We have to get to zero carbon as rapidly as possible. Methane from industrial food production and the livestock industry accounts for about 40 percent of human methane emissions. Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, so if we reduce our methane fast, that might give us a fighting chance of getting some other global warming solutions in place before it's too late.
We can eliminate the emissions of a huge amount of the most warming intense greenhouse gases by a revolution in our food production and by adopting the healthiest diet possible — for us and for the planet.
Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chair of United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has said that greenhouse gases are emitted during virtually every step of the meat producing process.
Zero carbon = zero meat. I know a lot of people who balk at this idea, but imagine if practically everyone in the world gave up meat? (I'm not going to ask the Inuit to give up meat, although the way things are going, they might soon find it easier to grow grain than to find animals.)
We could retrain those farmers and ranchers and fishers in more benign forms of agriculture or renewable energy (ooh, now there's a win-win). And we'd be giving today's children a chance at a future.
It's easier for me. I'm already vegetarian. Have been for ... counting ... yikes, almost 30 years (am I that old?). So I can assure you that there's life after meat — in more ways than one.
The future, folks, is quite literally in our hands, in our shopping baskets, on our stoves and on our plates. We don't have to wait for any government decrees or taxes (though taxing the carbon in meat would ensure it's expensive enough to make tofu look good).
Enjoy the bounty of the Earth without killing (and without killing the future). C'est tout. It's that simple. Let's just choose to stop eating our grandchildren.
(Photo from Liaison College Lakeshore Campus)