Quit Beef to Save the Planet?


Climate change is decisively here,
and even softer sceptics are now beginning to agree about both its inevitability and
extent but do we really need to quit beef to address it? No I want roast beef you clod!
Hah ha ha ha This week saw Goldsmiths College,
part of the University of London, ban the sale of the meat on campus
to help tackle the climate crisis. As a result beef products will no longer
be available on campus when the academic year begins in September.
Alongside that there will be an additional 10p levy
added to bottled water and disposable plastic cups
In order to discourage their use as the institution seeks to phase out single-use plastics
and install more solar panels in a quest to become carbon neutral by 2025. But when it comes to beef
doesn’t this seem a little….excessive?! Well it turns out not really.
Because at worst climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. The planet’s on fucking fire! It’s widely acknowledged that warming
beyond two degrees could create a cascade of feedbacks,
where two leads to three, three to four, four to five and five to six. That isn’t coming immediately
it’s not going to start next year. But what we know for the rest of this century
is likely warming of around two degrees centigrade. In reality that means declining crop yields,
vanishing glaciers – which presently provide clean drinking water
and desertification from Lisbon to Los Angeles. In this scenario the UN predicts as many as
200 million climate refugees, with the rising populations of the global
south, particularly in south Asia and sub-saharan
Africa, incapable of being supported unless they move. This is an actual crisis! Got it? Yeah it’s really that bad. Well does the prohibition of beef really make
a difference? The answer – and this is coming from someone
who has little time for private virtue when what is needed is historic collective
action is decisively yes! At present we are using 1.6 times our planet’s
biocapacity imagine we were in an ecological overdraft
and spending far more than we are putting in. Now while some people might blame overpopulation
for that, an often racialised way of assessing the problem,
that’s deeply unhelpful. Because if every human ate the average south
asian diet we could easily sustain a planet of 10 billion,
but on the other hand if everyone instead ate
the typical north American diet that figure would be closer to 2.5 billion. The reason? The role of animal products. So if everyone were to enjoy the same diet
as the average American does today, consuming approximately 3,700 daily calories,
we would need the resources of an additional five Earths.
Even if you wanted the United States of today
to be a template of global development, from the perspective of bio-capacity
that isn’t remotely possible. And when you integrate reasonable forecasts
about the impact of climate change on agriculture the picture gets even worse. A 2009 report predicted that warming
of three degrees would mean a 50 per cent reduction in wheat yields
in South Asia between 2000 and 2050, along with a 17 per cent reduction
in rice and six per cent in maize. That’s in a region with three of the eight
most populous countries in the world India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
All of which are set to see their respective populations rise further still. That isn’t to say the comparatively wealthier
countries of the Global North will remain unaffected,
however. Within a low warming scenario,
forecasts suggest the US would see corn and soy yields
fall by 30 and 46 per cent respectively. Given the country is currently the world’s
leading exporter of grains, that would spell disaster
not only at home but for the world market. Even if other countries such as Russia and
Canada stepped up to become agricultural powerhouses,
this might only serve to increase the possibility of
resource conflicts with their more militarily powerful neighbours. So how can we possibly feed a world of 9.5
billion 30 years from now? Part of the answer, particularly for the global
south, is cellular agriculture – beef without cows,
lamb without sheep, foie gras without geese. That would necessitate less land, labour and
water, while creating a fraction of the CO2 and methane
emissions. But while that technology is exciting
and a massive part of the solution it isn’t yet here,
which means as many of us as possible need to follow the example set by Goldsmiths. That’s because compared to a plant-based
diet, meat is energy intensive and highly inefficient
in converting solar energy to food. A Bangladeshi family living off rice, beans,
vegetables and fruit can subsist on an acre of land or less.
Meanwhile the average American, who consumes 270 pounds of meat a year,
could require twenty times that. If you examine the inputs necessary to produce
a pound of soy compared to animal protein, the latter uses twelve times as much land,
thirteen times as much fossil fuels and fifteen times as much water
and soy is a famously inefficient non-meat product. And it isn’t just the conversion of solar
energy into kilocalories which is inefficient.
Nearly a third of the useable surface area of the planet is given over to livestock either
directly or indirectly, with animal feed accounting for the majority
of global crop production. One study by Cornell University found that
while 302 million hectares were given over to livestock in the United
States, only 13 million hectares were allocated to
vegetables, rice, fruit, potatoes and beans. What’s more, livestock farming alone contributes
to 14 per cent of all human caused greenhouse gas emissions
and, according to a 2006 report by the UN, generates more CO2 emissions than cars. Meanwhile 69 per cent of the world’s freshwater
withdrawals are committed to agriculture, most of which is in meat production,
with the average cow consuming 11,000 gallons of water a year.
That means the average pound of ground beef requires 440 gallons of water.
And all in a world where millions of people die every year from water-related disease. Most remarkable of all is that after using
all this water, energy, land and labour
not to mention the greenhouse gas emissions created as a by-product we dispense with
as much as half of the animal’s carcass. A heifer weighing a thousand pounds
will, on average, produce 610 pounds of ‘hanging weight’,
with this falling to 430 pounds of retail cuts after
the removal of bone and fat. Once you factor in skin and hooves, two years
of digestive processes, consciousness, respiration and just moving
around, food from a living cow starts to look incredibly
wasteful as a means of transforming solar energy into
beef and milk. Does all that mean you should quit meat right
now and never eat it again
(until that is, until we get cultured Kobe steak?)
Probably – but you aren’t going to do that right
now so let’s start slow. Like those at Goldsmiths why not campaign
for your school, university or workplace to go beef free
after all beef is by far the most ecologically devastating meat.
And while you’re at it why not be more mindful about reducing meat generally?
I’ve gone back to being a vegetarian this year,
with the occasional lapse I must admit, and while that certainly isn’t enough to
save the planet, along with limiting personal flights it’s
a pretty decent start. What’s more eliminating meat from your diet,
starting with beef, reduces unnecessary suffering to your fellow
creatures, who under capitalism are reduced to a lifeless
commodity deprived of any dignity.
One day soon cellular agriculture, Hopefully produced by a local worker owned enterprise, will be providing you with ultra cheap lobster,
caviar and ribeye steak – but until then do yourself,
the planet and the animals a favour reach for the salad.




