Vegetarian week – reducing Australia’s most powerful climate forcing agent

Next week is National Vegetarian Week, so be prepared for a larger than usual number of examples of people seeking to inform you of the environmental, health and ethical arguments in favour of eating less meat.

As I mentioned around the time of Earth Hour, going without meat for a week has far greater greenhouse benefits than turning your lights off (although every bit of positive behavioural change helps of course). Rajendra Pachauri, the Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently gave an explicit message to this effect during a speech in London.

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that direct emissions from meat production account for about 18% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” he told BBC News.  “So I want to highlight the fact that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider.”

I’m speaking at a public gathering at Reddacliff Place (at the top of the Queens St Mall) in Brisbane on Saturday 4th October. According to this website, so will Qld Labor MP Ronan Lee and Paralympian, Marayke Jonkers.

If you’re interested in looking at some of the detailed scientific outline about the severe greenhouse impacts of meat and dairy production, I recommend this submission to the Garnaut Review, by Geoff Russell, Prof Peter Singer and Prof Barry Brook, who is the Director of the Research Institute for Climate Change and Sustainability at the University of Adelaide (and has his own blog on the topic at bravenewclimate.com)

Please like & share:

50 Comments

  1. I use to be very impressed by much that was India in my twenties including veganism which seemed duly caring and sort of courageous,with some immediate health benefits.Veganism promised a sort of action as Karma whereas there was bottleneck in those matters dealing with yogic practices.I still have a lot of respect for Indian intellectual life,but,not much respect for matters evolving around Hinduism,especially matters of caste,as I myself have sunk in some way on the Australian income pecking order.Yogic practices and and some of the gurus do not appeal to me much at all.Impressed by matters mathematical,and I dont think India has reached all its industrial potential whilst allowing for the vast improvements needed for all its citizens.Obviously vegetarianism has been practiced elsewhere historically.I have become less impressed by vegetarianism as ideal ,as I see my own dilemma,which isn’t that easy to cope with.I think vegetarians may in part be more easily lead than some types of meat eaters,as simply a function of blood flow including the blood brain barrier.Nexus Magazine years ago,I think,pointed out,how breaking into this new mental clarity and acuity also meant a likelihood remote control technologies get a better grab on mental processes.I only read that,when I felt the problem ,may of been of my own chemical imbalances.Having been told more than once I am quite good at communicating thoughts and thought about thought it is now abundantly clear the mind control has followed my vegetarianism.You can accept or reject this,or just take note of what is written here,and,If I am believable,the reality of these statements will not take anyone to the self-acknowledgement of thoughts remotely inserted,but, will become a problematic reality of existence.The moment now is being interfered with, as in the same meaning one can find in electronic communications.Meat eaters under control become more explosive.The answer to the continual problem is to accuse!

  2. Andrew Bartlett: You said, “as I mentioned around the time of Earth Hour, going without meat for a week has far greater greenhouse benefits than turning your lights off, and I ask the following questions (having read the cited Indian’s article):

    1. Are there any “greenhouse benefits” gained by turning lights off (never mind will it make any difference to gaia or the ice, but accepting the AGW premise, will less coal be burned as a result)?

    2. Will veges (perhaps, baked beans or better, Aloo Gobi) for a week mean less global flatulence from our bovine friends? Or do you refer to benefits that might be realised in a strictly symbolic sense?

    In arguing your anti-beef & other meat stance, you also quoted the D08 46772 ETS Submission endorsed by Prof Singer, the animal lover. Some will find it hard to take him seriously given his predilections previously referred to (though not acknowledged).

    I do acknowledge however, that personal sexual preference for a particular species need not detract from an academic argument.

    On the same team on last night’s ABC’s Enough Rope was Prof Tim Flannery who, in essence indicated his belief that the seas will be 80 metres higher than they are today and that Greenland will be the place to be.

    Could be a case for humankind to happily follow lemmings off the cliff of life, all for the good of Mother Gaia.

    Personally, I would not have a bar of it.

  3. GZG:

    1. I’ve read different views about whether any less coal gets burned from turning lights off – although it seems to me doing so for an hour on a Saturday night is unlikely too. But if it encourages greater ongoing awareness about the need to reduce unnecessary energy consumption then it has a benefit. But my point is reducing meat consumption will have a much more clear direct and immediate impact.

    2. Reducing demand for meat & dairy products means fewer livestock means less impact. I know some people seem incapable of comprehending such a fact and think it’s all conspiracy by ‘animal rights extremists’ but the science is fairly clear, at least in the broad.

    It appears the topic can’t be raised without someone wanting to make jokes about farting, or in your case, red herrings about bestiality. But as you say, these things “need not detract from an academic argument”, which is why I point to the academic asessment by Prof Barry Brook, who is one of Australia’s top climate scientists.

