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Arment Dietrich

But I Like Beef!

By: Arment Dietrich | September 6, 2007 | 
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It’s not often activists find a platform they can all rally around. Even people on the same side of an issue will argue the nuances of their positioning as though their lives depended on it.

But Al Gore, of all people, has given animal rights activists a platform – global warming. And they’re aiming the gun at his carnivorous ways.

A new PETA ad calls out meat as the top cause of global warming. And other agencies are jumping on the bandwagon.

Now, liberal though I am, I typically dismiss PETA’s allegations out-of-hand. They’re the best example of sensationalist activists I can think of (on my side of the fence). But they actually have the U.N. to back them up this time.

The research I’ve done indicated PETA is spinning a complex issue. At the very least, meat doesn’t cause global warming, our production practices do.

What do you think? Do I have to give up meat to save the world?  — Brigitte Lyons

3 comments
Daren Williams
Daren Williams

Brigitte and Molli -- I have good news! You can continue to enjoy beef knowing that you are not contributing in any significant way to global warming. This latest attempt by Ingrid Newkirk and PETA to put America's beef producers out of business definitely qualifies as destructive spin!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), production of all food animals contributes less than 2.5 percent of total annual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. EPA data show that fossil fuel combustion, on the other hand, is responsible for about 80 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA’s 2007 report shows methane emissions related to cattle production have steadily declined since 1990; and the EPA report doesn’t even mention livestock production as a carbon dioxide emission concern.

In response to their argument, I say, "Where's the beef?!"

The truth is that when you eat beef, you support a group of American businessmen and women who responsibly care for this country’s natural resources. Like many Americans, including Al Gore, the hard-working people who raise cattle are doing their part to protect the environment and are diligently employing responsible management practices to protect the environment in and around our farms and ranches.

Grazing cattle is an example of a responsible land management practice that has been in use for hundreds of years. Grazing allows the use of land which is not suitable for growing crops and offers benefits in battling erosion, invasive plant species and wildfires. In areas where erosion is an issue, foraging animals such as cattle can help stabilize the soil and promote expanded growth of grasses.

Let me spin it this way, if you will...Ingrid and Co. are environmental activists; cattle producers are active environmentalists.

Daren Williams
National Cattlemen's Beef Association

Molli Megasko
Molli Megasko

I am glad you brought this up. On a recent episode of Bill Maher, animal activist Ingrid Newkirk was interviewed via satellite. (http://www.hbo.com/billmaher/episode/2007_08_31_ep106.html)

She talked about the main problem in global warming, it's not oil, or the cars we drive, but what we are eating: Meat. I was shocked! I like to think that I do what I can for the environment, I don’t drive a car, I use the safe, more expensive kinds of light bulbs, and I recycle. But like you Brigitte, I love me some meat.

She did go on to explain that it is in the production, the process, and the contaminated land. But, I guess you can’t be a global warming, meat eating activist.