Comments
  1. What happened to treating climate change as a class issue? https://twitter.com/graceblakeley/status/1111713010031255561?s=09

    We shouldn't turn global warming into a way to punish ordinary people.

  2. Great video, but I think you're actually underestimating the problem when you say we're only likely to see 2 degrees of warming by the end of the century (1:04). If every country stuck to its Paris accord pledges (ha ha) then we would still see closer to 3 degrees of warming, and even higher on our current trajectory: https://climateactiontracker.org/global/temperatures/

  3. Why are you a socialist and not a social democrat by that logic? You did not even mention veganism or any structural critique. Just another band-aid half measure.

  4. You need to be careful about this sort of stuff. The problem isn't regular people, the problem isn't something regular people can solve.
    The only way we can stop climate change (mitigate the effects of climate change) is to radically change the energy industry. Subsidize renewable evergy, disencourage the use of fossil fuels.. If that is not accomplished it wouldn't matter even if everyone went vegan.

  5. I'm still waiting for a Novara video on how to solve the North south divide, how to deliver prosperity for post industrial Britain and how to solve the issue of the working classes having access to the opportunities of their middle class counterparts……

    So far, I have only learned how to love LGBT, love people of colour and stop eating beef…… oh wait, you don't have answers to real problems, but removing men and women from toilet doors? Sure, easy win…..

  6. Giving up meat is easier than it's ever been. As for dairy- Oatly barista is the best milk alternative for tea y'all, followed by cashew. Vegan cheese has come a long way, particularly cream cheese. I eat a vegan diet but for one portion of fish a month. Feel great

  7. We need a address our diets asap. It doesn't mean you need to cut meat out completely, but have a majority plant based diet. Having excessive diets such as Brazil which eat a ridiculous amount of meat in not sustainable

  8. Thumbs up from me. We really do have to address diet collectively though and we should start by at least not subsidising meat. It's a good time to push as with the Common Agricultural Policy going the government is holding a series of consultations on the future of British agricultural subsidies.