  4. Personally,wether people miss the point or not about animal husbandry and thus animal use including in the diet,is more multi-faceted than what Andrew rightly is claiming,but underestimating the potentials to correct this.The modern designed commercial ice-cream refrigerators, I see every day,are as efficient as they can be to the design they are.These will be left on in a week where everyone tries to lower their dairy use.They also could store some seed of vegies and vegetables I suppose.The massive requirements for refrigeration of meat and diary,would be better managed by direct solar and wind,without much change in farming practices and numbers of animals.Permaculture type ideas are not redundant,and endangered domestic farm stock will create a more adaptable livestock for all the present seen problems of conservation and emissions.That doesn’t make Andrew redundant,for he is talking consumption patterns,not landscape and emission realities.And the role of on farm invention in present practices isn’t even given a name. And again,maybe it isn’t our farmers,but camels weeds,and T.J.Higgins second in command at the C.S.I.R.O. Plant Division who would rather blather GreenPeace is lying,when simply a import like him,just doesn’t even want to register,it simply is not in the National interest to go his road.Well not while I am alive that is,because one of these days I want to be paid rather than blathering idiots like him. As I once said to a pushbiking from Sydney Science student here,it would be better if G.M.O. were confined to the weeds,rather than the human consumed and animal consumed matters.He listened like I had lived in Antartica all my life,and didn’t quite understand he was being lectured commercial shit.

  5. GZG I agree with Andrew about turning off the lights for Earth Hour, that the publicity via that creates an awareness. I believe Tim Flannery said, that the aim is for a global Earth Hour – I think that’s promising.It will be very exciting to be outside that night! I think symbolism has a very important role in our lives, we engage in acts of symbolism in many ways. I loved Andrew’s question re why don’t buildings have a switch near the entrance, to turn off unnecessary lights as the last person leaves! What a great idea. I understand that some buildings are being designed to save water/energy, such as turning off water to the urinals when people leave, most lights, computers etc and all things come on with the 1st person the next morning. Apart from security lighting, why do buildings have to blaze with lights all day & night? Because it looks pretty? I think we have to reasses what’s pretty?40% of energy is used on/by buildings. There was an Insight program a few weeks ago on this aspect of overuse of energy – it was very interesting and informative.

    Andrew – I shall read some of the articles suggested re Vegetarian week. I eat very little meat, and hardly any red meat (spag bol?) I saw cows being killed by a ‘machine’ yrs ago on an ABC doco – it was horrific. Finished me! I don’t know if it ‘took off’ – I hope not! Chicken and I love fish and all seafood!

  6. Andrew Bartlett:
    “It appears the topic can’t be raised without someone wanting to make jokes about farting, or in your case, red herrings about bestiality

    OK, I confess, but there is a comical aspect, and if I did not laugh, I might cry (especially in regard to the Singer leanings).

    But as you say, these things “need not detract from an academic argument”
    There’s always a place for balance.

    Naomi Cartledge: “Chicken and I love fish and all seafood!”
    Some will find your discriminatory practices abhorrent but for my part, I’d consider you are practicing selective blindness seasoned, perhaps, with a sprinkle of rationalisation.

    Meantime, the birds watch and wait for their moment.

    Bon Appétit!

  7. As far as I’m concerned, there are at least 2 opposing factions of “very clear science”. Both are easy to see through.

    An Australian climatologist with 6 university degrees says there is no proof at all of man-made climate change.

    To the people out there who:

    Don’t want to eat meat, eggs or dairy products;

    OR who want to humanise animals;

    OR who want to take animals to bed with them;

    OR who want to create hybrid species;

    OR who want to manipulate us all using a substandard peasant diet befitting diminishing wage patterns;

    here is my answer.

    Back off!

    What will a dog eat when there is no meat left? Will he take a chunk out of his owner’s calf muscle when he’s least expecting it? Or will he live on the byproducts of euthanized elderly people?

    While we all miss out, I’m sure the Chinese and Japanese willl still be getting a healthy supply of prime beef from somewhere.

  8. Lorikeet: My dog’s a vegan. He’s healthier than most dogs that are given meat to eat.

    Don’t worry about what will happen when there’s no meat left. The human body doesn’t require meat for survival. Just ask the millions of vegetarians/vegans around the world happily living without consuming meat.
    Who is the Australian climatologist with 6 university degrees who says there is no proof at all of man-made climate change? Please kindly share his/her name and any of his/her publications. Thank you.

  9. Methane emissions from cattle are not the only form of emissions from livestock. According to Harper et al. 2007 The potential of greenhouse sinks to underwrite improved land management Ecological Engineering 29 (4), there is a large amount of emissions from degrading and overgrazing rangelands:

    It was estimated that the total amount of carbon that could be sequestered by reforesting 16.8 Mha of cleared farmland is 2200 Mt CO2-e, and between 290 and 1170 Mt CO2-e by destocking 94.8 Mha of rangelands.

    Emissions from degrading rangelands, like emissions from degrading forests, do not have to be accounted for under the Kyoto protocol.

  10. LORIKEET:

    One only has to look at Argentina, which staple diet was steak.
    Now, no one can afford to purchase beef and most of the farming is aimed at lima beans for China.

    Dont you just love Globalistation. …. Not…..

