What do you know, another notorious carnivore has joined the low meat bandwagon! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, this time. This is excellent news, as Hugh is a very effective communicator and a tireless publicist for his beliefs. Let’s see what he has to say about this change in his approach to consuming flesh.
I would love to persuade you to eat more vegetables. And thereby to eat less meat – and maybe a bit less fish too. Why? To summarise, we need to eat more vegetables and less flesh because vegetables are the foods that do us the most good and our planet the least harm. … We eat too much meat in the west – too much for our own health and far too much for the welfare of the many millions of animals we raise for food.
You can read the rest of his account here.
I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette,Clinton said,Because even though I had changed my diet some and cut down on the caloric total of my ingestion and cut back on much of the cholesterol in the food I was eating, I still — without any scientific basis to support what I did — was taking in a lot of extra cholesterol without knowing if my body would produce enough of the enzyme to support it, and clearly it didn’t or I wouldn’t have had that blockage. So that’s when I made a decision to really change.
The former president now says he consumes no meat, no dairy, no eggs, almost no oil.
I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now, Clinton told [Dr. Sanjay] Gupta.
The above excerpt is from this article at CNN.
The UK Committee on Climate Change, in its fourth report to the UK government,
recommends a carbon tax on food, leading to higher beef and sheep prices – and ‘rebalancing diets’ away from red meat.
(Source: The Register.)
Vegans may incorporate weeds into their diets, but are they, metaphorically speaking, weedy? Put another way, is it possible to be both vegan and physically strong?
Anecdotally, vegans and even vegetarians have a reputation for being anaemic and physically weak, and it may indeed be easier to become anaemic from iron deficiency on a poor quality vegetarian or vegan diet than on a poor quality diet featuring meat. However, no poor quality diet is good for health – poor quality meat-based diets may lead to other problems – so let’s restrict our focus to those who are more careful about what they eat. Can a vegan who eats well and keeps fit gain or maintain respectable functional strength for sports or health? read more…
I no longer believe that the only ethical response is to [completely] stop eating meat. (Source)
I didn’t think I’d ever see it happen, but George Monbiot is now advocating a low meat diet and agricultural economy in preference to a vegan or vegetarian one, which means he and Anthony Bourdain have moved into roughly the same territory.
Monbiot’s shift is based on the conclusions presented in Simon Fairlie’s new book, Meat: A Benign Extravagance. It is important to note that neither Fairlie nor Monbiot nor Bourdain appear to condone the current Western model of industrial meat farming. Indeed, Fairlie calls the feedlot beef industry
one of the biggest ecological cock-ups in modern history, so his book isn’t an excuse to go and splurge on cheap steak at the supermarket. Not by a long way.
So what can you, dear reader, do to accommodate this new consensus into your shopping habits? Boiled down to a couple of sentences, here’s our take. If you have available to you a source of livestock products that are locally raised on an appropriate diet, enjoy those products in moderation. If not, continue to keep your consumption of animal products minimal for as long as it takes to change the status quo.
But wait, that’s not the whole story. Remember our strapline: Better for you, for livestock, and for the planet. There are reasons other than the efficiency of our planet’s agricultural economy in favour of avoiding meat. First among these is animal welfare. Fairlie’s model may be efficient, but it retains the possibility of animal cruelty, especially at the slaughterhouse. A second reason is personal health: present evidence suggests a well-balanced vegetarian or vegan diet could be better for people than one containing meat, particularly red meat.
It seems there’s still plenty of room for more detailed research into balancing these three pillars of a healthy approach to farming and eating!
I’m beginning to think, in light of recent accounts, that we should, on balance, eat a little less meat. … I don’t want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them provably less delicious. And, often, less safe to eat. (Source)
Could this be true? Has the arch carnivore of the Western media – the man who notoriously ate the still-beating heart of a cobra on television – finally turned the corner?
Let’s be clear about one thing: Bourdain’s concern isn’t to alleviate the suffering of any species apart from human beings. In his limited personal quest to raise the quality of human life, he does, however, care about the food we eat, and this raises a valuable point: even for a person with such narrow concerns, it makes sense to pursue a diet in which animal flesh is eaten only on the condition that its quality is high. And if that means eating less animal flesh, this is a price he’s prepared to pay.
One of the purposes of Lowmeat.org is to publicise common ground. The strapline here is,
For you, for livestock, for the planet. The great thing about a low meat diet is that even if you only pursue it for the sake of one member of that triumvirate, the evidence suggests you’ll benefit the others as well. That, at the risk of sounding corny, is a win-win situation! So thank you, Anthony, for caring about our diets – and for writing about them – whatever you may think about the rest.
…or at least, a less meaty festive season and new year than your last one.
But what can you cook to replace some or all of the turkey, goose,
pigs in blankets, or other traditional festive dishes you might usually eat? Well, you could spend a while searching your cookbooks and the Web for suggestions – and doubtless you’d find some good ones – or you could give yourself a head start by jumping straight to the recipes linked from this article by Adharanand Finn.
There, moderation isn’t so difficult after all. Happy holidays, folks!
The leg bone
Is connected to the foot bone,
Is connected to the Export Processing Zones,
And it’s nothing we condone…
But everybody owns
A pair of those shoes.
Million Dead, Holloway Prison Blues
For the ethical consumer, shoes pose a problem. If one wants to buy shoes not made mostly of synthetics, one has two broad options: canvas shoes or leather ones. Canvas shoes are fine for some circumstances, but not for all. read more…
With flights frequently cheaper than train tickets and the usage of oil-based products and fossil fuel energy still almost impossible to avoid, it’s easy to feel like saving the planet is an uphill struggle. What you may not know is that if you’re a carnivore, you can make a dramatic reduction in your environmental impact by simply choosing to reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. read more…