  9. I've been Vegetarian for 4.5 years now. Definitely a better choice for the planet. One of the stupid arguments I get is what will we do with all the cows and pigs we have, who will look after them…

  10. As far as the UK goes we’ve got a meat eating problem. I’m not vegan or even vege but even from a dietary perspective, Britain needs a turn in our habits. Don’t get me wrong, love a bacon butty in the morning, but keeping it to one/twice a week for meat at breakfast is probably for the best. You don’t need to eat half a pig every morning

  11. "beef" is not the problem. Capitalist production is. A production that creates desires at the same rate at which it produces any product. India has the largest bovine population, not reared or bred in closed factory settings, and most of them are not used for meat or leather purposes until after they've become old and/or sick. They are used largely for agrarian purposes. So is that also a problem in terms of GHG emissions? If yes, clearly, then, consumption of beef is not the problem. It is the magnitude of the production and the quality of rearing. If vegans/vegetarians/non-beef-eaters think that their non-beef consumption levels can be maintained if they just eliminate one product, they have essentially inverted their whole analysis.

  12. These all seem arguments, for how to keep increasing the human population rather than anything to do with global warming (which is entirely to do with fossil fuel).. Cows themselves do not add anything to global warming, as they eat grass, and crops. Crops that absorb C02.. Cows cannot make more CO2 than they eat, that's impossible.. (and btw methane is converted to CO2 in the atmosphere and soil microbes, and is then absorbed by grass, ect for the cows to eat) Cows are not contributing to global warming. they themselves are carbon neutral.. the only argument you seem to make is that we'd get more energy out of the land if we just ate the food we'd give to cows. That is all good because we need to feed more people. But we can already feed the whole world, it's just we haven chosen not to do so (well capitalism has). This don't eat beef stuff, really diverts from the harder issues. What's really going to have to happen is we have to stop using oil, the thing our whole modern civilization has been based on for over one hundred years. Eating less beef, only becomes an issue if we want to keep increasing the population of the world. (something the west doesn't need to worry about, as we actually have a declining population. which seems the result of education, access to birth control, and womens liberation)

  13. Good video Aaron. A very important aspect of tackling the climate emergency. Been vegetarian for 2 years now and have not once regretted it

  14. We have to be careful capitalism doesn't abuse global warming. As in making it an excuse for growing poverty.

    As in no meat, no cars, no plane travel, no electricity, no heating – is good for the planet and good for your soul.

    Because that's just where capitalism might be taking millions and millions of people regardless of global warming. Global warming used as a new quasi religion to make people feel better about being poor.

    Instead of massive investment in magna lev trains, cycle lanes, solar panels, wind farms – they might just allow millions of people to become piss poor, and make them feel better about it.

  15. Beef, Cheese and Milk are probably 3 of my most favourite foods. Chicken and Eggs are right up there. A roast dinner with my beautifully seasoned roasties is divine. Venison is also gorgeous. And bacon… omg a life without bacon…
    I dunno man. I know loads of people who are going or have gone veggie but I really don't want to. My compassion for animals hasn't stopped me from eating their delicious flesh and byproducts. I'm not sure I like people enough to stop eating it for them either.
    Personally I think the only way you're going to help the world when people like me exist is by stopping subsidies for farmers and by addressing some of the chronically wasteful methods used in modern ultra capitalist markets.

    Why is it cheaper to buy a litre of some of the most expensive milk on the market than to buy fruit juice ffs? With these idiots now pumping all our drinks full of gross sweetener crap I'm forced to buy milk to drink if I fancy something a bit more interesting than water and don't want to spend too much. Buying organic veggies that aren't coated in cancer from Monsanto or alternatives to GM wheat proteins (which gives me terrible acid indigestion and the sh*ts) cost more, is worse for my health and tastes worse than buying a succulent chicken or some juicy steak or (even cheaper) beef mince.

