Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

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Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-02-17 11:05am

I don't eat meat regularly. I usually only have it when my family and I go out for dinner, when we get food from a local fast food joint, or steak is what was made for dinner (and even then I don't eat a lot of it). I can probably cut meat out of my diet very easily and I might do so.

But there's another group of food products that I do like which might pose a problem: dairy and eggs.

I honestly don't know if I could cut those out if I had to, they're major staples of my diet. So I'm left with a conundrum: I want to do what I can to prevent environmental catastrophe, but a major change is difficult (doubly so for me as I'm autistic).

The whole "humans should get some nutrients from animal products" claim doesn't really help matters. :?
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-17 12:17pm

After my work on the BD2050 calculator, i decided to reduce the meat i consume.

Started small, with the simple rule that when eating out (ie it won't inconvience anyone), i should choose the vegetarian option. I was also in training and craving tree nuts as a snack for months. After a while, i was used enough to not eating much meat my gut flora shifted. Eat too much meat now and I get a bit ill, as it rots faster then it's digested.

So change diet slowly, give your gut time, and plenty of variety.

re: actual impact. it's irrtatingly complex. mass farmed lamb fed soya all winter is worse then welsh small holding, but UK lamb is worse on average then NZ, even accounting for travel. Beef is nearly always bad, but at northern latitudes beef pasture struggles to grow better crops (northern ireland is too north for good quality wheat production).
Vension from the forest might be fine. Hard cheese might be worse then chicken. Optimising to a single food product like peanut butter is bad for you.

Eggs are a very carbon effecient source of protein. i eat eggs and cheese (and a lot of beetroot, brassicas, beans, legumes, and huge amounts of nuts). I eat livers sometimes, as they are great for certain things.
Avoid anything fed on soya. Avoid pork and cheap beef espcially. Treat meat like flavouring, not the main part of the dish. In this sense cheese is good, becuase you don't sit down to eat 200g of cheese the way you might a chicken breast. Parmasan might be worse then chicken per kilo, but it's probably more flavour/co2equiv/serving. :)
Fish is complicated too


And then you've got to figure if you are optimising for calories or protein: there's some goodish disscussion about it here: https://sustainability.stackexchange.co ... -footprint
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-02-17 05:56pm

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-17 12:17pm
SNIP
Cutting out meat shouldn't be much of a problem. There are other options that work at the places we go to/order from. Failing that, I could just eat at home. :P

Cheese is rather high, but it appears that it's much lower than most meat products on the metrics that matter. So it seems that just cutting out meat is good enough.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by GuppyShark » 2019-02-20 03:18am

Dairy industry supports the meat industry. Half the calfs (the males) that are born in order to force annual milk production from the dairy cows are slaughtered.

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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by Broomstick » 2019-02-20 05:06am

I've been wondering about that - given that most cows get pregnant by artificial insemination rather than actual intercourse with a live bull these days isn't someone working on a way to increase the chances of conceiving cows instead of bulls? There are semen-sorting techniques, although they aren't 100% by any means.

Then again, the dairy industry might simply not need quite so many calves as required to keep the cows lactating.

I wouldn't find it as vile if they just slaughtered the newborn, unwanted male calves humanely but "veal production" requires keeping those calves in pretty horrific conditions in order to maximize weight at slaughter while still keeping it veal.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-20 05:28am

SolarpunkFan wrote:
2019-02-17 11:05am
I don't eat meat regularly. I usually only have it when my family and I go out for dinner, when we get food from a local fast food joint, or steak is what was made for dinner (and even then I don't eat a lot of it). I can probably cut meat out of my diet very easily and I might do so.

But there's another group of food products that I do like which might pose a problem: dairy and eggs.

I honestly don't know if I could cut those out if I had to, they're major staples of my diet. So I'm left with a conundrum: I want to do what I can to prevent environmental catastrophe, but a major change is difficult (doubly so for me as I'm autistic).

The whole "humans should get some nutrients from animal products" claim doesn't really help matters. :?
Reduce the amount of eggs you are having? Or source your eggs from non-industrial farms?
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-02-22 02:05pm

ray245 wrote:
2019-02-20 05:28am
Reduce the amount of eggs you are having? Or source your eggs from non-industrial farms?
We already buy cage-free, but I'm not sure if that's the same as what you suggest.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by ray245 » 2019-02-24 07:35pm

SolarpunkFan wrote:
2019-02-22 02:05pm
ray245 wrote:
2019-02-20 05:28am
Reduce the amount of eggs you are having? Or source your eggs from non-industrial farms?
We already buy cage-free, but I'm not sure if that's the same as what you suggest.
I mean small local farms that don't have a massive chicken population. Getting eggs from them can be much more expensive, but it can also make you have them less often?

That''s probably one of the best way to help reduce the environmental impact in my opinion. People used to have meat and animal products on rare occasions because of how expensive they can cost when they buy it from a small local farm. Plan out how often you are having eggs and etc, get it from smaller (non-intensive), family-run farms and etc.

That can be a way to help you adapt your diet.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-25 01:20am

Now, you all know that I think the theory of little deeds and “ethical consumption” is not working, and is actually harmful, offering the illusion of impact when it is very insignificant.

But to put things into perspective, dietary choices are much less important than the rather brutal realities of (a) never having children (b) never flying airplanes (c) switching entirely to public transportation.

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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-25 01:39am

Non of those are mutually exclusive, but the 'no children' is worth less and less the less damaging your lifestyles are.

