, enormous levels of these antibiotics are pumped into livestock.

Antibiotic use on this scale, in such extreme conditions, leads to basically an accelerated development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It's essentially accidental artificial selection. The bacteria are evolving resistance to the antibiotics because the conditions livestock are subjected to provide a great breeding ground for essentially limitless bacteria to keep reproducing, mutating, and evolving.

Now, that's very scary in itself, but even worse is that then we've got these livestock animals being chopped up and shipped off to supermarkets everywhere, so we're eating meat that's seething with super-bacteria that's getting more and more resistant to antibiotics every year. It's pretty much the most direct method of delivery possible.

Because of obvious differences with plants (they're not cramped together, they don't breed disease as easily, they don't really get sick the same way that livestock does), this is only a problem with meat and other animal products.

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level 4
12 points · 1 month ago

Meat is incredibly inefficient as a food stuff, and doesn't give you anything a plant based diet couldn't

Well, I'd say its something like:

Beef (incredibly inefficient)

Pork/Lamb (inefficient)

Chicken/Duck (reasonably efficient)

It comes down to how much feed and time it takes to bring the animal to a slaughter age/weight. Cows are incredibly inefficient in this regard, compounded by the fact that a cow only has one calf at a time. Chickens, comparatively, are actually quite efficient given how quickly they can be turned into food and the fact that a hen lays many eggs. That being said, plenty can be done to improve the conditions (both ethical and ecological) of chicken farms but if we want to get people to eat less meat, telling them to eat less beef should be the priority.

level 5

All of that being said, chickens have nothing plants, if you're willing to go that far.

level 6
4 points · 1 month ago

I've made an effort to cut down, but I struggle. I think the big issue is I grew up eating meat and I know how to cook a meal centered around it. Are there any great vegetarian subreddits you'd recommend for cooking?

level 7
5 points · 1 month ago

Not a subreddit, but Minimalist Baker is a popular food blogger in the vegan/vegetarian scene. Shes big on as few ingredients and as few dirty dishes as possible lol. She also has a cookbook you could take out from a library. Also Kenjii Lopez at Serious Eats does a month long vegan series once a year. His vegan nacho cheese is made with potato and is crazy good.

Veggies in a lot of ways are not nearly as forgiving as meat. And it's hard to replace butter/cheese in a lot of things and still get the sense of richness. And eggs are just straight up magic when you think of all the things you can do with them (meringue, omelette etc).

level 7

This is the only one I'm subbed to, /r/JunkFoodVeg/

And that tells you just about everything you need to know about how I eat.

I'm not much of cook honestly, and I'm extremely lazy, but I've been able to keep meat out of my diet VERY easily and if you're thinking about it, I would recommend trying it out and seeing how it feels. I was surprised, that's for sure.

level 8

I have found my people

level 9

Edit: but it's pretty dead ☹️

level 10

I know right, quite sad. Its not a bad place to get ideas though.

level 8
4 points · 1 month ago

Thanks for sharing. I actually love to cook, which is why I think I struggle -- most chefs are not vegetarians and revere meat and the different ways to prepare it. I want to do better though, so subscribed :)

level 9

I totally get that, my dad has been a chef his whole life and also has trouble like you describe. Thanks for being open to the idea.

level 9

Also try cooking Indian food! Entire cuisine built up around vegetarian-centric recipes. Also, if you struggle with missing meat, you can just reduce the amount of meat you eat. Try eating meat only once or twice a week, giving yourself some wiggle room so you don't feel like a failure when you have, and give in to, a craving. Meat reduction is still so important and helpful, even if you can't give it up completely.

level 7
4 points · 1 month ago

Buy any cook book by Chloe Coscarelli. Amazing all vegan chef. Search hashtags on Instagram such as #vegan, #veganmeals, #vegancooking etc.

level 7

/r/veganrecipes

/r/VegRecipes

Best of luck, friend.

level 6

Tell that to my 735lb deadlift

level 4

And sometimes the way the forest is destroyed is by burning, which obviously releases a hell of a lot of CO2 that’s been captured by the trees over centuries.

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level 3

TLDR: Farms, mainly pig farms produce alot of poop. Mainly it involves keeping it on site in "shit ponds". But that water leaks when it rains, and the smells.....

Course nothing can be done about it since the local politicians support local businesses (the farms), even if said farms are owned by the Chinese. (Basically China outsourced their meat so they don't have to deal with all the shit)

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/20/north-carolina-hog-industry-pig-farms

level 4

Although “shit ponds” were a for of manure storage in the 80’s and early 90’s it is largely a practice that has been discontinued for exactly the reasons mentioned. Today is stored in 8-10 ft “pits” beneath the building and emptied spring and fall into fields as a fertilizer which reduced out oil derived nitrogen supplements. Further today that manure is dig into the ground to reduce smell and improve efficiency.