  16. if you're struggling to control your diet of meat, consider fasting. i've tried it over a few span of days (3 at most) and not only i lost weight but i don't need three meals a day. one healthy meal (occasionally with ice cream or cookies) and i'm good for another 24 hours.
    just try it. i don't even think about food most days now.

  17. Hate to come in and say this but… dairy is meat. It’s been shown to make no environmental difference to replace meat with dairy. If you don’t wanna be vegan I would recommend cutting out all cattle and sheep products including milk and cheese and going for pork and whatnot instead.

  18. Ill give the laboratory meat a miss. There is such a huge difference between organic and non organic veg that i have to assume meat is the same.

  19. Great video, and I'm glad Novara are talking about this. I know this vid is just a starting point for discussion but you may as well swap 'beef' for 'all animal products' and acknowledge reality now. Also, I agree that collective action is necessary, but we also need to remember that personal impact does not equal personal responsibility. Thanks!

  20. Except that food isn't fossil fuels. The actual problem for climate change is fossil fuel burning (and the 100 companies responsible for the majority of those emissions).

    If we're talking about larger environmental issues, then sure.

  21. It's fascinating, the lack of research into controlling weather systems. I would imagine that controlling the weather was one of the very first things that the agricultural human would aspire to. And yet there is very little to suggest anybody is even trying to perfect such a thing.

    Just find that weird.

  22. What is everyone's opinion on seasonal, local foods vs international imports and foods kept under preservation for months throughout the year I order to have them on sale 12 months a year?

    It would seem that there are many foods that you cannot buy locally grown. Avocados are usually from South America, so when I bought two yesterday, I just did my little bit to perpetuate a system of pollution through the transportation if foreign foods to Blighty, no? Is this something that we should be looking into cutting down too?

    Likewise, energy is used to preserve foods so that we can keep them available to sell throughout the year, so is this too, unethical in the face of the climate crisis?

    Should there not also be an effort to reduce these consumer behaviours too?

  23. Go vegan, Aaron! Surely you're not drinking milk, given what you've said about the impact of cow farming? And if you're eating eggs they're increasing your risk of heart disease amongst other issues.

  24. Since being kicked of Employment Support Allowance I have a total budget of £8.57 a day. That is for everything; travel, clothing, electricity, food, plus I have to top the deficit up on my rent and my council tax benefits. This is completely debilitating and forces me to live a half-life existence. I couldn't maintain my health and provide a decent meal plan for myself if it wasn't for the fact that I am somewhere between veggie/vegan. I also use decent food markets to get the bargains and actually just interacting with people in a market setting is so much more life affirming than floating around supermarkets where everyone is switched off from every one else. I see other people trying to live off processed food from the local stores and they are half starved and in appalling health. The idea that living a vegan or veggie lifestyle is elitist or beyond the reach of low income people is a ridiculous lie. Healthy vegan is cheaper than healthy meat based. It is not veganism which is extortionate in price, but the capitalist framing and marketing which sells the idea that it is.
    I have no problem with anyone based upon their diet or whatever but the idea that reducing or eliminating meat is too expensive or unpleasant is a false fear. I have had to learn to adapt to my environment the best way I can in order to survive, I think we all have to this on an individual level and on a collective level in order to do the best we can for ourselves and each other, peace.

  25. Most living spaces have kitchens and pots. You can easily buy some rice and beans/peas/legumes from the grocery store and boil them in filtered water. Put some oil and salt in it and add a fruit and/or veg, and you're good to go!

  26. Could we really have 10 billion people eating a south asian diet? I thought rice produced an absurd amount of methane and required a huge amount of fresh water to grow.

  27. Been vegan for two years + now and I am happy you do not reiterate the “woke leninist” view of bla no ethical consumption ever bla. You do amazing work, thank you

  28. Good video but no mention of dairy? How can you give up beef and not dairy – it's the same industry! Also a greater in-depth video into how the agricultural industry can transition into growing biodiversity on their land (and being subsidised to do this) would be good.

  29. I quit beef some time ago and I literally did it without trying. I figured meals would be easier to make with just some protein supplement afterwards.

