Monday, February 15, 2010

Conflicting Arguments Against Ag

Tofu can harm environment more than meat, finds WWF study
Ben Webster, Environment Editor
Feb 12, 2010
Times Online, UK

Becoming a vegetarian can do more harm to the environment than continuing to eat red meat, according to a study of the impacts of meat substitutes such as tofu.

The findings undermine claims by vegetarians that giving up meat automatically results in lower emissions and that less land is needed to produce food.

The study by Cranfield University, commissioned by the environmental group WWF, found that many meat substitutes were produced from soy, chickpeas and lentils that were grown overseas and imported into Britain.

It found that switching from beef and lamb reared in Britain to meat substitutes would result in more foreign land being cultivated and raise the risk of forests being destroyed to create farmland. Meat substitutes also tended to be highly processed and involved energy-intensive production methods. Read More

If you look at the attacks being launched against farmers and ranchers on any given day, you will notice that they always contradict each other. The Pollan led outcry against processed foods and modern agriculture contradicts with animal rights groups that urge the eating of tofu and other highly processed foods are designed to try replacing meat. I hear people say that my cows are destroying the environment simply because the prairie was meant to have a 1200 pound animal walking on it. Of course their solution to this problem is to re-introduce the American bison on my land. The fact of the matter is that farmers and ranchers have more interest than most in protecting the environment. If you want to see what’s really happening on the farms and ranches around you, just ask them, not a hypocritical fringe group.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, soybeans were an agricultural commodity. One local study can't be extrapolated to a worldwide problem. The evidence is clear, confinement cattle operations are worse for the environment than pastured cattle operations. Even vegetarians support agriculture, they have to eat something, don't they? What's the aggregate environmental effect af a soy burger vs a hamburger?