UN Report Names Livestock as Greatest Polluters
Interesting to note this excerpt from article;
Sierra Club, Wilderness Socities Ignore UN Report;
"....when you live behind the Bovine Curtain most people are afraid to speak the truth or have internalized group think so completely that it does not even occur to people to ponder livestock’s central role in a host of environmental and health problems. Given their role as obsequious hand maidens to the livestock industry, it’s not surprising that federal and state governments hide the connection between meat production and global warming. But it’s totally unacceptable for environmental organizations to ignore this inconvenient truth.
For instance I recently checked the Sierra Club’s global climate change web site. They list ten things one can do to reduce global warming, from driving a more energy efficient auto to supporting renewable energy sources—but eating less meat is not one of them. It’s hard to believe that the Sierra Club is not aware of the UN report or other recent research linking livestock production with global warming, but one must assume that saying anything about livestock production is off limits when you live behind the Bovine Curtain. Worse yet, some Sierra Club chapters even promote ranching, despite the obvious impacts on global climate. A recent article the Sierra Club’s California/Nevada desert newsletter extolled the virtues of livestock grazing in the Great Basin—a region that is likely to suffer greatly from global climate change.
Similarly I reviewed National Parks and Conservation Association’s new report, “Unnatural Disaster,” which describes the multiple ways that global warming will impact our national parks. The report suggests a host of solutions that range from more efficient energy use to adoption of renewable energy, but I could not locate any mention of eating less meat in the 48 page report. And the Wilderness Society, while advising members to support carbon sequestration, mileage efficiency for vehicles, and other common remedies, did not mention of the role of livestock production and a meat diet in contributing to global warming.
Given that these national groups do not appear to see or more likely wish to avoid talking about a connection between diet and environmental issues, it’s not surprising that many regional or local environmental groups seldom mention livestock production as a global warming issue. They may express great concern about the decline of whitebark pine or large wildfires due to higher global temperatures, but they don’t go the next step to tie these issues to ranching and livestock production. Try to raise any linkage to ranching and livestock and the Bovine Curtain slams down. In the West, we don’t talk about cows except to laud the ranchers for being “good stewards of the land” or some other fawning palaver.
Global warming is only one reason to end livestock production, particularly western ranching. Production of livestock is the single greatest source of non-point pollution in the West. Livestock are among the prime reasons for the spread of invasive plants like cheatgrass. Producing hay and other irrigated forage for livestock is the reason our rivers are dewatered each summer. Livestock are the reason bison and wolves are killed outside of national parks. Livestock spread disease to wildlife. Livestock are the reason native wildlife like prairie dogs are being slaughtered. The list goes on, but few groups are willing to even list these impacts, much less tackle the source of the problem—cows. "
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