  30. David Harvey's point that the problem isn't the rate of greenhouse gas emissions it's the mass, is important for planning out world transformation and the risks of failure to do so in a sufficiently timely manner. Secondly, we're going to be in a global famine within the next few years, which is only going to get worse as harvests are impacted by drought, flood, soil depletion, deforestation from forest fires, lack of polination as a result of the ongoing chemical bee-cull and insect disappearance, plastics-induced and other sea life die-off, coastal inundation and so on. That's going to make dietary change unavoidable due to simple unavailability of under-productive farmed foods like beef. As always, you need to rethink the traditional Marxist estimates of the time required to achieve revolution by the traditionally recommended methods, and the methods requiring so much time, because we aren't going to have centuries to achieve Roddenberry's post-scarcity arcadian socialism. Active utopianism is required, to design what Marx said could not be, with the information processing tools he regretably did not have available.

  31. Cows save the planet: And other improbable ways to heal the soil and save the planet. By Judith Schwartz. Holistic management by Allan Savory. David Montgomery Gabe Brown Regenerative Agriculture. Cows are not the problem. Conventional farming practices and feedlot raised animals are big contributions to global warming

  32. Would any sane person think [quitting beef will stop global big agriculture and capitalism,] dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal “solutions”?

    Part of the problem is that we’ve been victims of a campaign of systematic misdirection. Consumer culture and the capitalist mindset have taught us to substitute acts of personal consumption (or enlightenment) for organized political resistance. An Inconvenient Truth helped raise consciousness about global warming. But did you notice that all of the solutions presented had to do with personal consumption — changing light bulbs, inflating tires, driving half as much — and had nothing to do with shifting power away from corporations, or stopping the growth economy that is destroying the planet? Even if every person in the United States did everything the movie suggested, U.S. carbon emissions would fall by only 22 percent. Scientific consensus is that emissions must be reduced by at least 75 percent worldwide.

    Or let’s talk water. We so often hear that the world is running out of water. People are dying from lack of water. Rivers are dewatered from lack of water. Because of this we need to take shorter showers. See the disconnect? Because I take showers, I’m responsible for drawing down aquifers? Well, no. More than 90 percent of the water used by humans is used by agriculture and industry. The remaining 10 percent is split between municipalities and actual living breathing individual humans. Collectively, municipal golf courses use as much water as municipal human beings. People (both human people and fish people) aren’t dying because the world is running out of water. They’re dying because the water is being stolen.

    Or let’s talk energy. Kirkpatrick Sale summarized it well: “For the past 15 years the story has been the same every year: individual consumption — residential, by private car, and so on — is never more than about a quarter of all consumption; the vast majority is commercial, industrial, corporate, by agribusiness and government [he forgot military]. So, even if we all took up cycling and wood stoves it would have a negligible impact on energy use, global warming and atmospheric pollution.”

    Or let’s talk waste. In 2005, per-capita municipal waste production (basically everything that’s put out at the curb) in the U.S. was about 1,660 pounds. Let’s say you’re a die-hard simple-living activist, and you reduce this to zero. You recycle everything. You bring cloth bags shopping. You fix your toaster. Your toes poke out of old tennis shoes. You’re not done yet, though. Since municipal waste includes not just residential waste, but also waste from government offices and businesses, you march to those offices, waste reduction pamphlets in hand, and convince them to cut down on their waste enough to eliminate your share of it. Uh, I’ve got some bad news. Municipal waste accounts for only 3 percent of total waste production in the United States.

    I want to be clear. I’m not saying we shouldn’t live simply. I live reasonably simply myself, but I don’t pretend that not buying much (or not driving much, or not having kids) is a powerful political act, or that it’s deeply revolutionary. It’s not. Personal change doesn’t equal social change.

