The love affair for eating beef has far reaching implications. One of those implications that should give us pause is the saturated fat in beef that increases the likelihood for vascular disease. But, most people are unaware of what raising of beef does to the environment due to the release of methane gas from cattle. The thought of a carbon tax on beef makes perfect sense even though this is sure to drive the cattle industry and lobbyists in Washington crazy.
In his March 17 op-ed titled “The Case for a Carbon Tax on Beef,” Richard Conniff argues that it is time to break off “our collective love affair with beef” because the cattle industry “has a larger impact on the environment than that of any other meat or dairy product.”
Let’s think about this. The agriculture sector is the third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions, after the energy and industrial sectors. Citing Chatham House, the British think tank, Conniff said that raising livestock accounts for 14.5 percent of all global emissions, “more than the emissions produced from powering all the world’s road vehicles, trains, ships and airplanes combined.”
Wow, are we finally getting to one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gas emitted into our environment? It’s been a well kept secret but hopefully we’ll come to our senses – not only because of the risk for vascular disease but because of what is happening to our environment.
You can read Mr. Conniff’s complete article from this Sunday’s New York Times here. I say BRAVO! Let’s get the word out! Share with everyone you can think of. We could be years away from a change but change starts when we speak up.