Transatlantic flight is meaningless for most people. 15% people take most of the flights.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-25 04:16am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-25 01:39am
Non of those are mutually exclusive, but the 'no children' is worth less and less the less damaging your lifestyles are.

Transatlantic flight is meaningless for most people. 15% people take most of the flights.
Transatlantic flight is only a yardstick, though. Any long-distance flight or a combined number of flights of similar duration would have the same result. Anyway - the point was, a singular action like that can cancel out the entire “footprint savings” you personally manage to make with a lifetime of dietary restrictions.

Which is why large-scale reorganization of society is the only possible solution (now the only people suggesting such are the left, eg Green New Deal). Dedication of effort to political change can have a much greater effect due to leverage.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by Tribble » 2019-02-25 03:51pm

Having no kids is by far the most important. There are over 7 billion of us. There should be less than 10% of that number, if not lower.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-02-25 08:10pm

ray245 wrote:
2019-02-24 07:35pm
I mean small local farms that don't have a massive chicken population. Getting eggs from them can be much more expensive, but it can also make you have them less often?

That''s probably one of the best way to help reduce the environmental impact in my opinion. People used to have meat and animal products on rare occasions because of how expensive they can cost when they buy it from a small local farm. Plan out how often you are having eggs and etc, get it from smaller (non-intensive), family-run farms and etc.

That can be a way to help you adapt your diet.
Well, the context is that while I personally am trying to cut back on what effects my eating has, I'm one unemployed person in a house with five other people. So I'm afraid buying small and local isn't really an option. :(
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-02-26 07:51am

Tribble wrote:
2019-02-25 03:51pm
Having no kids is by far the most important. There are over 7 billion of us. There should be less than 10% of that number, if not lower.
citation needed, really.

popualtion control is a contentious thing. There's a strand of altreich recruiters in the green activist movement (Volks and aurochs are not new), and pinning the idea of global damage to child bearing is a convieent stick to beat developing nations and 'inferior, breed like rats' memes.
I'm not saying this is what you are doing, just that's its lurking in background. This is often disengeuous, as I mentioend up thread. A farmer in vietnam having three kids is less damanging then a texan having one, all things staying the same.
So then there's tradeoffs. Does the racist rich westener want to have less brown people to allow the west to continue it's rich exisitnance? Is it fair to say 'all things staying the same' when that farmer in Vietnam sure as hell hopes her children have a more conformtable life then she has had, and is it fair to assume that old equivilnece of more comfort = more energy = more fossil fuels will remain true going into the future?

There's another strand of green popualtion control where it's contentious, and that is that it's out of date. |When I was working out in Bangladesh and India, most young professionals (or sozzled old rich men) I spoke to were contemptuous of their own countries popualtion growth. They are about 25 years out of date Bangladesh has a replacement brithrate, not a growth one, and has had a roughly replacement birth rate for about thirty years now. The popualtion is still growing, but that's becuase the age pyramid is filling out - people are living longer.
The same is true for the world as a whole. We have gone from 3 bill to 7 bill in my life time, but we are looking to peak at around 10 and then start to decline, still in my lifetime. Managing that decline requires a moral decision.

If your enviromentalism is humanistic, and you are worried about climate change becuase of the millions it endagers, and the human suffering it will create, then the decline is also something to worry about. Shrink the popualtion too fast and we might create more suffering then we solve. We cannot have ten old people being supported by a single young person, and China's demographics are already unstable.

If you don't give a shit about your fellow human, then another five decades of overshoot are unaccpetable, and the moral descision isn't just to not have children, it's to kill yourself and take as many resource hogging people out with you as possible. The utlitarian calculus gets a little worrying. It gets doubly bleak when you revisti that 'all things staying the same' assumption, and merely killing every frequent flyer or Suadi Arabian isn't enough, you have to kill enough to ensure that nobody takes over their resource hogging lifestyle. Please don't kill people.

If you are preapred to live yourself, but not have children then you are probably weighing both human suffering and enviromental damage in your moral calculus. We have a large amount of climate breakdown locked in. We have a large amount of stupid ineqaulity and cruel poverty locked in. We need to reshape society to solve that, and to continue a managed population reduction but the answer isn't in fears and rhetoric that date from the cold war.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by Alferd Packer » 2019-03-02 12:10am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2019-02-26 07:51am
If you are preapred to live yourself, but not have children then you are probably weighing both human suffering and enviromental damage in your moral calculus. We have a large amount of climate breakdown locked in. We have a large amount of stupid ineqaulity and cruel poverty locked in. We need to reshape society to solve that, and to continue a managed population reduction but the answer isn't in fears and rhetoric that date from the cold war.
I think the answer is simple in principle, but difficult in practice: as it is a desirable behavior, reward people for not reproducing, especially in first-world countries. Don't punish people for having children, don't institute draconian population controls; simply reward people for not having kids. For example, provide free birth control to any woman who wants it, no questions asked. Similarly, once it becomes widely available, offer the same to men. There are a great many schemes societies may employ, but the key is: laud those who choose not to reproduce, but cast no aspersions on those who do. In fact, a society could offer separate incentives for reproduction at the same time, making each outcome appealing in its own way. After all, people will reproduce; it is a biological imperative. The goal is minimization, not demonization.
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Re: Dairy and Eggs in regards to environmental impact

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-03-03 03:46pm

Society would be under the threat of demographic collapse with below-replacement rates, and can eventually bankrupt itself in such a fashion, due to the burden of surviving older generations.
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