Topic: Have you seen the latest UN report?
June 20, 2019 / By Finola Question:
Those UN hippies are at it again with their liberal propaganda!
A few key points:
"A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change..."
"As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable..."
""Impacts from agriculture are expected to increase substantially due to population growth increasing consumption of animal products. Unlike fossil fuels, it is difficult to look for alternatives: people have to eat. A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."
""Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels."
The recommendation follows advice last year that a vegetarian diet was better for the planet..."
"Rising affluence is triggering a shift in diets towards meat and dairy products - livestock now consumes much of the world's crops and by inference a great deal of freshwater, fertilisers and pesticides."
"Agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions..."
PS - Want to read the whole report:
John, the scientists that worked on this are wrong because...you disagree with them? Or do you have any legitimate/unbiased reports/publications to share that backup the concept that they got it all wrong?
Daisy - the article you link to is an interesting read. However, it is referring to the 2006 report - not this one.
If you searched the article, you would have found all of those words as that was what was quoted.
As for the report, yes, it does imply that agriculture refers to crop farming only. However, if you continue to read, you will see that it discusses the connection between said crops and animals....
"agricultural processes have an inherently low efficiency of resource use, which renders food, fibres and fuels from agriculture among the more polluting resources. This is true especially for animal products, where the metabolism of the animals is the limiting factor. Large proportions of the world’s crops are fed to animals and this is expected to increase to 40–50% of global cereal production in 2050"
"Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives."
"Animal products are important because more than half of the world’s crops are used to feed animals, not people."
"Particularly impact based studies further highlight the relative importance of animal products, for which indirectly a large proportion of the world’s crops have to be produced, with e.g. high land use as a consequence"...
Thus as you can see, when you refer to crop pesticides/water use/etc, the animal industry is playing a large part in this.
re: the 'collective' statement - yes, it says that several things - Including food - make up over 70% of the impact. #1 - this includes food. #2 - it also does say that collectively, the environmental pressures of final goods are more important than food in Most (not all) industrialized countries...But this doesn't make food unimportant. Based on this report, it has quite an impact.
If one were to accept the findings of the report - it doesn't mean becoming veg means you are an Earth angel and never need care about what else you consume. Nor does caring about what else you consume mean you never need care about what you eat...
It means goods And food play a part.
As for it advocating for 100% veg..I partially agree with you. It states:
"Impacts from agriculture are expected to 2. increase substantially due to population growth, increasing consumption of animal products. ... A substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products."
Which has the keywords of Substantial change - not meh, don't eat meat for breakfast and you're okay eating it the rest of the time..Does this mean 100% vegan? Not necessarily. And it doesn't even ~necessarily~ mean 100% vegetarian - but as it explicitly states 'a substantial change...away from animal products.' it strikes me as a clear advocation for us to transform our diets into ones that are primarily animal-free. And quite honestly, I really don't see any reason (other than money) as to why people would be adamantly against that concept.
exsft PT2 ->
>You might have been reading the news article rather than report itself.
The original quotes were from the article (which also contained quotes from the report). As stated, the following quotes I brought up in discussion with you were exclusively from the report. You can easily find any of them if desired.
That being said, I did/have agreed with you that though the article explicitly states veg*nism, the report does not - thus that is the journalist's interpretation. However, the key words from the article still stand such as a Substantial shift in diet.
Again - as already stated, I concur that this doesn't automatically mean 100% veg and it could mean still consuming Minimal animal products - but the key word there is Minimal. Which is so drastically far from what we consume now.
I also partially agree - like many reports, it shows issues but does not necessarily provide full solutions. For instance, it shows the issues of animal based diets,
cont. but has not fully weighed the consequences of a fully plant based one. But - I only partially agree with this statement as a Huge percent of our crops are going to feed animals. Add the impact of the crops with the impact of the animal industry and it hits hard. Remove the impact of the latter and while you still have the crops to contend with, you have by default lessened the impact. Have you not?
This too plays a part in the crop issues you are discussing - undoubtedly crops are reliant upon many factors - but, whether animals are mobile or not - they still need to be fed. Thus the consumption of animals also relies Heavily on the survival of the crops.
Do you really think that if North Korea had a bunch of animal industries they'd be any different? The drought, etc would impact what the animals would otherwise eat just as much as it impacts what the humans would eat...Even grass for the few cows who are allowed to roam would be brown and dead...
cont. Thus it seems quite clear to me (but perhaps you disagree?) that no matter which route you go, you will Always be at the mercy of storms and floods and droughts. Always. Whether the crops go to feed the animals that then feed the people or the crops directly feed the people - without the crops, you have no food.
If you're willing to answer, my remaining question(s) for you are that you are still advocating a omnivorous diet - okay - but in your mind, what does lessening of consumption of animal products look like? Does it mean that one simply has bacon with breakfast instead of bacon And sausage? Or does it mean that one has animal products (dairy/meat) rarely (once every few weeks/special occasions)? If the latter, then we are in full agreement, but if the former, while in theory every little bit counts, that strikes me as anything but a substantial move from our current diet model.
