The price of beef and chicken has now reached an all-time high forcing consumers to look for alternatives. This ‘expert’ says that the solution is to produce more meat. Here’s why that’s a really bad idea.
Source: CBS News/Youtube
Michael Hirtzer, an agricultural reporter for Bloomberg, went on CBS News Mornings to discuss the issue. He explains that meat plants were a hotspot for COVID-19 in 2020, and things haven’t been the same for livestock farms since. Another reason he explains that prices are up on meat is due to the war in Ukraine. Ukraine is known as the ‘bread basket’ of Europe and grows a large amount of wheat, barley, and corn. The devastating war in Ukraine has left farmers unable to grow these crops, and as a result, livestock feed prices have gone up, which has increased the cost of meat. The increase in gas prices has also made livestock farming more expensive for farmers.
Raising animals for meat is now more expensive than ever, but Hirtzer says the meat plants have been making record profits. What’s the solution to take the burden off of consumers for the high prices? Well, according to Hirtzer, “the big thing is, we need maybe more companies producing meat nowadays.”
Producing more animals to murder for food is not the answer. Cheap meat comes at a high cost to farm animals and wildlife, and study after study has proven that meat is not even good for us. We murder 72 billion animals every single year—72 billion sentient creatures. We can feed more people with fewer resources if we reduce our meat consumption and choose more plant-based foods. We can start to fight climate change on our plates.
The world’s obsession with beef, pork, and processed chicken has reached a tipping point. Shifting to a more plant-based diet and curbing meat consumption can tremendously help the planet. The livestock sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire transportation sector combined. The UK just set a goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, insisting less meat consumption is key. By reducing the number of animal products we use, a radical shift in climate change can be achieved.
Factory farms are extremely unsustainable and harmful to our planet. They cause mass deforestation, account for 37% of global methane emissions, and use 70% of the world’s freshwater. Even though the animals are kept in inhumanely cramped spaces, it takes quite a bit of land to grow food to feed these animals, and thus, large swaths of forest are cleared to make room for livestock feed. Furthermore, the animals’ waste may be kept in large lagoons, which not only take up space but also pollute water and air. As a result, meat and other animal products, like dairy, are extremely harmful to the environment.
Plant-based foods generally have a much smaller environmental footprint than meat. One study found that a serving size of meat is responsible for 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions and 100 times more land use than a serving of veggies. According to the study, “Producing a serving of processed red meat has the second-highest mean impact on acidification, GHG emissions, and land use and the third-highest mean impact for eutrophication.” Another report found that people who eat meat daily produce 2.8 tons of carbon dioxide annually, as opposed to 1.5 tons for vegetarians and 1.1 tons for vegans.
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