It’s frustrating that there is so much disinformation out there, whether is’s flat wrong or based on dated practices. Please do your own research!

level 5
25 points · 1 month ago

I work in Australia as an environmental regulator. All our piggeries and dairy farms use effluent ponds, which are then theoretically used for irrigation. But farmers are not always the best at following the law, and I'd say effluent is probably our no1 source of pollution reports.

level 6

I won’t speak for Australia and would agree old farms with effluent ponds doo have issue. I can’t think of a farm built in Iowa in the last 10-12 years that use that method of waste storage due to regulatory restrictions. Cattle I can’t speak for. There are some functional farm in the state I work (Iowa, Missouri, Illinois) that use effluent ponds, but are in the process of being phased out due to decreased efficiency of aging facilities and regulations.

level 5

This is simply inaccurate. There's a ton of drone footage accessible online now that shows enormous waste lagoons across the United States on factory farming sites. Hundreds of miles of American rivers are becoming inhospitable due to the enormous amount of nitrogen feeding certain types of microbial life that causes hypoxia in the water. There are ever-increasing dead zones, like in the Gulf of Mexico, which are directly caused by the manure-polluted river water emptying into the ocean.

Example: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/01/meat-industry-dead-zone-gulf-of-mexico-environment-pollution

level 6

And I’d argue you are wrong. Just because the is a pond on site doesn’t mean it’s a lagoon. A large number of farms in SE Iowa and western Illinois use ponds as fresh water source due to inability and expense to obtain the volume of fresh water needed. So it’s an inaccurate assumption all ponds are lagoons.

Working with 32 farms that way. 3 built in early 90’s have a true lagoon while 29 have fresh water ponds, no lagoon and 1 with above ground exterior metal holding tanks.

level 7

No, I'm talking about lagoons specifically. Freshwater ponds don't cause hypoxia in nearby rivers.

Stuff like this: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/qkveav/drone-factory-farm-pig-feces-lakes

Sidenote- I'm not saying that you haven't worked on a bunch of farms that didn't have lagoons, I'm saying that the largest meat & dairy corporations, generating >99% of the meat sold in America, do have these lagoons.

level 8

Yes is is and older finishing set up with a lagoon system. I see no issues of run off although I will also admit there have been cases of it which is why it’s largely discontinued in current new designs. I also say this is an older setup due to sheer size. This would likely not be permitted under current regulations nor should it with current health and pig flow designs.

I will say the article mentions trees and barbwire. The barbwire is to discourage visitation for legal reasons (dumb people drowning). Tree serve a dual purpose of securing soil from erosion preventing leakage and trees aid in smell as a good neighbor would attempt. Pigs smell indoor or out.

level 8

Not sure Smithfield generates 99%. Tyson, Hormel, Swift, and IBP are all played in the market and the only generate 57% of the market slaughtered. Of that Smithfield has 19% of overall.

http://www.nationalhogfarmer.com/mag/farming_four_packers_kill

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level 3

Medical visits and treatments often create a lot of physical waste, and traveling to medical facilities and pharmacies also tends to involve travel which usually creates pollution.

level 4

is there more of a direct link to the creation of antibiotic resistant bacteria and pollution?

level 5

I don't think OP meant to say that there was a link there, just that they contribute to the presence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in addition to being heavy polluters.

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level 5

You don't think cause and effect are a decent link?

Humans and animals get sick, thousands, or millions of containers of antibiotics and other drugs have to be created and disposed of (not to mention medical gloves, plastic tips for medical devices, ect.).

There's also the issue where antibacterial soaps and drugs in our water waste is killing off eco systems along side plastic. It's like a double wammy to life starting at the cellular level, and going all the way up the food chain.

I guess from the other dirrection, pollution causes stress in organisms, and promotes disease. So in a way, forcing these animals to live in unnaturally polluted environments, is creating this system that's leading to antibiotic resistance.

level 5

research swine and avian flus to get more info on bacteria. the animals are raised in very close quarters, living in their own feces, jacked up on antibiotics. we’re lucky there hasn’t been a more severe human outbreak yet

there have been entire books written on the pollution aspect, just google “cow pollution” for emissions info or “agricultural pollution” to get a bunch of articles about farm runoff

level 6

Well flu is a virus not bacteria and we also were able to show that flu strain originated in humans and spread to swine where it was detected by vigilant owners.

level 7
level 8

And I would argue modern farms and sanitation practices are less likely to cause these. Antibiotics are no longer able to be used in feed unless specifically directed by the veterinarian and we legally can’t prescribe for growth promotion.

