Author Topic: Farming vs Ranching  (Read 584 times)


  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7869
    • View Profile
Re: Farming vs Ranching
« on: April 27, 2021, 10:36:33 pm »

The grain of truth in the Republican claims (agri-pun intended) is that any serious climate change plan needs to do something about meat production. A recent paper in Science, a leading academic journal, found that food-related emissions alone put the Paris climate agreementís warming target of 1.5 degrees Celsius out of reach. The most effective way to address these emissions, according to the paperís authors, is a global shift away from meat consumption.
Increasingly, Americaís meat-eating ways are being subsumed into our culture wars. Itís yet another sign of how polarized our country is and how hard this polarization makes tackling a catastrophic threat like climate change.
Hereís the problem, though: If Bidenís climate plan doesnít do something about meat, itís probably going to fail.

Globally speaking, livestock production represents a significant portion of overall greenhouse gas emissions. The reasons for this are intrinsic to meat production itself; there is no way for humans to consume meat in the way we do without abetting catastrophic warming.

Ruminant animals like cows, kept in numbers much larger due to meat and dairy demand, emit methane gas through their bodily functions ó a pollutant more potent than carbon dioxide. Raising allegedly more climate-friendly meats, like chicken, also emits significantly more greenhouse gases than plant-based protein productions. Animal agriculture necessitates clearing huge amounts of land, a significant cause of deforestation in places like Brazilís Amazon. Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), factory farms where animals are crowded into tiny cages and kept in horrific conditions, create massive feces lagoons that intensify the methane problem.

There is, in short, no way around the problem: If we want to keep climate change at a manageable level, we need to change the way we produce and consume animal products.

The Biden administration may or may not eventually take steps to deal with this problem. But the hysterical reaction to a falsehood that it is going to be doing so suggests just how explosive the reaction will be if Biden actually moves in this direction.
meat is linked with masculinity and ideals about the virtuous traditional American farmer ó central concepts in a Republican Party dominated by culturally conservative rural whites.
The unstoppable force of climate change advocacy on the left is about to hit the immovable object of attachment to meat on the right. The resulting fight will implicate issues at the very core of American identity, a country where animal agriculture is a major part of our mythologized cowboy past and economic present.

With the stakes so high, thereís every reason to believe that meat could be the next big fight in our all-consuming culture war. ďBiden bans burgersĒ isnít a one-off lie; we may look back on it as the meat warsí Fort Sumter.

Yet so many journalists still call ranching "farming"/"agriculture".....