    I wonder how much of our futures fund (managed by a US Company, based in Singapore with staff in bangladore) is going to be left after the crooked bankers in the US are finished.

    Ah well as always the case in Globalisation, the taxpayers will just have to pay again and again.

    Tony

  11. We don’t need to turn into tree-hugging hippies that survive on mungbeans to make a difference. Eating less meat will reduce overall demand and therefore lead to reductions in supply.

    Alternatively, we could eat meat that is less harmful to the environment. I’m told chicken and kangaroo meat production causes less emmissions than beef for example.

  12. Jeffrey:

    The consumption of meat has gone down on a per capita basis over at least the last couple of decades.

    People once used to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, ham/corned meat & salad for lunch, and meat and 3 vegetables for dinner.

    Now a lot of people say they wouldn’t eat an egg in a week. A bowl of cereal and possibly some fruit has been promoted as preferred breakfast food for a long time.

    I think there are other agendas attached to the proposed meatless, eggless and dairy-productless diet.

    I’ve heard good things about the nutritional superiority of kangaroo meat, but animal activist fanatics will try to ensure we don’t get the tiniest morsel.

  13. I agree that me turning my light off for an hour probably doesn’t make a difference to whether or not a coal fire power station continues to burn coal.

    But if I turn my light off whenever I don’t need it, and others in their hundreds, thousands, and millions do the same, I think the power station will have a hard time justifying burning coal when the demand for the electricity simply isn’t there.

    Similarly Lorikeet, farmers will stop farming beef when more people choose not to eat it and they can no longer find people to buy their cows. There’s no need for any government edict; it’s a simple matter of supply and demand. If you continue to demand it, they’ll continue to supply it.

  14. I hope you’re right, Muzz, but sometimes people’s choices are taken away. Most Issues are more complex than we might initially think.

  15. As much as I love Kangaroos they are much kinder to the environment than people know. As much as I hate the fact that eating our national emblem is unsavoury I think this is a no brainer. I think part of the solution is a reeducation campaign for our farmers. I imagine when Andrew Bartlett was in the Democrats he must have travelled to rural communities and visited farms. im wondering what their reactions were to these ideas when you raised these Andrew? It will take I think generations to change Australians views on this but I think more publicity on the issue is totally needed also. Animal Lib and some green groups should be running TV adverts espousing the virtues and the benefits of this. Why they dont Ill never know?

  16. GZG – Perhaps, but at least I’m honest. Without starting an indepth debate, I think there’s a difference between killing animals quickly and humanely, as opposed to what I saw on that doco. I also think that the land etc for cows and sheep is a lot of waste and damage of land for a chop or steak? I also abhor the live sheep industry, it should cease.

    LORIKEET – As for pleading on behalf of dogs – I’d rather more energy went into pleading for kids than dogs or cats or? I decided yrs ago when my 17 yr old Russian Blue died, that I wouldn’t have another cat (or dog) I’d entice native birds etc. NOW, I have neighbours cats climbing all over my space. Why don’t owners keep them inside if they want them?I shall buy the ‘bells and whistles’ myself, and gently suggest they wear them???I do understand the value of the company of animals, and their therapeutic and practical value, but they’re not human beings??

    I recall hearing a doctor who worked in E&R talk about injuries to kids faces etc from dogs, and I frequently think (after yet another tragedy)that the ‘dog lobby’ has too much power. (Lots of PAL sold is possibly one main lobby group?)

    I don’t even want to think about eating kangaroo or emu or whatever. What other country eats their national emblem/s?We create the ‘need’ due to overcrowding that we brought about, and then a whole industry takes off – then we keep on killing them to fill the ‘need’?

    I hope that the Rudd Govt doesn’t cop out of taking action over Climate Change,which apparently is worse and moving faster than many scientists thought. As Tim Flannery said on Enough Rope, “I’d like to be wrong about global warming, but what if we’re right?”I think what’s happening now on Wall St is a good example re polluting the planet. Done the wrong thing for years, now it’s come back to bite our ‘bums’ (so to speak).Using the horrific sums of money to bail it out, will leave debt for generations to come, when the US is ‘broke’ to start with. Sobering!

  17. I can only assume you’re talking about Australian meat consumption Lorikeet, because China’s per capita consumption is definitely going up. And given the large numbers of people there, they’ll have a great impact on the world.

    I’m not sure which of my choices to which you refer has been taken away lately rhough.

  18. Muzz:

    Yes, you’re right about Chinese consumption of meat. I was talking about Australians.

    In regard to choices being taken away, I was talking about government decisions that influence supply and demand. For example, if they tax a commodity to the eyeballs, affordability is taken away, thereby reducing demand. I’m sure the government could also do something at the other end to reduce supply, which would also push prices up.

    Someone from a motoring association wants the price of fuel raised to $2.50 a litre to get more cars off the road. I think he is from Victoria.

    Naomi:

    In actual fact, I am terrified of dogs and have never owned one. I only raised the issue because dogs are primarily carnivores and would still need to be fed.

    Yes, the dog lobby has far too much power, with owners competing fiercely for playground space against the parents of toddlers.

