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Meat Production and Climate Impact

More impact than from auto manufacturing

Jul. 23, 2008
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Dear Editor,

Last week, in a major address in the nation╣s capital, former Vice President
Al Gore called for a ten-year plan to move the nation's entire energy supply
to solar, wind, and other renewable sources. What he failed to address is
the massive role of meat production in the global climate crisis.

An authoritative 2006 report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization
found that animal agriculture accounts for fully 18 percent of greenhouse
gas emissions that cause global warming. That╣s more than automobiles!
(www.CoolYourDiet.org)  It is also a major cause of land and water

Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to
create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate feed
growing tractors, factory farm and slaughterhouse machinery, trucks, and
refrigeration equipment. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide
are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste
cesspools, respectively.

The good news is that each of us can do our part to reduce global warming
without waiting ten years. Our local supermarket stocks a rich variety of
soy-based lunch "meats," hotdogs, veggie burgers, dairy products, and
ready-to-eat frozen dinners. Did I mention the cornucopia of fruits and
vegetables that have always been readily available to us? More details are
at www.tryveg.com.


Marcus Armand


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