Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

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Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby m0rl0ck » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:02 pm

The environmental impact is also crystal clear -- and similarly appalling. "Livestock's Long Shadow," a 2006 report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organzation (FAO), found that livestock is a major player in climate change, accounting for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents), or more than the entire global transportation system.


http://experts.foreignpolicy.com/posts/ ... f_our_time

That whole karma and interdependence thing can take you to some unexpected places :) You eat meat and the entire planet suffers, is that crazy or what?
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:13 am

It's completely exaggerated, and overlooks the actual problem we have with arable land which is the whole reason we use animals in the first place. Most of the land in the planet is not usable for farming. There's not enough equal distribution of vegetables to feed the human population and this isn't even considering how it would exhaust land resources for good it becomes completely fallow. Perhaps you're overlooking how the market is catering to vegetarians in wealthier nations and how they actually hog the majority of the world's edible vegetation to the detriment of the whole planet. We're talking about food distribution here. If distribution were fair, we could feed the whole world.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:36 am

From "Hungry Planet: What the World Eats", there's a collection of portraits of the typical week’s groceries of 30 families in 24 countries. Below are some of the portraits, as well as where each family is from and their weekly food budget in US dollars.

Bargteheide, Germany: $500.07
Image


North Carolina, United States: $341.98

Image

Sicily, Italy: $260.11
Image


Cuernavaca, Mexico: $189.09
Image


Konstancin-Jeziorna, Poland: $151.27
Image


Cairo, Egypt: $68.53

Image

Tingo, Ecuador: $31.55

Image

Shingkhey Village, Bhutan: $5.03

Image

Breidjing Camp, Chad: $1.23
Image

Now imagine having to feed a whole family of almost 13 people with that amount we saw with that small amount in Bhutan, and a mother in Chad having to keep her family of 6 kids alive on that amount for a whole week. Whereas that German family spends 500 some dollars on a huge pile of groceries to feed a family of four. Who are we kidding here?
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:44 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:It's completely exaggerated, and overlooks the actual problem we have with arable land which is the whole reason we use animals in the first place. Most of the land in the planet is not usable for farming. ...

Hi, WitF,
Your 'Hungry Planet' sequence is really important but is more a matter of inequality than meat vs veg diet.
Meanwhile, your earlier post, which I have quoted, does address the OP but is a bit misleading. You are quite right, there are large areas of land which will support grazing animals but not crops because they are too dry or too infertile or both. That land should indeed, in terms of maximising global food production, be used for grazing animals. But quite a lot of land which is productive enough for cropping is used for grazing animals, and it could feed many more people if it was turned over to crops. Even more inefficiently - immorally, even - some cattle are fed on grain, so we lose productivity of the land twice over.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but the OP does have a good argument too.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Hanzze » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:49 am

Dear Wizard in the Forest,

:twothumbsup: :twothumbsup:
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:26 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:It's completely exaggerated, and overlooks the actual problem we have with arable land which is the whole reason we use animals in the first place. Most of the land in the planet is not usable for farming. There's not enough equal distribution of vegetables to feed the human population and this isn't even considering how it would exhaust land resources for good it becomes completely fallow. Perhaps you're overlooking how the market is catering to vegetarians in wealthier nations and how they actually hog the majority of the world's edible vegetation to the detriment of the whole planet. We're talking about food distribution here. If distribution were fair, we could feed the whole world.


Good post WITF.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Hanzze » Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:48 am

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:25 pm

Im not in this arguement, im just citing a source. To me tho it looks like outraged meat eaters out to justify their diets vs good science and compassion for the planet and living beings. But i could be wrong, you all just carry on the arguement without me, i just wanted to bring that article to everyones attention.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:36 pm

There has never been a consensus on the issue of meat eating on this forum or any other Buddhist forum. Simply because most people do not regard it as of the essence. I dont see that as changing.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:41 pm

PeterB wrote:There has never been a consensus on the issue of meat eating on this forum or any other Buddhist forum. Simply because most people do not regard it as of the essence. I dont see that as changing.


Its not about buddhism, its about whether or not one makes a conscious decision to allow others to suffer to support ones personal appetites. The science of the issue seems pretty clear.
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Annapurna » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:42 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
The environmental impact is also crystal clear -- and similarly appalling. "Livestock's Long Shadow," a 2006 report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organzation (FAO), found that livestock is a major player in climate change, accounting for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents), or more than the entire global transportation system.


http://experts.foreignpolicy.com/posts/ ... f_our_time

That whole karma and interdependence thing can take you to some unexpected places :) You eat meat and the entire planet suffers, is that crazy or what?



Hello, Morlock,

when I first started thinking about eating less meat, (from daily to just LESS), I came across a study which showed that right now we are using a lot of fertile land to grow food for animals on.

If we had less animals to feed, a lot of land would be available to grow food for humans on.


Metta
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby PeterB » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:47 pm

m0rl0ck wrote:
PeterB wrote:There has never been a consensus on the issue of meat eating on this forum or any other Buddhist forum. Simply because most people do not regard it as of the essence. I dont see that as changing.


Its not about buddhism, its about whether or not one makes a conscious decision to allow others to suffer to support ones personal appetites. The science of the issue seems pretty clear.