    Two dogs tore my cat into 2 pieces underneath my house, so now I have no pets. Since the cat met its demise, my yard and under my house attract other people’s cats, and possums which make a hell of a noise running over timber stored in the rafters in the middle of the night. And there is always bird poop all over the patios, and copious possum poop on the pathways.

    BTW my cat wore a bell to warn off the birds. By the time it rang, the birds were already cactus. Bells ring as cats spring. There’s not a single sound as cats wait patiently under the birds’ favourite shrubs.

  19. LORIKEET – I sympathize over the demise of your cat. I had a similar experience as a child – a very large Alsation type dog almost ripped the leg off a small dog, outside my gate. I was traumatized by it, as nobody seemed to do anything, and I was too scared to even open the gate. I’ve disliked big dogs ever since – I don’t trust them one bit! I get pretty sick of people carrying on about animal rights(although I abhor cruelty to all animas). In fact, yesterday,there was an item on the news about animals being given radiation therapy at a major ‘humans’ hospital, and some animal owners thought it OK. One said, (holding the leash on her dog) “they’re people too”? Truly! The reasons I thought it appalling are probably self explanatory.

    As for protecting birds from cats – I believe putting plastic snakes in certain areas of the garden/yard will work.Haven’t tried it yet. I get pretty angry when people don’t give a damn about our wildlife, or their animals leaving ‘deposits’ in other peoples’ yards, or on the street. Another ‘divine right’ I believe. I forget how many species of fauna are lost per year due to cats and other predators, but I know it’s a lot!

    As for meat consumption. I agree with those who think the reduction is due to the high costs, plus the warnings re red meat and cancer. This is linked to most cancers including breast cancer. I’m hoping I’ve been protecting myself against it? Looking at the really high cost of meat, I wonder how people with families can afford much at all. When I was raising my boys, I’d buy a whole rump and a side of lamb-cheapest way to buy. Throw in a couple of large chickens and odds and ends, and that would be the fortnight’s meat. I shudder to think how much it would cost now! I recall coming home once to find that the rump steak for dinner had gone – they’d come home from high school and had toasted steak sandwiches! Had to leave a note from then on!Growing boys?Keep you poor!

  20. Naomi:

    Yes, I saw that news item and found it interesting too. Perhaps you might like to think a bit more about where the empowerment of animals is leading (on all fronts, including meat department and bedroom).

    In the USA, 15,000 couples (mostly empty nesters) have adopted baby apes, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

    Meat is still quite cheap at the Supa IGA and bulk butchers.

    Cats like to kill snakes. Plastic ones might neither take their interest nor deter them. It would be interesting to know. Do you know how I can deter a cute little possum from living under my house, without purchasing a new cat/dog? In hindsight, the cat was quite useful in deterring creatures which could come crashing through the rumpus room ceiling.

    I heard on the news some weeks ago, that they were thinking of banning dogs from new housing estates in south-east Queensland. I can’t remember if cats were mentioned also.

    I think there are more genes which cause breast cancer than have been identified. Most meat eaters never get breast cancer, but I’ve definitely noticed that women who didn’t have children before age 30 seem to be highly represented amongst sufferers.

    I had a breast cancer scare when I was only 16. I think my hormone levels were much too high (hereditary problem) and in the preceding months, I had suffered a great deal of emotional stress.

    Doctors nearly scared me to death with dire warnings and predictions, but here I still am at age 53.

  21. Lorikeet: “…Most meat eaters never get breast cancer …”

    You are kidding, aren’t you?

    “and possums which make a hell of a noise running over timber stored in the rafters in the middle of the night. And there is always bird poop all over the patios, and copious possum poop on the pathways.”

    You really are the most miserable person I’ve come across this week. Why not move into an apartment if you abhor nature so much?

  22. Sans Blog:

    Apartments only come in postage stamp sizes at huge postal rates. I don’t feel miserable at all. Would I live near the bush if I abhorred nature?

    About half of the meat-eaters must be men. Some men get breast cancer, but they’re a small minority group.

    I think 1 in 9 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, some when they’re very old and their immune systems are dysfunctional/breaking down.

    So on the law of averages, the percentage of PEOPLE (meat-eaters or otherwise) who get breast cancer could not be more than 5 or 6%.

    I think the joke must be on you.

    Dolphins:

    Please read above reply.

  23. I must admit I’d never heard of any link between meat and breast cancer before now. If you really have any evidence, I’d love to see it.

    And the only three women I know who have had breast cancer – two of which has since died – were all meat eaters. Not scientific of course, but no less scientific than your statement.

  24. LORIKEET – “I think 1 in 9 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, some when they’re very old and their immune systems are dysfunctional/breaking down.

    So on the law of averages, the percentage of PEOPLE (meat-eaters or otherwise) who get breast cancer could not be more than 5 or 6%.”

