I'll start with the obligatory: I eat meat. Not as much as I used to, but I don't see myself going vegetarian any time soon.
Having said that, I love this, from Grist mag: "EPA intern offends sensitive meat-industry souls," by Tom Philpott.
The intern, Nicole Reising, wrote, in part, "Regulations can be made to help prevent the effects of meat production, but the easiest way to lessen the environmental impacts is to become a vegetarian or vegan."
Before we go anywhere else with this, let's stipulate: What she says is completely true. Many might say there's more to the question, but she is largely accurate; I might quarrel with "easiest," given the engrained habits of a beefy nation.
But my amusement is not over her comments so much as it is about those touchy industrial-ag folks:
"What is written ... comes across as EPA's official position toward farmers and ranchers that it regulates and shows a terrible disregard for them and the agriculture industry."
Is that the issue here? We have to be nice to the agriculture industry?
This reminds me of the union boss in New York who recently complained that a soda tax would be bad for jobs. As I said then, he might be right, but is that the issue? How about we look at issues wholly, instead of through special-interest prisms?
It's the Environmental Protection Agency. Not the industrial agriculture protection agency. There is just no question that industrial meat production is not good for the planet — not the energy that's poured into farm equipment, pesticides, and fertilizers, and not the methane and solid wastes that pour out of the animals.
Whether people still want to eat it is part of the equation, but truth is truth.