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[flagged] We must cut out meat and dairy before dinner to save the planet (theguardian.com)
23 points by prostoalex 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

The article was a bit light on hard values, does anyone have good sources? Googling, main pages which come up seem to indicate the impact is only ~15% of total GHG emissions [1][2]. This doesn't seem like much overall for sweeping lifestyle changes, are these values wrong or am I missing something here?

Granted [1] isn't a great source, but hard to find.

[1] https://www.meatinstitute.org/index.php?ht=d/sp/i/47385/pid/...

[2] http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197623/icode/

This is unfortunately very black and white, which is unfortunate because the topic deserves discussion.

Eating _less_ meat (and less red meat in particular) is still beneficial. One doesn't need to go 100% off meat to have a very positive effect.

I eat a mostly vegan diet, which I think still counts, but in many people's books it doesn't matter because of the 2 servings of meat/eggs I have a week. That's ridiculous, and makes these discussions about ideology rather than positive measurable changes.

Veggie burgers are getting damn good these days too. If people would just give this a try (and leave out the politics), I think they'd find 3+ days a week without meat is no problem.

Also - this article points out some extreme flaws in the original Guardian story: https://skepticalscience.com/animal-agriculture-meat-global-... , quote "in the USA, fossil fuels are responsible for over 10 times more human-caused greenhouse gas emissions than animal agriculture."

Sounds like some extreme skepticism is warranted when interpreting these numbers (as usual).

Did you read the article? This article is arguing large reductions, not complete eliminations. How is that black and white?

A talk I attended by this same author, in maybe 2010, is what caused me to dramatically decrease my meat intake. His framing was compelling: eating meat is bad for several reasons, but also enjoyable and hard to avoid, so just eat a lot less.

Since that day my intake has easily been < 50% of what it was before, probably closer to 75% less. I just don't eat meat unless I have a good reason to: social gathering/celebration, really bad alternatives, or just a day where my willpower is low due to some other emotional load.

It really hasn't been hard, and is getting easier with things like Impossible Burger.

Eat as much meat as you want, just leave away what you are eating out of habit and not because you actually want. This will go a long way already. Since you are not cutting down the meat which you actually want to eat, it does not feel like a sacrifice.

Works well for me.

I want a law forcing companies to allow employees to work from home. Much, much more savings than skipping meat.

I am assuming you don't run a company

No, but I produce twice more when I'm at home rather than in the office.

and what works for you should be forced into law, of course!

I dream of a world of less laws. A world where if a boss sees that an employee performs better at home, he can let them. And where he can also choose not to.

> I dream of a world of less laws.

This is definitely not what's gonna happen if we want to tackle climate change. As for the remote working, I guess that more than a fair assessment from employers, there is some cultural resistance that could be changed with a bit of encouragement.

Actually, the article's point is that halting every combustion-engine automobile, boat, plane, and train forever would do less to combat global warming than a genocide of all cows and pigs.


From the article: “Animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector (all planes, cars and trains), and is the primary source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions (which are 86 and 310 times more powerful than CO2, respectively).”

Just one example: cruise ships for Carnival alone — not to even mention all the other cruise lines — pollute 10 times more than all the cars in Europe combined [1]. I’ve seen plenty of thinkpieces about not eating meat, but approximately zero about not taking cruises. Curious!

[1] https://www.thedrive.com/news/28469/carnival-cruise-ship-fle...

I have seen this several times and it's almost akin to fake news because of how misled people are by it.

When they say 'pollution' they are completely ignoring CO2 emissions and only focusing on things like sulphur dioxide. So yes, it's not a conspiracy that you're seeing many articles about not eating meat, and not many about not taking cruises.

From your link:

>Even so, with cars releasing so little in the way of pollutants compared to larger forms of travel, it means you don't have to feel guilty about enjoying the wastefulness that is motorsport.

This is just sad.

Also, how are developing countries that rely heavily on meat and diary exports supposed to just stop producing meat?

We must all do what we can. There isn’t time for petulance.

You’re going to have to make me.

You're being down voted but you're making an extremely important point. It's very, very difficult to convince people to reduce their quality of life because something bad is going to happen in the future to people who may or may not be them. You see this all over the place in other domains such as diet (people know they should eat less but don't), exercise (people don't do it), personal finance (people don't save), alcohol and drug use (people don't stop), medication compliance (people can't be bothered to take their meds), security (people can't be bothered to do best practice), etc; and those are problems that directly affect them with shorter time horizons. You're fighting human nature, and you're going to lose. Further, you have a collective action problem where no one is going to act because they don't want to be the person who has to reduce QOL while other people don't. I firmly believe that people will not get onboard with reduction of consumption en masse and that the only way to solve the problem of climate change is to innovate our way out of the problems while maintaining analogous QOL.

I applaud the general HN community for taking a stand against the problem and making sacrifices, but the reality is that most other people won't, and I think we should have that discussion.


IF this is the crisis we are being assured it is, the only solution is technological. We've spent thousands of years improving the quality of the life of the average human and now a new set of aspiring tyrants on a great moral jihad believe we must reduce our quality of life.

It won't work. And the fight that might come to pass would be a catastrophe unto itself.

We either deal with this technologically or it doesn't get dealt with at all.

How long before The Guardian publishes an article about how "we must eat insects for dinner to save the planet"?

They've been floating this idea for years.

Might as well go ahead and keep dangerously depleting ground-water reserves to grow almonds for almond milk... because "progress"...


Instead of thousands of people saying 'over their dead bodies' or some such reply its best for governments to just tax it just like cigarettes.

its best for governments to just


Poor people aren't going to like that very much...

I wouldn't be surprised if the planet is beyond saving and even if the majority of people started consuming a vegetarian diet. The real culprit is the nonexistent checks & balances for using excessive resources in industries. Laws should be doing more than fining people and where the current fines aren't being a deterrent.

The same should be said for cities refusing to build homes for affordable living and where public transportation should make sense contrary to owning personal transportation. The newer generation isn't going to just adapt to a lesser quality lifestyle in the current climate of seeing their parents afford homes in their early 20s and with higher education being without debt. The young generation has a mentality that it isn't about them at all and they're not going to adapt. The older generation is making off like bandits and similarly will do nothing.

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