In school I help collect data for a study looking for salmonella in lymph node of commercial animals. In 2 years of weekly collection we had 1 positive and 3 suspect results.

level 9

Studies have indicated antibiotic use on farms is still widespread, and veterinarians can prescribe as”prevention” for disease. Farms are still the world’s top consumer of antibiotics by far. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/25/opinion/sunday/meat-antibiotics-organic-farming.html

Sanitation practices do not remove the antibiotics from farm waste https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180412154509.htm

level 10

We do prescribe for certain diseases that have proven to affect a farm to a certain age on a regular basis. The most common reason is to prevent a disease called illeitis which is a bloody colitis. Treatment is tylosin tartrate a macrolide not used in human medicine. Which is true of a number of veterinary antibiotics, while in the same class or method of action they are chemically different in make-up.

As for removal of antibiotics by sanitation that is never what I claimed. It reduces need for use by reducing viral and bacterial load in the building. More difficult to use outdoors effectively

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level 2
4 points · 1 month ago

There has actually never been a case of antibiotic resistant bacteria in humans that came from farm animals. It wouldn't be hard to trace or anything. In theory it's a possibility, but in practice we just haven't seen it happen (yet).

level 2

And eutrophication.

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level 1
9 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

It helps to read the actual report rather than the news article if you want to argue either side.

https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5976-emissions-impossible-how-big-meat-and-dairy-are-heating-up-the-planet

level 2

I always get suspicous of source when they use "Big X industry" Its a buzzword style phrase meant to illicit negative feelings upon reading the title.

level 1
[deleted]
190 points · 1 month ago(29 children)
level 2
60 points · 1 month ago

Also makes it sound worse than it is with this statement:

"When taken together, the world’s top five meat and dairy corporations are already responsible for more emissions than ExxonMobil, Shell or BP."

So the top five meat/dairy corporations have more emissions than one oil corporation? What about the top five oil corporations together so we can compare apples to apples?

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level 2
18 points · 1 month ago

Yeah, the article linked contain some amazingly misleading statements from the researchers, take this for example:

When taken together, the world’s top five meat and dairy corporations are already responsible for more emissions than ExxonMobil, Shell or BP.

What they did was combine the five largest meat and dairy companies and compare them to the individual oil companies. A better way of phrasing it would be that the five largest meat and dairy companies combined (578.3 Mton) barely measures up to just Exxon Mobile (577 Mton). See figure 4 from the report for a nice graph showing that fossil fuels are much, much, worse.

Animal agriculture isn't anywhere near the emission levels of fossil fuels; in the US agriculture is less than 10% of total direct GHG emissions while electricity and transportation combined is closer to 50%:

Sector emission chart

EPA, "Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions".

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level 2

A word of caution on articles like this - previous claims that animal agriculture is the leading cause of emissions results from (a) an agenda, not facts and (b) poorly manipulated maths

For example, see the review by "the Union of Concerned Scientists" of "Cowspiracy"

level 3

It's usually not the highest, but studies do show it as the second highest at around 16% of total emissions. That's still very significant.

level 4

I don't disagree that animal agriculture is a significant fraction. The consensus is around 15%, (estimates range from 8 - 18% resulting from methodological differences); however, it is often highly exaggerated - as in cowspiracy's claims of 51%.

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level 3

The real question, is how do you measure cow fart emissions? In the oil industry, these companies use all sorts of different types of meters to accurately gauge emissions. (Yes I know some companies lie) But you can't exactly hook up a meter and gas pipe to cows butt hole. So when they gauge these cow emissions, they are just doing a rough calculation and multiplying it by the number of cows, which is most likely not very accurate. IMO every corporation is most likely lying about their emissions, doesn't matter the industry.

level 4

Methane actually comes out the other end of the cow, belched up as part of their rather complex digestive process.

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level 2
7 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Glaring issues with the article:

You'd really need to read the report. This is just a news article and not a very good one.

No hard numbers on either oil industry or meat/dairy industries' emissions.

578MT of greenhouse gas emissions. That's the hard number for the top 5 meat and dairy companies. Comparies with Exxon 577MT, Shell 508MT, or BP 448MT.

The methodology is in the appendix (B).

level 3

so just 2 oil companies produce more than top 5....

level 2

Also, if supply chain costs include the carbon emitted from carbon-positive fuels, and those decrease independently...

level 1

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.

Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, predators and "competition" species are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The overexploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bushmeat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources. links here

level 2

Someone linked me this great vid on how the rise of "clean meat" is coming.

I probably won't eat it (I don't even like meat at this point), but all carnivorous people out there will be able to get their meat in more environmental and animal friendly forms. We just need more investment and wait for the future.

level 3

environmental ✓

ethical ❌

level 4

Why is this unethical? At least, why is this less ethical than the methods we use today to make meat? And no, I don't consider "playing God" as unethical if its implications aren't.

