According to a recent study published in Science and reported in The Guardian, avoiding meat and dairy is the "single biggest way" to reduce your impact on Earth.
The claims are amazing: without meat and dairy, global farmland use could be reduced by more than 75 percent and still feed the world. While livestock only yields 18 percent of the calories people need, it utilizes 83 percent of farmland. And livestock only produce 37 percent of the protein people need.
Here's the real kicker: livestock does more harm than the LEAST (capitalization mine) sustainable vegetables and cereal growing. The study supposedly looked at 40,000 farms in 119 countries, and 40 food products that represent 90 percent of all that's eaten. Here's a typical statistic: beef emits 105 kg of greenhouse gas per 100 grams of meat versus tofu which produces only 3.5 kg of greenhouse gas per 100 grams of material (it's not meat, so you can't say that). Notice they didn't account for the dead earthworms in soybeans, the chemicals to grow them, the wildlifeless and desertifying soybean fields, nor the pounds of soil erosion per bushel of beans.
The study's protocol included land use, greenhouse gas emissions, global acidification, entrophication and water use. And of course the scientific community goes wild with accolades and superlatives describing this comprehensive, ground-breaking study.
I'm not a credentialed scientist, but even a nitwit can identify things the study never considered. Methanotrophic bacteria suck methane out of the atmosphere to the tune of 1,000 cows per acre . . . but only in healthy perennial pastures. Not in corn, not in soybeans, and certainly not in feedlots. But they didn't study that.
The study, of course, falls into the fatal fallacy of COWSPIRACY and other likeminded fake science by picking and choosing agenda-driven figures. I talked recently with one of the ranchers interviewed for COWSPIRACY and she said they not only misquoted her, but completely falsified figures and twisted everything to their anti-livestock agenda. Carbon sequestration guru Allan Savory met with the COWSPIRACY producers but they were not interested in hearing anything but their storyline.
"Scientists say" is now a cult codeword for falsehoods. Realize that 500 years ago the world had way more pounds of animals than it does today. The problem with livestock is not animals; it's the anti-ecological production and management practices. Don't blame the cow, blame the farmer.
As the orthodoxy becomes worse and worse, these kinds of studies impugning animals will become more and more common. Do you realize that the United States spends more on veterinary care for pet dogs than the entire continent of Africa spends on human health care? Does anybody crusade against dogs?
Remember, scientists told us to use hydrogenated vegetable oil. Scientists told us to feed dead cows to cows. Scientists told us to quit breast feeding. Scientists told us to use DDT. Scientists told us chemical fertilizers were equivalent to manure. Scientists told us all life is just a rearrangement of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Scientists told us to pasteurize our milk. Whenever you read the phrase "scientists say," you'd better pick up your feet.
What do scientists say that you don't believe?