In a summary of Livestock’s Long Shadow, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN) “recommends a range of measures to mitigate livestock’s threats to the environment” that include “… land degradation … greenhouse gas … emissions … water pollution … biodiversity loss ….” Through us, our vegan new human(e) ecology does far more than “mitigate” those disasters; we are eliminating them—directly—through our immense personal power and responsibility.
As the FAO further reminds us, “The sheer quantity of animals being raised for human consumption also poses a threat of the Earth’s biodiversity. …and the land area they now occupy was once habitat for wildlife. In 306 of the 825 terrestrial eco-regions identified by the Worldwide Fund for Nature, livestock are identified as “a current threat,” while 23 of Conservation International’s 35 global hotspots for biodiversity’— characterized by serious levels of habitat loss—are affected by livestock production.
There are alternatives to the type of animal agriculture Pollan promotes, alternatives available at the command of at least a few billion people who are economically and environmentally able to access them. The meals he prepares to demonstrate his food chains and his flimsy effort as a vegetarian described in Dilemma hide the bigger problems of carnism. Pollan stopped at the same fence line where he said ecosystems began.
He chose to ignore the science behind his food choice conclusions that, as I wrote earlier in this blog, were based on erroneous applications of biological terms like “food chains”. Now, there’s a movement blinded to the fact that “family farm” and locavore sources of meat, dairy, and eggs are also maladaptive and destructive to ecosystems.
Next Post: More About Food Chains