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level 2

That ‘documentary’ is absolutely full of shit, and these scientists do a fantastic job of breaking it all down:

https://blog.ucsusa.org/doug-boucher/cowspiracy-movie-review

A sneak peak:

How did Goodland and Anhang come up with 51%, rather than the scientific consensus that livestock are currently responsible for about 15% of global greenhouse gases (which includes direct emissions from the animals as well as emissions from feed production, land use change, and manure)?

The biggest single difference is that Goodland and Anhang also count the carbon dioxide that domesticated animals breathe out—i.e., respiration. You probably remember the basics of this from biology class. The biosphere is basically powered by the photosynthesis done by plants, which take up CO2 molecules from the atmosphere and use the sun’s energy to link those molecules together, making sugars, starches, fats, and (adding in other elements) proteins, DNA, and all the other parts of the living world. In doing so, they release oxygen, which now makes up about 21% of the atmosphere.

The planet’s “heterotrophs”—animals, fungi, and most bacteria and other microbes—can’t photosynthesize, so they need to get their energy from eating or decomposing the molecules produced by photosynthesis. Generally heterotrophs do this by reversing the process of photosynthesis—taking in oxygen, using it to break apart the energy-rich molecules created by the plants, and releasing CO2 back to the atmosphere. This is the process of respiration.

But Anhang and Goodland’s addition of the CO2 produced by livestock to the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions, ignores a simple but critical point: plants respire too. They do both of the fundamental processes, not only photosynthesizing but respiring as well.

This respiration is how they get the energy they need to maintain themselves, take up water and nutrients, and carry out all the other chemical reactions needed to live. In the process, they release most of the CO2 that they’ve taken in. And what they don’t is almost all released after they die, by respiration done by decomposers such as fungi and bacteria.

As a result, the CO2 that plants take out of the atmosphere, goes back into the atmosphere, whether or not they are eaten by animals. Thus, livestock (and other animals, including both wild and human ones) don’t add to the amount of CO2 that gets emitted into the atmosphere. This is why scientists reject Goodland and Anhang’s counting of livestock respiration as an additional anthropogenic source of greenhouse gases. It’s not additional—it would happen anyway, so you’re not justified in adding it in.

level 3

I understand the point here, however, there would be no need to grow such a large amount of feed for these animals if we were not raising them for slaughter. So to say that “the CO2 that plants take out of the atmosphere, goes back in to the atmosphere whether or not they are eaten by animals” is moot. These plants would never have been grown in the first place.

level 1

Embrace vat grown meat mah dudes. Think its gross? Google what the insides of meat factories are like...

level 2
Original Poster36 points · 1 month ago

Or just eat stuff like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat.

Taste amazing, without an animal needlessly suffering and dying; and without the ridiculous environmental impact.

level 3

how about deer meat? if they get too overpopulated then disease eventually wipes many more out. Seems like meat is still a viable source as long as we maintain numbers.

level 3

Sure, but vat grown meat has a lot of potential. People need to get over the idea that the people making it don’t know what they’re doing or that its somehow gross or dangerous.

I live on a ranch. I’ve seen the process of making cows into meat.

If it tastes the same, or most likely better, I will take this vat grown black magic any day.

level 4

There's already a ton a fake meats that are convincing. They've fooled me and fooled my friends.

Typically if I give a person some fake meat but don't tell them it's fake, they love it (there are some exceptions) but if I tell them it's fake they don't... Or at least they pretend they don't.

So I think perfect replication of meat isn't enough. People are just stubborn. Sure, the average person doesn't WANT animals to suffer and the environment to go to shit. But they still pick it almost every time.

If lab grown meat can counter this, that's great but I still think a lot of people will stay stubbornly apposed for various crappy reasons.

I mean, I hope I'm wrong.

level 5

Well, Israel and China are backing it hard, so hopefully.

level 6

I sure hope so Duck Lord!

level 4
3 points · 1 month ago

I would personally rather go vegetarian.

level 4
Original Poster0 points · 1 month ago

If it tastes the same, or most likely better, I will take this vat grown black magic any day.

I don't mean to be rude, but when I see this, I read

"I'm only going to stop fucking up the planet and causing the suffering and death of animals unnecessarily when it takes absolutely no sacrifice on my part"

level 5

I mean you are. Its like you didn’t read the rest of what I wrote or deliberately took it the worst way you could.

If you want extra context, here:

I’m an omnivorous predator whose ancestors likely spent most of the last million years subsisting on meat. So, probably gonna keep it in my diet.

And our farm has like 30 free range cattle, so pretty far from a factory farm which the original post refers to.