And question two -
>However, how can you legislate/control food without endless debate if not
cont. without inciting a riot?
Ah, but we do all the time. The governments play a huge part in legislation/control of food with their subsidies. Quite honestly, I think to begin to change our consumption to a more reasonable level, the first step would be to remove animal oriented subsidies and allow animal products to cost what they truly do. Will it cause debate? Surely. What government act doesn't?..Will it cause riots...I'm thinking not...
That being said - you mention activists promoting a 'forced sudden shift' versus legislation that makes the costs prohibitive. Is the latter not 'forcing' the change as well? And is it a safe assumption that you believe that the only thing that will make most of us change our ways is in fact something that forces us to (such as legislation)?
exsft pt3 -
Given the fact that approximately 40% of India is already veg, I don't think they have quite the same need for Drastic changes in diet that westerners do. China is a whole other story though..Heck, America is a whole other story. I think convincing Americans to eat differently is one of the toughest challenges there would be. We seem to feel entitled to bacon grease at every meal. And with or without any report from the UN, this food model strikes me as blatantly unsustainable.
As for this being just another report - yep, it is. I think it has valid points, but the UN is far from infallible - as is this report. Nonetheless, I think the findings of the report make sense and have yet to see studies that show that the findings in this one (or the overall findings in the last one) are false.
All that said - I have read nothing showing that the last report made several errors.
All I have seen is that they simply conceded that the comparison of transportation to animal industries is not "apples to apples". This however doesn't by any means eliminate or decrease the impact that animal industries have. It just means that their statement that said industries had more of an impact than all of transportation was a comparison that cannot be made on a 1:1 basis.
Reports aside, I was curious to hear more of your thoughts about it and expansions upon what you had written and appreciate the dialog.
Cyndi | 2 days ago
I did a search of the document/report and the words : vegan, vegetarian, livestock, cattle do not appear anywhere..
however I did find these : "...Agricultural production accounts for a staggering 70% of the global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use, and 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.". ("Agriculture" refers to both animal and crop farming which the document was not specific as to which) but followed by this :"pollution with nitrogen and phosphorus.." both nitrogen and phosphorous are fertilizers/components of fertilizers not used in animal farm/ also, in one paragraph, "China, and that agriculture, cement and lime, mining, animal husbandry and iron and steel manufacturing also contribute significantly to total GHG emissions.." it separates "agriculture" from "animal husbandry" implying that the initial use of the word "agriculture" refers to crop farming only
"Collectively, the environmental pressures of manufactured final consumption goods are more important than food in most industrialized countries"
"For ii. industrialized countries, all studies indicate that housing, mobility, food and manufactured products typically determine over 70% of the impacts..."
You can drw your own conclusions from his report/document based on your own beliefs. However, even the words "shift from animal based diets" still sounds like a suggestion towards a plant based omni diet rather than vegan/vegetarian one.
First there is a difference between scientific fact of what the current situation is versus using that to make predictions. Second there are many different scientific disagreements about the facts. What you are reading is a summary of those findings. Summary, by definition, leaves out facts and figures.
I could point to the use of chemical fertilizers are the problem. I could point at the plating of produce on non native land. I could point to the over use of water and fertilizers for this problem. But If I wanted to be political I would ignore all the farms that do follow bio-intensive sustainable farming rather then commercial mass production.
No, not just because we disagree with the report. They are welcome to their own opinion, but they don't have a right to their own FACTS. And they've admitted they were wrong because they compared apples to oranges, so to speak.
"Yesterday, we reported that University of California-Davis researcher Dr. Frank Mitloehner has documented a major flaw in a 2006 United Nations report about greenhouse gas emissions from livestock producers. Mitloehner found that the U.N.'s analysis of global transportation emissions was not as detailed as its review of meat production, creating an apples-to-oranges comparison. We felt yesterday’s news deserved a big audience, so we circulated a statement to the media. Today, the BBC reports that the U.N. has taken notice. One of the authors of the 2006 “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report now admits that its estimates unfavorably comparing emissions from livestock farms with those from transportation—a favorite talking point of anti-meat activists—are indeed unrealistic and unfair:
Pierre Gerber, a policy officer with the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, told the BBC he accepted Dr Mitloehner's criticism.
"I must say honestly that he has a point – we factored in everything for meat emissions, and we didn't do the same thing with transport," he said."
Of course, a new report won't get the publicity this one got. When I Google, I had to go two pages to find this report where they admitted they were wrong. I guess, in this case, it's good that the UN doesn't have much respect from Americans
No wonder that the prices of the eggs and milk and meat become high,the reason is here.I think it good to eat vegetables and fruits,little eggs and milk are necessary.Especially,now eating too much meat of wild animals it does harm to them,we should protect our homeland not kill so many animals.We can build a beautiful homestead.Come on,mother,our earth.
They will probably raise the prices of meat so not everyone will be able to afford it, which isn't all bad. Morningstar products will probably be the norm.