We Could be Heroes

Our current environmental situation faces a number of crisis ranging from global climate change to natural resource scarcity. Mark Bittman, an opinion writer for the New York Times and Time Magazine's food columnist lays out in a short piece entitled appropriately enough “We Could be Heroes” how livestock production and the increasing role of meat in the global diet has negatively impacted a number of pressing environmental issues. Bittman cites the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization’s report titled Livestock's Long Shadow which attributes that roughly 18% of green house gas emissions are directly related to livestock production. This figure was later proposed as being potentially to low and that it could be perhaps as high a figure as 51%. Likewise Water is growing to become an ever scarcer resource and with grain-fed beef requiring up to 2500 gallons of water per pound any choice we as individuals take to eat less meat helps alleviate the ever growing burden on our resources. Bittman puts it best when he says “We have to think about producing and eating meat in those terms [one of scarcity]. Anything else would be unethical.”