Furthermore, I think the only reasonable and sustainable way for a 7 billion or whatever species to continue this rate of meat consumption would be an alternative like growing it in a vat. As article here discussed, the current traditional methods are growing out of hand and leading to the destruction of the environment , not to mention are inhumane as all hell.

level 3
2 points · 1 month ago

I've never seen that stuff in any store.

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level 3

Tastes amazing? lol

level 4
Original Poster1 point · 29 days ago

Have you tried the Impossible Burger?

level 5

I believe so. My exes and current gf have all been a form of vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian(spelling?). As someone who loves real meat, there are zero alternatives that I would ever describe as "amazing". I love trying new alternatives too.

level 6
Original Poster1 point · 29 days ago

I believe so. My exes and current gf have all been a form of vegetarian/vegan/pescatarian(spelling?).

The Impossible Burger is something only found in restaurants, so you probs haven't tried it.

level 7

Yup, I never eat in restaurants. You got me.

level 2
4 points · 1 month ago

The minute you can put a vat grown ribeye on my plate that tastes like the real deal, I'm in.

level 2

Yeah, when people think 'vat grown meat is gross', they probably mean the taste or the potential health effects (real or imagined), not how it's made.

The moment vat grown meat tastes (and, most importantly, cost) the same as real meat, the natural meat industry will begin to crumble.

level 1

Mmmmm maybe the vegans and vegetarians are onto something.

level 2

Hmmmm 🤔

level 2
[deleted]
-8 points · 1 month ago(22 children)
level 3
[deleted]
52 points · 1 month ago(0 children)

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level 1

Makes sense. The modern petrochemical industry has some incredibly advanced technology for emission reduction. In developed countries there are tons of restrictions that force emission reduction, as well as environmental remediation after extractions are performed. However this cleaner process only applies to extraction and refining. There are still tons of emissions coming from vehicles (which are also emission regulated in many countries) spills, and recklessness. Fracking is also a large source of water pollution that cannot be ignored, but fracking is not done on a widespread scale in many countries.

The livestock industry is worse for many reasons. In one aspect, it requires the clearcutting of land, eliminating carbon sinks. There is also the overuse of antibiotics. This can make normal livestock farming waste worse due to the addition of medical/biohazardous waste in farming effluent. I figure that in many countries, there is no restriction against this and they can just dump waste right into the water. Not to mention the massive quantities of methane produced from livestock such as cows.

Another stark difference is that not all countries have a petrochemical industry, whereas most will be farming livestock, and this is especially the case for many developing countries in South America, Africa, and Asia, where their agricultural industries are exploding due to population growth, but may not have large oil industries (excluding large regional oil producers like China, Brazil, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola, Columbia, and Indonesia).

Both are significant still and need to be controlled, however, it is not at all surprising that farming has become a bigger polluter.

level 1
level 2

You cant just go around channeling my bad habits like that. After all what do you think my ego make of that. Also something about taste, convenience and lions tho.

level 3

This isn't helpful

level 4

Different messages for different people.


Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction

Eating meat cause inflammation, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and lung disease to name a few.

Go vegan for. health, ethics, environment, economics. Each one is now backed by modern science

Here is a guide for new vegans, if anyone's interested: http://veganstreet.com/guidefornewvegans.html

Here's a guide to a healthy vegetarian or vegan diet: https://www.12wbt.com/nutrition/healthy/vegetarian

Here's a blog about vegan cooking: http://www.vegkitchen.com/

Here's a website for finding excellent vegan and vegetarian places to eat out: https://www.happycow.net/

Here's a guide to vegan substitutes for animal products: http://www.vegkitchen.com/tips/vegan-substitutions/

If you feel like it's too difficult to go completely vegan or completely vegetarian, I suggest trying the 22-Day Vegan challenge - to go vegan for just 22 days and see how you go - or it's less famous cousin, the 30-Day Meatless Challenge.

https://www.challenge22.com/challenge22


level 5

Eating meat cause inflammation, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease and lung disease to name a few.

Would you care to cite a few? Naming them doesn’t actually help convert anyone when you just say “backed by modern science” if you are vague with your allegations and don’t back them up

level 6
[deleted]
2 points · 1 month ago

These are all a Google away. There are hundreds of sources for these claims and you have the privilege of being able to look them up and evaluate them yourself, rather than picking apart the few I feel like copying over here.

The evidence is clear that a vegan diet is much healthier and has been for a decade. It's your choice.

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level 5
2 points · 1 month ago

OMG, someone used my copypasta! I'm so glad it's coming in handy.

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level 1

Animal husbandry is destroying this planet.

level 2

To be fair, mostly it's beef. Beef generates more pollution and requires more feed than lamb, chicken or pork by if i remember correctly something around 3-5 times as much per pound of meat at slaughter.

level 3

Your figures check out.

