In his opinion piece for the New York Times, titled “The End of Meat is Here,” Jonathan Safran Foer offers a simplistic solution to a complex issue.
If we eliminated all animal products from the US diet, a study showed only a 2.6% reduction in GHG emissions, yet an increase in nutrient deficiencies.
Overall calories and carbohydrate intake would also go up, hardly a healthy solution to a population where 70% are overweight or obese, yet nutrient deficient.
Well-managed cattle help to sequester carbon, and without animal inputs, our food system would rely further on chemicals destroying topsoil and biodiversity. Cattle can convert food we can’t eat on land we can’t crop into nutrient-dense protein.
To say we need to eliminate meat because of the exploitation of workers and animal abuse is equivalent to saying we shouldn’t wear clothing because of sweatshops. We should all be striving for a better food system, and this can include well-raised meat.
To understand more, please review my article “Meat is Magnificent” and my work with Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental, and Ethical Case for Better Meat.