    Actually, it’s 1 in 8 women,which is closer to 10%! 13,000 women are expected to be diagnosed this year, and 95 men. That’s over 1,083 per month or 36 per day. This is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I think it might be a sensible idea not to make stupid generalisations like: “…Most meat eaters never get breast cancer …” I’ve lost 5 wonderful women to breast cancer, one was my sister in law, who was told it was nothing when she saw her GP about it. By the time she was diagnosed it was too late! I had a scare in 1999 when my sister in law was dying – it was most traumatic – thankfully, my next mammogram was clear! The women I knew were in the top group, with one exception;she was in her 30’s. Very sad!

    It would be a good idea for you to visit Breast Cancer Foundation website. Sarah Murdoch, who is the Ambassador spoke at the National Press Clud a couple of weeks ago.She was most informative. The risks increase with age. More than 2640 women will die from breast cancer each year – it’s the greatest killer of women in many countries.
    61% of diagnosed women are 45-69
    26% are women over 70
    13% are women aged 20-44

    muzzmonster- The warning about eating meat and breast cancer was made, when the eating of (red) meat was also linked to several other cancers. I believe bowel cancer and cancers of the digestive system were others. It was recommended that it not be eaten more than twice? a week! Have to check that! More fruit and vegies is the go! I could live on them anyway!

  25. Yes you’re right Naomi a stupid comment and no amount of playing with numbers can justify that. Yes in an overall sense it may be accurate to say that “most meat eaters never bet breast cancer”, simply because most people don’t get breast cancer. Similarly one could say most meat eaters do not commit murder, for the same reason that most people don’t commit murder. It’s statistically fallacious, although the innovative attempt to back track and escape the obvious is noted.

    Within that extended brood of parrots that seem to know everything I’d suggest Lorikeet ask one of them the difference between an independent and dependent variable.

    Dr feral could no doubt assist, but was last seen sprinting down the aisle of a Super IGA leaving feathers in his wake.

  26. Naomi:

    If 1 in 8 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, that would be 12.5% of women, not 10%. For men, the percentage is almost negligible.

    The fact that we have all lost relatives and friends from breast cancer, (and that concerns us greatly), doesn’t negate in any way my comment that: “most meat eaters don’t get breast cancer”.

    Muzz:

    I think you’ll find that most people are meat eaters. I don’t personally know any vegans or vegetarians, but I do know plenty of fussy eaters who imagine themselves to have all sorts of food intolerances.

    The GP told me recently that he’s tired of all of the self-diagnosing people who imagine themselves to be lactose or gluten intolerant.

    The secret to healthy eating lies in a balanced diet.

    I guess most people would have seen that woman on TV who comes into people’s homes and clears out the pantry and fridge. She fills a huge table with their dietary intake for a week and then takes poo samples.

    These people are obese and suffer digestive dysfunction. The food on the table is loaded with fat, refined carbohydrates and sugars. You can barely find a piece of fruit amongst it, and the only vegetables might be greasy french fries.

    That kind of irresponsible person is likely to end up with gall bladder disease, a fatty liver, diverticular disease, appendicitis and possibly diabetes. If you don’t eat enough fibre from wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, foods can ferment in the bowel due to reduced transit time.

    I don’t think a direct link can be made between eating red meat and bowel cancer, breast cancer, heart disease etc. If researchers are making those claims, chances are they will be debunked by others eventually – just as we have seen in the past with various stupid fads and unscientific ideas being spruiked by so-called experts.

    Purveyors of various schools of thought are often being paid by somebody with a vested interest in selling a product, idea or lifestyle or funding their research

  27. Ken:

    Thank you for hitting the nail on the head. Most meat-eaters don’t get breast cancer, purely because most people don’t get breast cancer.

    Therefore, how could meat-eating be blamed for this problem? That’s the point I was trying to make.

    It’s up to the purveyors of these ideas to provide proof of THEIR contention.

    If Feral was seen at the Supa IGA, he was probably responding to one of my better money-saving tips.

    In fact, I think it was Feral who poo-pooed my contention that some cancers might be contagious.

    Recent reports of several different strains of cancer being spread through large populations of Tasmanian Devils would appear to bear this out. Apparently they get passed from one devil to another when they bite each other around the muzzle and head.

    We now have cancer clusters in humans being reported in the news every few weeks. As I mentioned before, experts have been over the ABC studios in Brisbane with a fine tooth comb and come up with nothing.

    It is also well known that cervical cancers are associated with the spread of HPV, a sexually transmitted disease.

  28. ken, Lorikeet – I’m running down IGA aisles as fast as I’m able ….

    Strictly speaking, the statement “Most meat eaters never get breast cancer” is correct, but it is potentially misleading unless coupled with the statement “Likewise, most vegetarians never get breast cancer”. Given that gender is such an overwhelmingly strong predictor of susceptibility to this disease, both statements are almost certainly true.

    The question we should be asking is whether meat-eating increases the relative risk of developing breast cancer – or, more quantitatively – whether there is any discernable dose-response relationship.

  29. “If Feral was seen at the Supa IGA, he was probably responding to one of my better money-saving tips.”

    Quite possibly, or – more likely – I was in a hurry to get home to commit to paper one of my brilliant money-saving lentil-based irresistibly tasty recipes.