1kg of beef = 6 litres of petrol, yikes! I think I'll swap beef for chicken in my diet and buy a hummer.

level 4

Then go vegan and buy 2 hummers and tow them around with a third

level 3

I thought lamb was the leader in co2 emissions and pollution.

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level 2

I agree there are many issues, but where would we get the manure for fertilizer? I was very anti-beef for many years, but realized that the industrial process is mostly to blame, not the animal. Properly managed grass fed beef can be quite beneficial to soil health and aid in carbon sequestration. For instance, the American prairie ecosystem is supposed to have large beards of ruminants.

TLDR: Bison (and salmon) could save the West.

level 3

Properly managed grass fed beef can be quite beneficial to soil health and aid in carbon sequestration.

When you argue this, keep in mind that if we were to switch to such a model, beef would be five times more expensive and fifty times as rare, because the resources (mostly land) required to support grass-fed beef are far, far greater than the resources required for factory farming.

Also, grass fed cows actually produce more methane than grain fed cows.

level 4

Do you have a source on the methane of grass fed? Corn is a problem, cause cows don’t have gizzards.

I’m not calling for increased beef consumption, the price should rise. As it should be a special occasional “treat” not for daily use.

My intention for wading into this thread was to stick up for cows, or rather the niche they can fill on grasslands. Rodale is doing some great research on intensive grazing methods and David Montgomery’s book Growing a Revolution has some good info on the benefits of using livestock for carbon sequestration.

In my opinion, let the cows eat and poop and when they keel over burry them and all the carbon they soaked up. I don’t eat the stuff either!

level 5

Do you have a source on the methane of grass fed?

I have the study saved on my desktop, but I'm away from home and can't find it right now =/ however, I was able to find a source that grass-fed is at least as bad as grain-fed, right here. A good summary of the study is found here.

Otherwise, I think we're pretty much on the same page! I don't think we should be eating meat in general, but even just shifting meat from the main dish to an occasional treat would be a huge step forward.

God tier username by the way.

level 3

You can use my poop right?

level 4

Yep

level 3

The problem is that the natural population of wild animals like bison or deer is not nearly enough to feed the population at our current density. There's a reason that hunter-gather populations always have a low density in any region worldwide, there just isnt enough resources to support large population until we use agriculture or 'industrial processes'.

level 3

large beards of ruminants.

I'm sure you meant herds, but the image of bearded cows is still a great one.

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level 3

This is interesting

level 3

Compost could be used. There's so much extra animal waste that law suits are springing up over the irrisponsible ways it's being managed... or not managed as the case may be.

Some examples of these problems include:

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level 1
35 points · 1 month ago

These comments are so boring and predictable as always. Anti-Vegans who don't really know anything hating on vegans and claiming that food alternatives all suck, Vegans being intolerant and yelling people down, only one highly up voted comment on the nature of the studies and the article, and a bunch of discussion going nowhere because people don't care about educating themselves on their lifestyle choices.

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level 1

Muricans don't care. We've known about the environmental harm of meat and dairy for decades now.

level 2

Muricans who live on coasts should be worried

level 3

"serves the liberals right" - Muricans

level 4

"we hate coastal elitists" - muricans

picks trump

level 3

Hi Florida residents!

It is already a nuisance for some parts when tide goes in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1dnlHPzhQA

level 3
3 points · 1 month ago

Not too long ago I read that people still invest into coastal tourist areas in the USA, as if they just pretend climate change and sea level raise won't happen.

level 4

The real smart move is to buy property in great lakes cities. In 50 years, Cleveland will have a nice beach, clean water, temperate weather, and protection from environmental disruptions.

level 4

trump and republicans want to reinvest in coal mines. LOL!! They actually believe that climate change is a chinese hoax. We're so far from helping these people.

level 5

Well, the thing is, usually deniers like those act like that because of profits. But sea level rise isn't something that is only really an issue in no idea how many years, so it is a bit weird that someone actually invests in something that might not exist anymore in a few years.

level 6

Most deniers are regular voters. The GOP knows exactly what they are doing. Their voters aren't bright and the GOP are using them to personally benefit themselves, that much is very true.

level 7

But I was talking about people who actually invest into things that are directly affected by climate change. :D

level 8

Their voters aren't bright and the GOP are using them to personally benefit themselves, that much is very true.

level 9

But ... but ... :(

level 1

Remeber this article? https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pigs-hotels-insight/chinas-multi-story-hog-hotels-elevate-industrial-farms-to-new-levels-idUSKBN1IB362

Having a high tech, enclosed livestock ecosystem might allow the waste to be reused, thus mitigating the emissions. e.g. use CO2 emitted to grow algae then use them to feed the livestock, collect methane to be used as fuel and etc.

level 1

Can meat growing facilities please get government subsidies instead of the fucking meat farming industries?

level 2

Animal agriculture in the USA gets $38 billion in subsidies. If you are revising this you cannot grow vegetables.