    So how, then, and especially with all the world at stake, have we come to accept these utterly insufficient responses? I think part of it is that we’re in a double bind. A double bind is where you’re given multiple options, but no matter what option you choose, you lose, and withdrawal is not an option. At this point, it should be pretty easy to recognize that every action involving the industrial economy is destructive (and we shouldn’t pretend that solar photovoltaics, for example, exempt us from this: they still require mining and transportation infrastructures at every point in the production processes; the same can be said for every other so-called green technology). So if we choose option one — if we avidly participate in the industrial economy — we may in the short term think we win because we may accumulate wealth, the marker of “success” in this culture. But we lose, because in doing so we give up our empathy, our animal humanity. And we really lose because industrial civilization is killing the planet, which means everyone loses. If we choose the “alternative” option of living more simply, thus causing less harm, but still not stopping the industrial economy from killing the planet, we may in the short term think we win because we get to feel pure, and we didn’t even have to give up all of our empathy (just enough to justify not stopping the horrors), but once again we really lose because industrial civilization is still killing the planet, which means everyone still loses. The third option, acting decisively to stop the industrial economy, is very scary for a number of reasons, including but not restricted to the fact that we’d lose some of the luxuries (like electricity) to which we’ve grown accustomed, and the fact that those in power might try to kill us if we seriously impede their ability to exploit the world — none of which alters the fact that it’s a better option than a dead planet. Any option is a better option than a dead planet.

    Besides being ineffective at causing the sorts of changes necessary to stop this culture from killing the planet, there are at least four other problems with perceiving simple living as a political act (as opposed to living simply because that’s what you want to do). The first is that it’s predicated on the flawed notion that humans inevitably harm their landbase. Simple living as a political act consists solely of harm reduction, ignoring the fact that humans can help the Earth as well as harm it. We can rehabilitate streams, we can get rid of noxious invasives, we can remove dams, we can disrupt a political system tilted toward the rich as well as an extractive economic system, we can destroy the industrial economy that is destroying the real, physical world.

    The second problem — and this is another big one — is that it incorrectly assigns blame to the individual (and most especially to individuals who are particularly powerless) instead of to those who actually wield power in this system and to the system itself. Kirkpatrick Sale again: “The whole individualist what-you-can-do-to-save-the-earth guilt trip is a myth. We, as individuals, are not creating the crises, and we can’t solve them.”

    The third problem is that it accepts capitalism’s redefinition of us from citizens to consumers. By accepting this redefinition, we reduce our potential forms of resistance to consuming and not consuming. Citizens have a much wider range of available resistance tactics, including voting, not voting, running for office, pamphleting, boycotting, organizing, lobbying, protesting, and, when a government becomes destructive of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, we have the right to alter or abolish it.

    The fourth problem is that the endpoint of the logic behind simple living as a political act is suicide. If every act within an industrial economy is destructive, and if we want to stop this destruction, and if we are unwilling (or unable) to question (much less destroy) the intellectual, moral, economic, and physical infrastructures that cause every act within an industrial economy to be destructive, then we can easily come to believe that we will cause the least destruction possible if we are dead.

    The good news is that there are other options. We can follow the examples of brave activists who lived through the difficult times I mentioned — Nazi Germany, Tsarist Russia, antebellum United States — who did far more than manifest a form of moral purity; they actively opposed the injustices that surrounded them. We can follow the example of those who remembered that the role of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible, but rather to confront and take down those systems.

    Derrick Jensen is the author of Thought to Exist in the Wild, Songs of the Dead, Endgame, Dreams, and other books. In 2008, he was named one of Utne Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” His Orion column is called “Upping the Stakes.”

    https://orionmagazine.org/article/forget-shorter-showers/

  33. Grasslands sequester more co2 than trees ,grass needs large herds of moving prey animals to remain healthy so eat more grass fed beef

  34. Seeing the title I was honestly a bit skeptical about your take, but this is fantastic! One of the best videos you've done in my opinion, well done!

  35. Aaron please watch any of your mates brother Piers Corbyn YouTube videos.
    He’ll educate you quickly and painlessly.
    Stop being so gullible. People must see you you coming a mile off.
    Irrigate the deserts.
    There would be loads of room.

  36. Hi Aaron and all you leftists I’ve just watched “Socialism Fails Every time” by John Stossel.
    You should all watch it and stop being so evil.

