Posted by: r.m. | May 4, 2010

The 3 Cs: cows…climate change…capitalism

I had an interivew on the Armenian radio station on Monday. (The interview was in Arabic.) The topic was: relationship between cows and climate change, and bit on volcanoes and climate change. Naturally, I kept talking about capitalism and the destructive economic structure itself. Naturally.

Here is the crux of the cows and climate change material.  (1) Livestock a major threat to environment. FAO 2006 report. (2) Comments on that report continue.



  1. This is a bit confusing.. First they argue that meat production is greatly affecting and contributing to climate change and then this Mitloehner guy comes and kind of denies this fact.. well, anyways, i think all of us “omnivores” can a bit reduce our meat consumption as they say in the aricle “each person who replaces red meat and dairy with vegetables for one day a week for a year cuts their GHG emissions as much as if they skipped a 1,160-mile car trip.” And this is really astonishing; knowing that livestock’s contribution to climate change in some countries is greater than that of cars!!
    I agree with Mitloehner when he suggests that instead of cutting down meat production and consumption everywhere in the world, we would feed the undernourished people, thus following this proverb: “one man’s poison is another’s man meat!”

  2. wow! why most people do not know this???? when someone think about climate change, he will relate it to cars, to industries… but to cows!!! Even to say that the impact of livestock on climate change is bigger than that of driving cars is somewhat shocking because most people consider cows as part of the natural world not as part of the human made world that is severely affecting our environment. But since we are raising more cows for meat or milk, livestock become part of our effect on nature. Even when considering other effects than gas emission, we will realize how dangerous this became and how much important the solutions became. The main problem is that we cannot stop this sector all together since related to our ” food web” but at least we can reduce our consumption hoping that if it surpassed the individual level to the mass level, it will have a significant decreasing effect of the threat on the environment.

  3. We have reached a level in our ecosystem that in order to prevent more environmental damage, we must limit our consumption of meat and dairy products.
    When I have read this article, I just remembered the first slide of ecology chapter one! And Yes I would totally “digest” the idea of the impact (direct or indirect) of “over” consumption of meat and dairy products on climate change, as the one stated in the article (overgrazing, GHG contributions, and impact on ground water…)
    Mathew is totally right and persuasive in his ideas, however we must not forget the essential health impacts of dairies on “global human health” since milk or dairies are a major source of CALCIUM (compared to no alternative food source!), as for meat I do not give its as much importance as I do for dairies (since there is an alternative source for it)
    As a solution I would also in addition to working on environmental factors and eating habits of cows, I suggest that it is important to re distribute meat-dairy consumption among different population (since some are “over” eating on the gold and silver side while on the rusty iron side, some do not have the chance to smell it!)
    Finally we must not forget that the big food industries (as Cadburys) have a strong fist that is controlling-or should I say exploiting-“the cow world” with no limits. And this is another disadvantage of globalizations; large first world countries industries are exploiting the third world resources.

  4. It is hard for us to notice the idea that by eating meat and dairy products, the CO2 gas emission is increasing! It also hard to change the fact that cows are contributing for gas emission more than transportation do! New obstacles are appearing day after day and it is really tough to overcome these problems.
    It is easy to say for people to limit their bad behavior against nature but it is unacceptable to say to people to limit their consumption of meat and dairy products! People need to eat and we are getting most of our nutritional vitamins from these products, and finding alternatives would not be similar the people got used on. Not everyone could be a vegetarian! But it is for the best of the meat and dairy products company to invest in such issues in order to find rational solutions to these problems.

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