$17 million is spent on fruits and vegetable subsidies.

A $5 Big Mac would cost $13 if the retail price included hidden expenses that meat producers offload onto society.

Animal food producers impose $414 billion in hidden costs on American society yearly. These are the bills for healthcare, subsidies, environmental damage, and other items related to producing and consuming meat and dairy products.

A 10% fruit and vegetable subsidy can save lives

level 3

I want to cry. So fucked up that tax money funds this shit.

level 1

I thought everyone knew this already?

level 2

republicans claim it's all a chinese hoax. I shit you not.

level 1
10 points · 1 month ago

And people get mad at WeWork for not paying expensed meat items?

No one wants to sacrifice anything or see any harmful habbits and thoughts challenged.

How selfish humanity is.

level 2

Trump is like a caricature of humanity's selfishness.

I think the only way is to make things easier for people. It requires the government to make pushes towards these things. No rancher is going to stop while demand is increasing. No oil company is going to stop while making fuck tons of money. Many people don't bother recycling because their area doesn't pick up recycling bins.

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level 1

Meat and dairy can be done in a sustainable, environmentally friendly fashion. They can even be done on a large scale this way.

The problem is that doing so is not "business friendly". So as producers grow and detach themselves from their environment, becoming less and less "farms" and more and more "a company", those making the decisions are increasingly unlikely to have ever even seen a farm or cattle in real life.

This is how we get dairy like in Wisconsin there's absurd overproduction thanks to hormone overuse, no consideration for the environment and woefully lax regulations. The dairy market fluctuates wildly, startups get crushed in crashes without ever having a chance to compete, and the little state's production levels are so high that they often match the entirety of Canada (which is the reason for much of the friction in that industry between the two nations), as all but a small fraction of Wisconsin's production is for export.

It doesn't have to be that way, there are both methods and animals that produce far more efficiently, far more cleanly and for very reasonable consumer costs (they may even be much healthier meats as well)... but they don't stand a chance so long as the dirtiest ways are the cheapest and (thanks to no price controls) thus also the most profitable.

level 2

The problem is that doing so is not "business friendly"

I don't know how I feel about that. The problem is that capitalism kinda requires you embrace every advantage you can take because your competition is too.

level 2

I would be interested in hearing about some of these sustainable and environmentally friendly ways to produce animal products on a large scale. I'm struggling to imagine how that would work since there's a fundamental physical barrier to efficiency in eating animals- you lose about 90% of the energy when you go from eating plants to eating animals that eat the plants.

level 2

Getting downvoted for writing a relevant comment?

level 1

I’ve been saying for years: you’re not a true environmentalist unless you’re also a vegan.

level 1
2 points · 1 month ago
level 1

Oh well, it giving up my meat and cheese!

level 1

it talks about emissions but does that count fracking chemicals getting into the ground water? does that count the amount of oil spilled? i feel like one oil spill is more emissions/ more dangerous to the environment then the meat and dairy could ever dream of.

level 2

There are larger environmental concerns about oil e.g leaks, drilling etc, but there are also larger environmental concerns about animal agriculture e.g animal waste washing into rivers and killing wildlife in dead spots, vast loss of rainforest for ranching or to grow crops that serve as animal feed. Both are terrible, but I suppose at least oil leaks are accidental..

level 3

i feel like we need a total environmental impact evaluation of each company that pollutes. each company should be required to reduce their TOTAL environmental impact by something like 25%. They all pollute... we need to reduce it!

level 1
12 points · 1 month ago

Another good day for apologism!

"I'll switch to veganism when lab-grown meat is a thing"

It already is a thing, it's just not grown in literal labs. It's soy, seitan. Quit looking for excuses.

level 2
17 points · 1 month ago

Uh, no, that's not meat. It's a meat substitute, sure. But you're either misunderstanding or ignoring what people mean when they say lab-grown meat.

level 3
2 points · 1 month ago

I know exactly what they mean. "I want to feel good about pretending to care about environment but i don't want to do ANYTHING EVER to help it."

It tastes the same. If you refuse to eat it cause it's "hurr durr not real manly meat without satisfaction of killing animals, and fuck soyboys" then you are hopeless.

level 4

I would happily eat any meat that was actually muscle protein, death of an animal or not. And "hurr durr not real manly meat" is 1) dumb and insulting, good luck winning people over with that argument and 2) ignores that just as many women are involved in this discussion as men.