  30. Hi! Popped back for a visit.

    I think I may have missed something, perhaps the passing round of some tabs.

    Hopefully someone might let me know when sanity prevails (last one out the door come sanity, please fire a Bat Signal).

  31. Andrew: Feel I should share this with you.

    I’m aware from my local paper that you are spruiking (spuking?) at the Brisbane mall tomorrow or Sunday.

    I’m going out on a kid’s limb tomorrow and buying my first side of goat. Research says to treat it like lamb. That said, I’ll follow advice and make sure I eat it (will most likely cook it first though).

    Frivolity aside, I suspect there may be some health benefits in an (at least partially) vegetarian lifestyle, so all the best to you as chairman linking the vegetarian way of life to (reduced) global warming.

    In this day and warm time, it should be an easy sell.

    Certainly easier than an ETS in a time when governments are going bankrupt.

  32. Feral & GZG:

    Thank goodness some people could understand what I was trying to tell them. The statement that was being queried and labelled as “stupid” was this:

    “Most meat eaters don’t get breast cancer”

    which is perfectly true.

    I don’t know where some people’s heads could be at, but I did make it clear at one point that most people don’t get breast cancer, whether they eat meat or not. (Sorry posts are not numbered.)

    I think a possible contributor to breast cancer is the fact that women now have fewer children. My mother’s paternal and maternal grandparents had 14 and 12 children respectively.

    If we take the lady with 14 children, she was most likely pregnant or lactating for approximately 21 years (9 months pregnant/9 months lactating), which would have greatly reduced her lifetime exposure to oestrogen. After that, she was probably in the menopause.

    Back then, the life expectancy of a woman would have been only about 60 years.

    With 14 mouths to feed, I could not imagine there would have been enough food to spare for anyone to get fat, or enough hours in the day to get all of the housework/cooking/laundry done. Those women had no time or money to get fat and lazy.

    My understanding is that women who haven’t had ANY children have a much greater risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer. I lost a maiden aunt at age 62 from ovarian cancer.

  33. AS a slightly overweight and underexercised,and often distressed vegetarian after long hours on the Internet ,rather than going for a walk amongst these beef cattle paddocks,Andrew is certaintly right about thinking more about matters diet.I personally think rather than cattle and animal liberation,as a comparison our paddocks are often persecuted,and at times trees seem like bones to me as timber,even fencing .On mattersof cancer,new theories abound as to what it really is,including it being a form of bacteria-fungi,as outlined sometime back now in Nexus Magazine,Duncan Rhoades Editor,where the use of bi-carb soda has been used as a treatment for Cancer.There was a different method of making this stuff before today’s industrial type. And cancers may have always been with us,but literature I read in the seventies suggested to me,that it was the medical doctors who stirred up all this fear,whereas,I have seen the arguments more than once with different criteria about treating cancer early or allow some time to eventuate. Personally I think something akin to a scam is operating around cancer,and whenever the Murdochs show up something must be missing in description.The numb brainer National Health Medical Research Council,and the Nazis at another bureau have recently had to lick their wounds because a certain large herbal medicine person,attacked badly under the Howard Doctrine has had a bit of a win.There are cattle growers,who also grow herbs,and Naturopaths who are cattle growers..we will soon see an Alliance of interests figuring out the last moments of when it is meat eating is poisonous.I look forward to remaining a vegetarian,because to many people have given me ,the shits, about this over many years.See you in the paddock some time!?.

  34. Phil:

    That’s an interesting one about bacteria-fungi causing cancer. Do you have a link?

    My understanding is that we all have clusters of mutant cells which the immune system generally wipes out.

    An occupational therapist I know developed breast cancer when she was working in a hospice (plenty of terminally ill cancer patients). She elected to have a radical mastectomy, much to the dismay of her husband who is a Chinese Naturopath.

    My aunt cured herself of a Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (leukaemia) using antioxidant tablets she bought at the chemist. Perhaps we should all chew up grape seeds instead of spitting them out.

  35. Lorikeet – I’d urge you to look up non-hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia, but I don’t suppose it would make any difference.

  36. Dolphins:

    I used to work for the university in a teaching hospital (medicine). One of the oncologists employed there treated people with Hodgkin’s Disease, Leukaemia etc. He wanted to put me in the Medical School and kick a few students out.

    Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is classed with the Leukaemias (of which there are various types), because many of the effects are similar e.g. very high erythrocyte sedimentation rate (death of red blood cells).

    You’re right. It wouldn’t make any difference, because my aunt has already been cured. When she went back for more tests, her ESR, CRP and other test results were good. Doctors at the Royal Brisbane Hospital said to her: “We don’t know what you’ve been doing, but don’t stop doing it, whatever it is.”

  37. LORIKEET:

    I thought this subject was about methane. Yes I done some searching and perhaps Andrew is right, methane may save us yet.

    This is a great link for both the” Alarmist and Denialist” … Dont know how I missed it before.