  37. It’s actually quite easy to reduce the amount of animals products you use- my family and I have been doing it for a while now, changing how we eat bit by bit. And because it’s bit by bit, it’s easier to stick to.

    If I tried to go all vegan today, I have no doubt I’d fail. But, at the start of the year I switched away from dairy milk to soy (because that’s my favourite non dairy milk). We keep small long life milk poppas for those who visit and refuse to have anything except cow milk in their coffees. But I’m a big user of milk- I drink far too much coffee, and I live cereal. So switching to soy completely has been good for me, and it means my brother can also use it whenever he likes (he’s lactose intolerant).

    We started doing meatless Mondays a while back- maybe two years ago. Then added in meatless Wednesday’s, then meatless Saturdays (not necessarily sticking to those days strictly). But I’d say we now only eat meat three or four times a week, and that’s for all meals.

    We switched to free range eggs, but also reduced how much we eat them. At first we lived close to my parents who had hens- and knew for a fact those chickens were treated very well, and much loved. So we got all our eggs from them. But we moved away, so now we buy free range eggs if we need to- generally only once a month or so.

    We can’t afford to get the nice vegan stuff to replace things like cheese, and cream and whatnot (vegan cheese, don’t have the time to blend cashews- my brother does all the cooking now because I’m disabled, and his caring for me and my daughter means he often doesn’t have the time to cook anything elaborate from scratch, and stuff like activated yeast is too expensive- otherwise we’d totally be eating vegan Mac n cheese).

    And because I’m disabled, I need to be careful about my nutrient intake- I badly need iron and calcium and stuff because my bones are thinning. And because I’m disabled and on a pension, I can’t afford supplements. So going vegan isn’t really an option for us, unfortunately. Of course, one of the major reasons we’ve reduced our meat intake so much is because meat is extremely expensive here in Australia (ridiculous when you consider how much we produce, but the vast majority is sent overseas, so what we do keep is very expensive- minced beef is about $10/kilo for the cheap stuff. Lamb chops are about $25/kilo. A single small dump steak (not even a good cut) will set you back at least $20- for a single steak. So we simply can’t afford to eat much meat, but also can’t afford to buy supplements or good vegan replacements.

    So, no going vegan for us. But, I’d venture to say our meat consumption is far closer to that if a South East Asian family, than that of a North American family (and generally, Australians eat almost as much meat as North Americans). So I think we’ve done okay with what we can do. And because we’re poor and don’t own a car- we don’t tend to fly or contribute to emissions anywhere near as much as most Aussies. So even if we can’t be perfect, we probably contribute less CO2 than your average vegan family. I’m happy with that.

  38. As a veggie, I should be smug but would we really do the animals a favour by having them slaughtered as unnecessary? Farmers view them as a commodity and will kill rather than pay for them to live out their natural lives. First, please can we stop the destruction of the rain forests, ban the manufacture of all plastics and stop the use of private jets. Then we can try and stop China building two new coal power stations every month for the next 12 years and get Trump to even admit there's a problem. God, I've just depressed myself with that list

  39. I've been vegetarian for 35 years and I'm moving towards being vegan. Thanks for sharing the stats about how important this is, not just for our climate, but also for the way animals are so cruelly treated as a commodity.

  40. Invest in test tube meat to save the planet. We're going to need synthetically produced foods as our population increases and naturally grown foods become scarcer due to climate change.

    I've been vegan for a while now but I've given up moralizing about it. I just don't want our planet to burn and billions of people to starve.

  41. Lots of great points in here but what is a cow going to do with dignity? Probably the same thing it does now, stand around in a field and chew it's cud.

  42. 50 billion animals bred for food they never miss a meal!

    In North America enough feed crops are produced that could feed the starving populations of the world 2.5 over!!!

    climate destruction,

    animal suffering,

    human suffering

    is all included in the cheap price of your meat.

    But the reality is you can’t afford it🙁

  43. Statements like this, while broadly correct, confuse the real issue and and highlight the lack of ecological thinking at the heart of a "luxury" communist utopia.