I haven't actually had tofu (not interested in buying it myself, and haven't had the chance to have it outside of that) so I can't compare taste. I have cooked it though, and it's pretty clear that no, it's not the same, regardless of how good it is. It may be similar to a sausage or another processed meat, but it's not the same as a cut of meat. At the very least the texture is going to be different, and that's a large portion of the eating experience, otherwise we'd all eat protein-vitamin slurries. (You know, like Soylent)

level 5

Tofu is not meat-like in the least, it's just a subsitiute that can be tasty and satisfying if cooked and seasoned well, or downright terrible if done badly. Those two points combined account for its terrible reputation in the west. If you're looking for meaty (beef) taste / texture, you'l be looking for soy root based foods like the impossible / beyond burger, which are pretty damn close imo.

level 6

Appreciate the input. One of these days I'll have to expand my palate into that sort of thing.

level 7

The impossible burger is actually really good. It has the texture and taste of a burger. If you are trying really hard to taste the differences and you are an hamburger expert, you would probably notice something but I can't really taste the difference. Its not like those veggie burger patties that taste nothing like meat.

Definitely try it out when you get the chance.

level 5
[deleted]
1 point · 1 month ago

Tofu is a more analogous to cheese. Try tempeh or seitan if you want meat.

level 4

Sucks WE have to suffer through global warming cause of idiots like that.

level 5
4 points · 1 month ago · edited 1 month ago

Yeah but you can't change the world alone. You are just one individual.

Edit: Jeez people, it was a joke. Look at his user name.

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level 1

This is why we need to start moving towards farming bugs. I believe bugs will be the future for our main sourced protein.

level 2
Original Poster6 points · 1 month ago

Or just eat plants lol

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level 2

There’s a guy above saying that he won’t eat lab grown meat if it doesn’t have perfect steak like texture and merely replaces hamburger. People are not going to start eating bugs. Texture issues are the top thing keeping people from accepting vegetable meat substitutes.

level 1

As well they should. Cattle ranching world wide produces almost 50% of C02 emmisions

level 1

No shit. Its been like that for the last 30-40 years and the climate change deniers have been hell bent on keeping it trodden down while they make their billions. Will anything be done to change this?

level 1

nice try big soy

level 2

big soy is mostly relying on meat and dairy industry, so no, nice try, but no.

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level 2

Soy farmers want more meat production because they can feed it to the cows to make more meat.

They sell most of their stuff to animal farmers. Same goes for corn too. Humans eat very little of the soy and corn crops (even HFCSyrup included)

level 2

They'd actually lose out of we went vegetarian and vegan. I know this if highschool bio, but I was taught that you get typically around 10% of an animals energy consumption when you eat it. A good amount gets used to make inedible stuff like bone (not marrow) and hide, and most gets used by it just existing while you raise it before slaughtering it. Or in other words, when you farm soy and sell it, one meat eater will consume enough soy (through eating animals that ate soy) to be the same as 10 people who eat soy.

level 1
2 points · 1 month ago

I realize there's going to be a level of danger involved with collecting methane, but, I'd imagine this could be a great way to recoup operational costs, as well as reduce emissions, if large outfits had airflow systems in enclosed feeding troughs that would collect and filter out methane gases. Self-sustainability anyone?

level 2

That's been in existence for better part of 20 years, but they're quite expensive to build (methane digester roughly $1 million+) and both parties have failed miserably to help, because lobbying, but low interest loans plus tax incentives are bountiful when it comes to solar panels. Not surprisingly, dairy-farms are now becoming solar farms while methane continues to release and DC gets richer.

level 3

So, what you're saying is, if we had advancements in methane collection and processing to reduce the costs of purchasing and operating those systems, we'd see more adoption, like that of solar?

Anyone with capital willing to jump on that? ;)

level 2

Suggestion: Cow butt-plugs. With balloons.

level 1

I am astounded at the ignorance in this thread. I don’t think any of you have visited a US farm, and just have his idea of the gates of hell with animals squealing and dragging broken limbs, shit ponds running into lakes, farmers slowly suffocating cows. You could all benefit from a trip to your nearest cow farm. Wow. It’s pretty sad the misinformation; scare tactics.

level 2
Original Poster7 points · 1 month ago

Here's how the slaughter is done in a humane farm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-iO7sisSHk&t=17s

level 1

This will be solved within a generation by lab grown meat. Slaughtered meat will become expensive and progressively more taboo until it’s only eaten ceremonially by native populations.

level 2

It can be solved right by eating less meat. YOU can help. Try the meatless chillie.

level 2

this has already done huge amount of damage, another decade of this nonsense will make it even worse. You can stop it today though, r/vegan

level 1

Because regulation works.

level 1

Is it because of growing demand increasing their operations, or because they are poluting more now than before?

level 1

It should be criminal to make sub par ice cream for this reason.

level 1

I’m a meat eater, but I still think vegetarians should remind me frequently that I shouldn’t.

level 2

Vegan here to remind you that you shouldn’t eat meat.

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