Meat, To Eat or Not to Eat

Meat, To Eat Or Not To Eat

Written and curated by Patrick Hogan

That is the question, whether ‘tis nobler to indulge the succulent red juices willy-nilly or to consider the repercussions and decide to sustain life on Earth.

We could be as smart as Albert Einstein, who said in a personal letter of December 1930 “Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”  That’s Einstein for you, doing some very quantum thinking deep into time.   Even Leonardo da Vinci, the ultimate Renaissance man, is considered to have been a vegetarian. And the good news is this choice can be quite tasty, while also diminishing some very cruel conditions for a peaceful creature. Not to mention sparing life on Earth for half its debt in greenhouse-gas emission.

Livestock raising activity alone is responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases!  This is more than all transportation combined, and only second to energy production. Add another 13% for livestock transportation, and on sum, including the carbon-cost for their feed, livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all  greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide, that’s around 32 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year.

USA citizens actually pay dearly to encourage this enormously destructive behavior! USA federal tax dollars subsidize the US meat-and-dairy industries to the tune of $38 billion dollars every single year! That’s not for small farmers, that’s thirty-eight billion for big agri-business and their shareholders. And where does most of that meat go? Burgers! Our penchant for burgers is getting us deep into a dark forest of unsustainable carbon debt.

Americans alone eat well over 10 billion burgers annually. Reducing that by even just 1/3rd is equivalent to taking a few million cars off the road (World Resources Institute).

In contrast our flowering fruits and venerable vegetables get $17 million in subsidies, an anemic 0.04% of that meat-subsidy number.

Adding insult to injury, Earth’s major oxygen supply and carbon sequestration resource, rain forests, are being clear-cut essentially for burgers, with 1-2 acres cleared every second. And if destroying our oxygen supply were not enough of a concern, consider the horrific treatment of these gentle creatures, especially in the ‘fattening’ months prior to their violent slaughter, a horror far too disturbing to discuss here. Deforestation un-sequestration further burdens our world’s greenhouse-gas emissions by another 15%.

Rain Forest Deforestation Mostly for Burgers

Click on the Graphic Below to go to the website

Some approximate food value numbers:
1 kg


The hard truth, from

  • 5% of water consumed in the US is by private homes. 55% of water consumed in the US is for animal agriculture.
  • Animal Agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all fresh water consumption in the world today.
  • Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, nitrogen-flooded ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Due to use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops. [Our oceans are suffocating.]
  • Nearly half of the contiguous US is devoted to animal agriculture.
  • Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US (leading to nitrogen-instigated ocean dead zones).
  • More than 6 million animals are killed for food every hour.
  • 82% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries. [World Hunger Food-Choice Connection]


The positive health benefits to a meat-minimized diet are astounding!
Plenty of research confirming the wonders thereof,
including by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Minimize meat to:

  • Prevent Cancer!
  • Prevent Heart Disease!
  • Lower Blood Pressure!
  • Prevent and Reverse Diabetes!
  • Reduce Gallstones, Kidney Stones, and Osteoporosis!
  • Lower Asthma Severity and Frequency!
  • Improve mood and lower stress! [Romaine calm. . .eat veggies to your heart’s content!]


Eating meatless is delicious!


Other resources:

4 Replies to “Meat, To Eat or Not to Eat”

  1. Hi,
    Just reading this article for the second time today…got to say this was well done…I like the reference to Albert Einstein and learning that most of the meat goes towards making burgers made me cry out “Burgers, for burgers?, Wow, what a waste!,” since it’s pretty easy to get the same enjoyment from a veggie burger imho.

  2. Increasing awareness is the first (and essential) step to start addressing the global environmental challenge. Climate change is an extremely complex and multi-faceted issue. We desperately need articles like this, that make people think, realise and act….fast, as we have run out of time.
    Thanks Patrick for such an informative article.


  3. Hi! I agree re- OVERconsumption of meat & was horrified to hear on BBC World Service that a “Meat Lobby” in Argentina thinks people in many other countries eat too little meat & that Argentina should produce & export more beef.
    I enjoy vegan & vegetarian food, & eggs, small portions of meat, fish. ie variety, balance. My view almost mirror those in HARMONY: HRH Pr.of Wales et al ISBN978000734803. More interesting (and frightening) reads = Eric Schlosser: FAST FOOD NATION ISBN 0-395-97789-4 . Véronique Richez-Lerouge: LA VACHE QUI PLEURE ISBN978-2-36942-356-0.
    Re- the veg, cereals etc. and SOILS, if you can, listen to BBC World Service prog. about moving from toxic chemicals to ORGANIC wheat of farmers (men) & varied ORGANIC veg (women) & they plant trees to bring in the birds (natural pest control.)
    Too much meat, overfishing, plastic in seafood, overconsumption of poor quality food…We can learn a lot from First Peoples and availability of different food stuffs varied a/c geography ….Run out of time…tbc in Jan. 2019

    In haste… but Thankyou Patrick

  4. Hi! hope all “foodies” can see this. April mentioned food question. My computer skills are limited. You know my views from my previous comment & I’m not sure whether or not this is the best place to update. FARMING TODAY on BBC Radio 4 is broadcast daily at 5.45 a.m. GMT. and they have spoken of COP24! This week farmers, NFU etc. address practical aspects of food chain, environment etc.Topics include growing food without people, shellfish, sheep, trees, methane, soil, gene editing, Not sure how easy it is for you people in Canada, USA et al to download BBC. Most actions have unintended consequences & I can update on food More interesting progs on BBC World Service..harnessing the sun, nuclear fusion, solar energy, fertilising…Meanwhile, veg. dishes & garden fruit & naturally reared meat from archeological/educational farm I help support & baking with eggs of hens free to roam under the trees & eating pests in a veg.patch (not mine) in prog. for Xmas meal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *