Monday, January 28, 2008

Cattle Complex

I'm a big meat eater, and also a big hand-wringer about global-warming issues. So being reminded that my burgers and bacon are a major part of the problem is never fun.

Here are some freaky facts from an article Mark Bittman wrote in yesterday's Times, "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler":

- In the last five months alone, the Brazilian government says, 1,250 square miles were lost [to make room for crop and grazing land].

- If Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius.

- “When you look at environmental problems in the U.S.,” says Professor Eshel, “nearly all of them have their source in food production and in particular meat production.

- Longer term, it no longer seems lunacy to believe in the possibility of “meat without feet” — meat produced in vitro, by growing animal cells in a super-rich nutrient environment before being further manipulated into burgers and steaks.


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