    WARMING OR ICEING

    Tony

  38. Yes, the subject is methane and also diet (Vegetarian Week). Eating cows has been blamed for all sorts of things, including cancer.

    You have also reminded me to mention that doctors are now treating serious cancers using flu viruses. They give them a hiding with one, and then move onto another. I think the immune system ends up hitting both flu virus and cancer with antibodies at the same time.

    I read your link. I think an Ice Age will cometh whenever it chooseth – and if a Sweltering Age wanteth to cometh instead, nothing caneth easily stopeth it – but human beings mighteth maketh matters worse with stupid solutions – such as landing us with starvation diets.

    Yes, some parts of the world were extra cold last year, but some were also more consistently hot. I haven’t put my air-conditioners on for 3 years now, because the summer has not reached very high peaks. I haven’t used the heater in the winter for so long I can barely locate it.

    Those cars should cease eating the food supply, and go back to guzzling oil until solar power is available.

  39. An article in The Lancet last year, written by several Australian researchers at ANU, suggests that the optimum result of lwoering of meat eating by economically “developed” societies and a healthful increase in those societies where people aren’t getting enough protein would be desirable. They report that “Agricultural activity, notably livestock production, accounts for approximately one fifth (22%) of total greenhouse gas emissions, which is a similar contribution to that of industry and greater than that of transport. Nearly 80% of the agricultural sector’s emissions are caused by livestock production, including transport of livestock and feed. ” It’s easy to see that decreassing the unnecessary amount of red meat we eat would be no great sacrifice, and do the world a lot of good. Increases to about 90g per day per person would, they think, be sustainable, and at the same time benefit the environment. “Red meat from ruminants could be replaced with meat from monogastric animals or vegetarian-farmed fish, which would decrease methane production and reduce the pressures on wild fisheries as sources of fishmeal for aquaculture” http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/562956

    Worth considering, in my opinion.

  40. Dolphins:

    But have you checked out the methods used to measure cattle’s methane production?

    Have you extrapolated upon exactly why we are being dealt this load of palava in relation to meat consumption? Or in relation to “man-made” global warming?

    Can you please tell us which monogastric animals they were talking about?

    NB We cannot access your link without registration.

  41. LORIKEET – You may be more impressed by the stats that 1 in every 2-3 people will be diagnosed with cancer in their life time. As I’ve commented before, I think that REALLY is cause for national concern. Although I’ve lost 5 women(4 were close friends)from breast cancer, I know of other women who’ve died from gynaecological cancers, with horrific and terminal results – all these people were meat eaters – they certainly ate lots more meat than me. Then there’s the men with asbestos related tumours, or other work related cancers. For instance, the majority of men(I know of-heaps) who were waterside workers died from cancer – my mate has asbestosis, and 2 friends of his are also affected. What I’m emphasizing, that the 2 major causes, environmental and lifestyle contributers, coupled with genetic components, certainly remove the belief, that eating red meat doesn’t cause/contribute to the incidence of cancer. I wish politicians would treat the high incidence of cancer, as seriously as diabetes and obesity. It’s a national tragedy!

    For the few scientists who disagree with human’s contribution to global warming, there’s thousands who believe it does – particularly those who are part of the UN group of climate scientists. I heard someone comment the other day, that in London during the 1950’s? when coal was being burned in a huge number of households, the death toll from lack of oxygen increased markedly, which reinforced the high negative effects in the environment. At Armidale, in NSW in winter, where the use of coal fired heating is rampant, the incidence of respiratory illnesses, and the deaths to asthmatics and those with cystic fibrosis etc increases at an alarming rate. I’ve read that you could see the unhealthy ‘haze’ over the community. I read an article in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald, where houses in Bangladesh are disappearing due to the rise in ocean levels – one was 100 years old! Now I find that scary! Too much evidence to ignore I believe!

  42. Lorikeet- it costs nothing to register.

    Monogastric animals – rat, horse, pig, monkey, baboon, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giant panda, poultry. Not all of these are commonly eaten in the West.

    Not sure whether you mean that methods used to measure methane production by ruminants (sheep as well as cattle) may be incorrect, or that the figures produced may be doctored. If the former, what is it that you feel they are doing wrongly?

    If the latter, of course they could, as could any other figures. We have to rely on the authority of the issuing body, and the processes of peer review. I don’t know whether you think the CSIRO are corrupt? The universities? The various state agriculture departments?

    I’m not so sure, not being a scientist myself, of the absolute necessity of the current efforts to reduce methane production by ruminants, (which seem to be having an effect http://www-naweb.iaea.org/nafa/aph/stories/2008-atmospheric-methane.html despite conflicting data about the link with global warming) . What I do know is that the world can’t afford to go on wasting fodder, water, energy and human effort on ruminants destined to be eaten, particularly by the West, when so many are starving, and given how many vegetarians live highly productive and enjoyable, healthy lives I’m at aloss as to why you think this is soem kind of dark plot, or some kind of infringement on your liberties. I’d advocate a GST on ruminant meat, or even all meat, which could be passed on to research into better ways to feed all the world.

