Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
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Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

How Eating Organic Grass-Fed Meat Can Save the Planet

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Resource Centers on Health, Environment and Climate, and All Things Organic.

Meat production is said to create a staggering 18 percent of the world's carbon emissions.

But in a new book being released in February 2011, Meat: A Benign Extravagance, Simon Fairlie claims that eating moderate amounts of meat could be greener than going vegan.

Fairlie argues that every agricultural system produces hard-to-use biomass that is best fed to livestock, and that animals kept on small farms also fend off predators and pests and fertilize the soil.

However, Fairlie tells Time magazine that:

"... [O]f course, it is not what we eat individually -- it is what we eat as a whole society that has the impact on the environment. Some vegans may continue their vegan ways. I'm arguing for meat in moderation, not to eradicate meat entirely, nor to overconsume it."

Sources: Time Magazine October 12, 2010

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

One of the greatest arguments that vegetarians and vegans use to support a meat-free diet is its apparent toll on the environment. And in its current state, industrial animal farming is an atrocity to the planet.

Just 2 percent of U.S. livestock facilities produce 40 percent of farm animals, and when you raise thousands of animals in one small space, you're left with a lot of waste. This is a form of animal rearing that is very unnatural, and as such leaves a devastating environmental footprint.

But when raised according to natural laws, Simon Fairlie, British farmer and author of Meat: A Benign Extravagance, argues that it can be quite healthful, even necessary, for the planet. 

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