Meat substitutes let consumers reduce their meat intake with simple changes to their diet. But are they really better for the environment?
Carbon dioxide is up to 0.04% (400 parts per million). Of that low figure, manmade CO2 is only 3% (IPCC 2007): humans produce 3% of 0.04%= 0.001% (10 parts per million!).
Even if we starve half the population or reduce the economic activity by half, we’d only be affecting 5 per million parts of CO2: isn’t it a worthless result at an unconscionable cost?
Methane is in trace amounts (1.7 parts per million) 7 and ruminants account for only 15-20% 8 (0.3 parts per million), or even 30% less, since plants (forests) are responsible for 10-30% of atmospheric methane, weren’t accounted for in those studies (62–236 Tg a−1)” 9:
What difference would it make if the anti-gas movement vanished all ruminants (not just livestock)?
There was no methane increase in the “melting” Arctic and zero increase in a decade10 in spite of a livestock surge of 33%.11 Why do meat-deniers focus on banning cattle and not rice, which accounts for more methane emission? Afraid of making people wake up about those suicidal policies?
Why does GreenPeace block swamp draining, the highest contributor to methane? Afraid of increasing crop production?
Methane “traps 84 times more heat per mass unit than carbon dioxide (CO2) and 105 times the effect when accounting for aerosol interactions.” 12 Even assuming it’s true, and considering it only lasts a decade compared to centuries of CO2, if we multiply 1.7 ppm by 84 more heat trapping, its 143 ppm compared to 400 ppm CO2 (1/3rd). Ruminants account for a CO2 heat equivalence of ca. 17 ppm compared to 10 ppm of human CO2: both figures are insignificant. Why is there an obsession with cattle gases?
Net zero emissions means decarbonisation. Decarbonization means depopulation. Life is emissions, targeting emissions is targeting life:
• We exhale carbon dioxide (so do animals).
• We eat products that produce emissions.
• We flatulate greenhouse gases. 1
• We excrement 20% of methane. 2
• We emit by burning fuel (even renewable ones) but also by producing and using renewable energy.
We are 20% carbon.3 Population is a carbon sink, but they’ll never promote repopulation policies. In their twisted minds, we are all presumed eco-terrorists just by living (i.e. carbon footprint). The decarb plan is to murder us by gradual economic strangling. The decarbon fanatics won’t stop until we cease to breath. For the eco-maniacs, we are carbon ticking bombs: the best man is a dead one. They want us dead… but they refuse to give an example and go first.
In 2013, Rick Heede found that 90 companies were responsible for two-thirds of all industrial carbon dioxide, more than most countries. Nearly all of those companies are owned by the globalist funds like BlackRock, Vanguard, etc.: “Do as I say, not as I do.” Of course, they’ll never stop using private jets or rockets.
Life is carbon: just as trees are carbon sinks, so are we (and all the biosphere, including cows), but that argument destroys the carbon lethal ideology. Life is a cycle and that includes carbon. Yet, they refuse to accept the whole picture: what we sink now, it’s going to be released sooner or later. Carbon is life. By destroying the carbon cycle they foster death.
One proof of their insanity is Carbon Capture tech. 1 They spend millions in techie solutions which has a much lower decarb-return-on-investment than planting trees (or even using the wood to replace carbon-energy-intensive competing materials such as ceramics). The landmark of ideology is that ideas are detached from rational economic analysis.
Another proof of ideology is the war on nitrous oxide, Despite being only 325 parts per billion (0.3 per million) and having a short life under sunrays, it’s the excuse for a war on agriculture through nitrate fertilizers.
Ecomaniacs are dangerous: 2022 UNESCO COMEST (World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology) discusses Ethics of Climate Engineering, including its importance for the sustainable development agenda. 1 They are promoting a global government in charge of a compensation fund for geoengineering damages for cooling the planet, through particles reducing sun exposure, causing some regions being flooded and others drying up. Australia whitened clouds to reduce reef temperatures. 2 Tests have already been started by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other globalists. Less sunshine will reduce dramatically agricultural output, causing famines and poverty.
Great article and research! My only gripe is that ive been thoughly indoctrinated by betteridge law of headlines, so I truly expected it to be no at this point haha
Also doesn't mean killing things..... All for the environment, but I'm sick of people acting like it's the only reason to stop eating meat
As usual with these types of articles, the "beef" contribution is misleading. Yes, CAFO/factory-farmed beef is a climate and ethical disaster. However (although studies are mixed) local grass-fed beef likely reduces the carbon footprint and is clearly beneficial for animal welfare.
This is so incredibly well timed. Thank you for putting it all together in one place
Would be very interested to see stats for "Juicy Marbles", an interesting plant based product that has made headlines recently.
Thanks for this!
What GWP did you use for methane here? 20 year? 100 year? Just curious, and couldn't access the original articles to see the methodologies.
Thank you for compiling all of this research and explaining it so clearly! It certainly supports my decision to eat less meat.
I know this wasn’t in the scope of this post, but I wonder about the health implications of eating processed meat substitutes. I wish peas and nuts had a large marketing team behind them!
Have you had any discussion son this with Sarah Bridle (a MacKay protege) who wrote Food And Climate Change Without The Hot Air (published, like SEWTHA, by UIT)?
This carbon footprint noise is simply that, noise. Our atmosphere contains approximately 400 parts per million of CO2, less than 0.1 %.
We should simply stop worrying about CO2, it is NOT a threat to the planet or to life. In fact, CO2 "feeds" the plants and the plants respond by giving us Oxygen.
I encourage all of you to review our atmosphere and the risk of CO2 before you criticize my view.....
Another alternative to consider. It's entirely possible to have a nutritional and taste rich vegetarian life style without meat substitutes. My wife and I did that for 50 years before meat substitutes became available. Point being, we don't need to limit our options to meat vs. meat substitutes.
That said, I do realize that the transition to a plant based diet is challenging at first, and meat substitutes can play a useful role in assisting that move. And, Beyond Burgers are indeed pretty awesome! :-)
Vegetarian sermons are tiresome and ineffective so all I'll say here is that if you're considering transitioning your diet to plant based, the best choice may be to just dive right in, leave the meat behind today, and get the transition over with as quickly as possible. Just do it, and get it done, and get on with enjoying what awaits you beyond the world of meat.
All the talk of climate change is best addressed by doing that which we personally have total control over, what we put in our mouths.
This is exactly the type of article that "feeds" (excuse the pun) into the globalist narrative. There is no climate catastrophe. But there is world wide hunger. Why all of the money spent on researching and developing fake food isn't used to feed those in need today should raise questions about the intents, morals and motives of those involved in such enterprises. Humans eat for the sustainability of their bodies not the reduction of a carbon footprint. What good is an awesome environment without humans to flourish in it.
Thank you very much for the article. I know that this is far from the focus of the question, but how is it possible that the carbon footprint of beef and pork are twice as much in the US as in Europe? Is the way of production so different?
Thanks for the work here. I still believe it will be easier in the near term to accelerate chicken substitution for beef culturally speaking. Selling imperfect sensory substitutes has limited population appeal in most countries. It’s an issue of which is more practical to subsidize as policy? Chicken consumption or fake meat consumption given the huge price premium and fails operating model of either fake meat or lab meat.
I really like your work with Our World in Data but for the life of me I can’t understand why you continue to equate biogenic and anthropogenic carbon emissions. The former are part of the carbon cycle and get reabsorbed, the latter do not, and therefore cause climate change. You are comparing apples with oranges and I don’t want to be uncharitable, but it really appears as if you’re masquerading ideology as legitimate science.
Cattle can in fact become an even more significant carbon sink with better practices.