Is Your Hamburger Going To Drown My House?

A magazine story from MIT reports that the world will have 9.8 billion people by 2050, and they will consume 70% more meat than we did in 2005. And that raising animals for human consumption is among the worst things we do to the environment.

“Depending on the animal, producing a pound of meat protein with Western industrialized methods requires 4 to 25 times more water, 6 to 17 times more land, and 6 to 20 times more fossil fuels than producing a pound of plant protein,” the story claims.

Then there’s talk about efforts to make fake meat out of plants and the challenges to make them as tasty as the real thing.

As someone who refuses to even try turkey burgers or fake protein burgers, this was not a story that aligned with my worldview (but, I read it anyway — just sayin’).

It wasn’t until the very end that this punchline appeared: “One drawback of lab-grown meat is that the environmental benefits are still sketchy at best—a recent World Economic Forum report says the emissions from lab-grown meat would be only around 7% less than emissions from beef production.”



What the hell? This was kind of like telling me the Mueller report has been released, but that there are no impeachable offenses mentioned in it.

Here I was ready to wring my hands earnestly about how I and my fellow carnivores are contributing to global warming (or whatever the downside of rising cattle is supposed to be), and the best ya got is a 7% improvement in emissions? I am not sure that would even cover the fart production of a basketball team forced to eat plant-based fake meat.

Since I now live in the Low Country of South Carolina, I am a touch more concerned about global warming than I was living in and around New York (mostly because my homeowner’s insurance nearly doubled). It can be pretty exhausting tracking the movement of each and every hurricane that stays out in the Atlantic. Almost as taxing as having to listen to local people who think Trump has been great for this country (to be expected, I guess, when dunderheaded Lindsey Graham is one of your state senators).

But while I have no problem separating my Diet Coke bottles to be recycled and driving a hybrid, I must draw the line at going into Hall’s Chophouse and asking for just a salad (even if you have to refinance your home to afford much else on the menu).

I know we all must do our part to cut back on emissions (especially since it is MY house that will get flooded when the sea levels rise five feet), but I still see a good ribeye in my future.

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