    Cattle if farmed ecologically (i.e. pasture fed, non-industrialised farming) can be beneficial to the local environment and greenhouse gas emission. By eating grass, cows sequester carbon into the earth by building the top-soil layer. Pasture fed cows were historically fed on flood plains and land not suitable for other agriculture.

    Animals and humans have had a very long history of symbiosis – based on mutual respect – which formed the crux of sustainable communities for most of human history. Modern industrial cow farming practices (esp in the US) are of course the antithesis of this – disrespected and commodified livestock fed on soy grown in deforrested rainforest and releasing high quantities of methane, etc. This parallel extends beyond cattle farming to all agriculture. Organic, small scale ecological farming has been usurped by industrial, over-farmed crop empires with soil health and insect populations nosediving.

    We need to radically rethink our food production and distribution systems !

    The key issue is respect. Capitalism teaches us to instrumentalise our surroundings for personal gain, while communism instrumentalises for collective human gain. We are only going to build an ecological and free society when we start engaging with our surroundings with respect and not simply as a resource. You are what you eat …

  44. I was on a high protein diet including beef, chicken, cheese and milk for strength training and mixed martial arts, but essentially gave up all animal products overnight when I realised I didn't have a single argument for consuming them anymore – multiple health and nutritional institutes have it as their official stance, based off multiple peer-reviewed papers, that they aren't necessary for human health at any stage. If I didn't need them at all to maintain an active lifestyle, I was doing it for my own pleasure, and that isn't an ethical stance I can hold – I would have felt like a hypocrite worrying about the environment or the rights of animals if I'd maintained my former behavior. If anyone is concerned about their health, just spend a week researching everything, type in some diet plans on a nutrition tracking app and you'll see it's all fine – most people in our society are malnourished anyway, so paying attention to what you eat will only make you feel better.

  45. Finally Novara moves on from the so called "plight" of the palestinians"….yes, there are MORE important things in the world.

  46. It would help if governments of the world including the UK, EU & the US phased out agricultural subsidies that pays for animal feed and "let the market fix it" to borrow a phrase.

    As it is, animal products especially beef which is the most heavily subsidised appear to the end consumer cheaper than they actually are. If those agricultural subsidies could be better spent elsewhere even as a tax cut, consumers can then judge these products on a fairer basis than we currently do and would certainly help people voluntarily reduce their meat consumption without resorting to what some people may view as draconian measures such as banning or rationing meat, even nagging people to give up meat makes people want to drag their contrarian feet over something deemed as a western staple.

  47. Over population is a fact and has nothing to do with being rascist, oh and you forgot the gigatonnes of Methane about to be released by permamelt. We're fucked, whatever we eat.

  48. Do you think test tube meats will play a major role in reducing emissions from agriculture because we need them to tempt people away from meat heavy diets? Because it seems unlikely to me that they will convert solar energy to food as efficiently as growing veges. Am I wrong about that?

  49. How about getting rid of the Industrial military complex first? Stop all unnecessary air travel, improve public transport, forget missions to Mars, stop cutting down the rainforest, stop fracking, free bicycles for everyone and the numerous other things that can be done.

  50. Thank you so much for making this video! Everyone is happy to talk about climate change but few people want to face up to the elephant (or cow?) in the room.

  51. I'm glad you said yes and didn't cop out with the classic "no ethical consumption under capitalism" excuse.

  52. Anyone who thinks banning beef can "address" climate change is one who doesn't understand the difference between long-term and short-term carbon cycle. I.e., climate idiot.

  53. The Global Left will save the Global South. Also we need to decrease human population through birth control because there are other species on this planet that need a chance to thrive.

  54. There are medical conditions that prevent people from having only a plant based diet. Why is this continuously ignored?!

  55. But all that meat, taken out of diets, will surely result in fewer cancers and heart disease and will put the cancer/heart disease charities out of business. This will fuck the economy… and what good is a planet with no economy?

  56. Animal use is not the sole issue, but it is a major one. And even if you don't give a crap about the unnecessary violence against, and exploitation of, animals, the fight against the destruction of the planet should be reason enough to stop consuming meat and other so called animal products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *