Is Meat The New Coal?

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Apparently, the major reason for deforestation is the production of beef. Our insatiable appetite for burgers is contributing to climate change. I am not going to suggest that we should all stop eating animal protein, but we might be wise to minimize our dependence on it for several reasons.

Chart courtesy of Our World Data, Hannah Ritchie (CC BY license)

Like many men my age, I have been diagnosed with heart disease. The issue is minor at the moment and only requires some lifestyle changes. Some of these are easy, and some are not. I find it difficult to increase my level of exercise and to minimize my intake of red wine.

One of the pieces of advice I have been able to act on is to reduce the amount of red meat I eat. I must admit this has been aided by the skyrocketing cost of lamb and beef. We have discovered we need buy only one good piece of steak, cut it in half, and still satisfy the cravings of two adults. After watching a documentary (Landline) detailing how synthetic chicken is made from yellow split peas, I thought, let’s cut out the middle man and get straight to the pulse.

So I now eat a meal of pulses (split peas, chick peas, lentils, etc.) once a day. If it was good enough for Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Daniel 1:12), it’s good enough for me. Cuts down my meat, keeps me nice and regular, and is easy on the wallet — pulses are about a 20th the cost of beef — our weekly grocery bill is still 50% animal products. If I am feeling really adventurous, I might make a curry.

There are meat substitutes available. The Impossible Burger as an example (sold in Australia as a Rebel Burger at Maccas) — but why bother, it’s the same price as meat. The same goes for whatever is at the local supermarket. Once these products can be sold cheaper than meat, they will fly off the shelves.

And there is the movement reported on by Tony Seba, where synthetic meat can be grown in vats locally. Using animals for food is an extremely expensive way to produce protein. It will be interesting to see how the 21st century diet evolves.


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David Waterworth

David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

David Waterworth has 719 posts and counting. See all posts by David Waterworth