Saturday, July 21, 2007


MEAT AS ENERGY


Found this a few days ago, and am just getting around to it-- it won't spoil.

I've posted a few anti-meat/milk, pro-vegan things in the past on PLM, generally expressed in terms of health, agricultural waste, pollution, economic inefficiency etc. But this study merits a good look not only because it comes from Japan, but more especially for the fact that it conveys the research results in terms of energy expenditure.

Carried out by Akifumi Ogino et al. of the National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, Japan, the study found that: “A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home… In other words, a kilogram of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car every 250 kilometers, and burns enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for nearly 20 days… [Moreover] The calculations… did not include the impact of managing farm infrastructure and transporting the meat, so the total environmental load is higher than the study suggests.”

This certainly sheds more darkness on that thick steak...

2 comments:

Val said...

Is that a kilogram of Kobe beef, and is it true that they are pampered and grown indoors with central heating, aircon, hot showers and Toto toilets?
If so, that may explain it! :o)

Steve said...

I've seen so many studies with similar results, it is becoming very hard to understand why the general public doesn't "get it".

Maybe it's because the billion-dollar dairy and meat industries spout cheap responses like this from the article, "Methane emissions from beef cattle are declining, thanks to innovations in feeding practices," says Karen Batra of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

It's not a long-shot to guess that "innovations" means feeding a different mix of chemical cocktails, but of course an industry spokesperson knows how to leave the nuance open ended.

I don't dare to dream how our world could be of so much better quality without the overconsumption of meat and dairy.

In the meantime, it's so fulfilling to relax and not need to spend so much energy by just eating naturally.