I will not bother to address the strawmen and false and partial logic contained in your post. But you are correct in one regard. It is NOT about Buddhism.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:52 pm

PeterB wrote:I will not bother to address the strawmen and false and partial logic contained in your post. But you are correct in one regard. It is NOT about Buddhism.


Whew! What a relief. For a moment i thot i was going to have to argue that respect for the well being and hapiness of ones fellow humans didnt have to be based on some religion. :)
"Even if you've read the whole Canon and can remember lots of teachings; even if you can explain them in poignant ways, with lots of people to respect you; even if you build a lot of monastery buildings, or can explain inconstancy, stress, and not-self in the most detailed fashion ... The only thing that serves your own true purpose is release from suffering.

"And you'll be able to gain release from suffering only when you know the one mind."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai ... eleft.html
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:43 am

Hey Kim,

Just thought I'd clear some things up a bit!
Kim O'Hara wrote: You are quite right, there are large areas of land which will support grazing animals but not crops because they are too dry or too infertile or both. That land should indeed, in terms of maximising global food production, be used for grazing animals.


See the problem is that is the majority of all land on Earth. Arable land is only less than 15% of all the landmass on the planet.

But quite a lot of land which is productive enough for cropping is used for grazing animals, and it could feed many more people if it was turned over to crops.


Without a doubt, and such practices are insanely egregious, and certainly is, as you say, immoral. However it isn't because of meat eaters, it is because of land owners. The land owners feel entitled to do whatever they want with their own property at the expense of others. Personally I think that's not warranted. There is however, factory farms which I think are most egregious in their treatment of the animals so keeping the animals on Arable land is more compassionate than not. If you're talking about feeding the animals, then what do you expect? You want to starve the cattle? that's also not compassionate at all.

Even more inefficiently - immorally, even - some cattle are fed on grain, so we lose productivity of the land twice over.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but the OP does have a good argument too.


Hardly, because it isn't addressing the problem at all. The problem is distribution, and land ownership.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Kim OHara » Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:59 am

Wizard in the Forest wrote:If you're talking about feeding the animals, then what do you expect? You want to starve the cattle? that's also not compassionate at all.

Hi, WitF,
Just quickly -
No, I don't want to starve the cattle. What I'm suggesting is that the best course is ultimately to have fewer cattle (and sheep and goats) and to have nearly all of them grazing on land which can't support more intensive agriculture. That will mean less meat production overall, more food production overall, and less cruelty to animals.
Wizard in the Forest wrote:If you're talking about feeding the animals, then what do you expect? You want to starve the cattle? that's also not compassionate at all.
The problem is distribution, and land ownership.

That is one of the major problems, indeed - or a dozen of them - but that is 'how we should get there' - politics and public policy implementation - not 'what we should aim for.'
:namaste:
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby max » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:15 am

Please do not think i am being rude by joining in with this discussion. Land is used to make feed for animals and people after all they both have a right to live, but there are more and more people coming into this world and people are living longer. A long time ago there was wide spread famine and disease that kept the world in a kind of status quo, now with better living standards in some parts of the world people live longer and consume more and at times more than they need and at times alot of that goes to waist. Wouldn't it make more sense for there to be less people in this world before we consume ourselves to death. If people had less children which would result in a reduced need on the planet. If you can't aford to feed yourself or the one child you have why have child 1,2,3.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby cooran » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:33 am

Hello max,

I suspect in many countries without aged pensions children are the only support and protection in old age. So, to make certain some survive to care for their parents, they have quite a few.

Religion is another reason people will not use birth control. As is the expense and lack of availability of suitable forms of contraception, in populations with low or no incomes.

And plain old lust - having sex when the mood takes you, without a thought for the possible consequence.

List of countries by population growth
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... rowth_rate
Human population control
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_population_control

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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Wizard in the Forest » Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:05 am

Hey there, Max!
I definitely understand what you are talking about and that is ultimately the crux of the whole issue. we undeniably have a population problem, and my point is that unwise land use is the cause. We have a growing unsustainable population, and despite Malthus's predictions agricultural practices have less struggles to meet demand for population needs, but the dirty secret is that the uneven distribution of goods in the market has made this unprofitable for landowners. So rather than feeding people, they cater to the wealthy. Thus we have people eating themselves to death and people starving to death at the same time. The cost to the environment is that the majority of vegetables are being consumed by a small amount of people, and the same with the meat, however to try and meet growing demand for vegetables farmers engage in some of the most environmentally devastating practices. With meat being less of a land occupying task, they make factory farms. These factory farms are efficient and meet demands quickly, and take no space even if it costs to feed them. As for the question of these animals, there are more of them than there are people. To say we want less of them means what? Kill them? Thenceforth dies compassion. Declare them unkillable? Then we have a planet overpopulated by cows, people starve to death, so do cows due to starvation, and thenceforth dies compassion.
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby Hanzze » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:04 pm

_/\_
Last edited by Hanzze on Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html

BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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Re: Environmental & Health Consequences of Carnivorous Diets

Postby PeterB » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:34 pm

According to the Buddha cows do not manifest as human, nor do humans manifest as cows.
That is Hindu Dharma. Involving an atta. Not Buddha Dhamma which takes as a central teaching, Anatta..
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