So does meat eating help cause climate change and environmental degradation?

March 25, 2018

meat eating


I took an Earth Science class a year ago with intentions of getting a liberal studies degree at the community college (in addition to the Bachelors in communication/journalism I already had).  My family had been egging me to take it because we’re kind of an outdoorsy family and I thought it would be good for me.  I took it for credit, as opposed auditing it.

It was so hard.  There was either a quiz or test every week, it met 6 hours a week, there were labs with people I found it hard to work with, but I made out with a B in the end, so obviously I did something right.  And funny thing is, I miss it now.  I’m taking modern art history now at the same community college, and there’s no talking really because it’s kind of a lecture course, and I just miss the come what may attitude of Earth Science.  And I like to think I love art history waaaay more than Earth Science.

But anyway, near the end of class we had to do an oral presentation with a group presenting a hypothesis and proving some kind of scientific fact.  Since my group didn’t seem to care, I picked, “How Meat Eating Causes Climate Change and Environmental Degradation,”  since I feel like I kind of have grown up with that mantra.  More than half the other groups picked how climate change causes something, like glaciers melting, coral reefs eroding, etc…  So I thought our’s would be a different spin on the most controversial science of our time.

I basically just picked facts from articles that seemed commonplace, but it was rather hard to find the facts that eating meat does in fact cause climate change and environmental degradation.  I bet that is probably more controversial than the climate change mantra.

When I started getting into cooking, it was always in the back of my mind not to eat too much meat, because my Mom has been a vegetarian for 20+ years and is an environmentalist on top of that.  My Mom is someone everyone seems to hold on a pedestal.  Although I have tried mightily to give up meat, I have to do with eating vegetarian most of the time, as opposed to 24/7.  But having to still live with my parents, I am most readily aware of the vegetarian dishes my Mom makes seemingly every day.

Anyway, I did most of the research for the oral presentation, mostly because articles about the subjects were hard to find and having this blog, it gave me some overview of what I needed to look for.

The oral presentation mainly consisted of the depressing aspects of environmental degradation everyone probably reads or hears about from news sites, classes, TV, etc…  Obviously it was stuff people had heard before, because as my partners read the facts, they would erupt into laughing fits.  I tried to maintain some sanity by using my many years of comedy training to combat the comedy routine.  My years of reading food books came in handy, as I got to intersperse the boring facts with more enlightening ones.

I honestly sounded like I knew what I was talking about I think, and really got into it to some degree; or maybe I just hate seeing meat eating effects turn into a joke.

Anyway, I got a couple questions, one of which was how are the people who still raise animals on the land, as opposed to the factory.  I said that they have a relationship with the animals and I thought they might get backlash for their humane practices.  We got a B.


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