  43. Dolphins and Naomi:

    I’ve worked with doctors and research scientists for long enough to know the various pluses and minuses of what they do.

    For example, are you aware that there is a perfectly good non-surgical treatment for skin cancer that is not readily available because it would put surgeons out of work?

    A biochemist I worked with in a university is privately marketing a product called Curaderm BEC5 at $139.00 a tube, which some people could not easily afford.

    It’s made from a derivative of the eggplant, and will get rid of solar keratoses, reddening of the skin, basal and squamous cell carcinomas.

    There are also moves afoot to remove all naturopathic products from supermarket and chemist shelves, I think primarily to cut natural practitioners out of the market.

    “The CSIRO Diet” promoted a high consumption of meat and a low intake of carbohydrates. It was probably sponsored by the Meat and Livestock Corporation.

    For years, one of Australia’s leading nutritionists kept plugging carbs on TV, saying they weren’t fattening – clearly a person being paid by breakfast cereal manufacturers – who also ought to know that carbs contain plenty of kilojoules/calories.

    Why do you think that some of the global warming scaremongers are attached to the US Department of Commerce?

    I will reiterate that there are moves afoot to remove all meat and dairy products from our diets. Monogastric? Polygastric? All of that is quite immaterial to the plan.

    I hope this goes some way to answering your questions.

    BTW my father was a waterside worker. All his life, he competed with a chimney, puffing large clouds of smoke. He spent 3 years with the peacekeeping forces in Japan after WWII – might have had some exposure to radiation. He was a keen fisherman, and in his earlier days, was a farm hand. He had exceedingly fair skin, but despite all of these things, he never had ANY kind of cancer in the whole of his life. Oh … he also ate animal products.

  44. LORIKEET – “Why do you think that some of the global warming scaremongers are attached to the US Department of Commerce?” Why do you think many of the lobbyists/legal people who are pleading on behalf of the climate sceptics once worked pleading the case for the tobacco industry? This is one situation, where I’d rather err on the side of caution.
    What can’t be disputed, is the fact that at least since industrialization, we’ve been polluting and abusing the planet. It couldn’t go on for ever! When you put all the toxins, poisons etc combined with increased radiation from the nuclear fuel cycle, the result was always going to be confronting, to say the least. You could relate this activity, to the economic situation that is confronting us. I’m no economist, but those on Wall St and their mates acting in like manner in other regions in the US, their greed has caused a probable recession at best, and in the US a possible depression. Human beings have to rethink the way we do business – in every sphere of our lives – it’s common sense!

  45. Naomi:

    In answer to your questions, here is my answer: “Money, money, money. It’s a rich man’s world!”

    Perhaps erring on the side of caution might equate to disbelieving those who are NOT sceptical. I’ve found that the basic foundations of both sides of the argument have huge cracks in them.

    The current dismal economic situation has been created by greed at a global level. There’s very little the ordinary people such as you and me can do about it.

    It must be about 15 years now since I’ve had ANY faith in superannuation. Corporate greed is not only allowed, but encouraged by governments throughout the world.

    For example, financial engineers can rip off billions of dollars, and then receive a second “handout” of taxpayers’ money from George Bush – maybe even hatching a plot to ensure a third DIAMOND handshake is coming???

  46. LORIKEET – You missed the point I was making. We all know it’s about money, but my point was showing them up for what they are – opportunists, and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The whole economic debacle was caused by Wall St and others like minded in the US.
    Funny, how when someone puts forward anything that smacks of an alternative ideology or practice, you slam us with the “communist” tag and that’s it. This system doesn’t work, well not for long anyway, and then there’s a big ‘bust’, it calms down, and off we go again, riding the same bus on the same route as the ??? that crashed? Madness!

    “There’s very little the ordinary people such as you and me can do about it.” Oh yes there is! Keep on pointing out the futility and injustice of capitalism. Those who produce the wealth don’t own the businesses(mostly) but get paid the smallest amount possible, and then have to pay inflated prices to buy these goods that are essential to their lives. Madness! Those who have the money are allowed to steal, rape, torture, kill, destroy and pollute whatever they wish in order to get filthy rich. Those who complain or protest run the risk of being arrested and jailed, while those who destroy and waste etc can go on their merry little way. The three levels of the system, Parliament, the police and the judiciary support them too! As I said, madness! No wonder it fails – it’s uneven, it’s stupid! If a country like Venezuela, after being democratically elected by the people, decide they’re going to give the majority of money to and for the people, guess what happens? The leader (democratically elected, several times by more than 60% of the people)is labelled a dictator, the US gets with the wealthy, provides them with money, guns and who knows, and the leader is killed as per Chile, El Salvador and ???

  47. Naomi:

    I don’t think it will matter very much what we point out, unless we find a solution that will change human nature and concomitant greed.

    I also don’t think the police have much say in anything. They’re just underpaid puppets of government. That’s why they’ve become a Police Service instead of a Police Force.

    These days they have to smile nicely and be polite, while kids yell “effing whatsername” at them. I think a swift kick up the backside might save many young people from a much worse fate.

Comments are closed.