We have gotten this debate all wrong

Earlier this year, Quillette published an article by Keir Watson titled “The Case for Sustainable Meat.” In it, Watson challenges many “green” myths concerning animal agriculture. Here are a few of them.

  • The grain eaten by farm animals in the U.S. could be used to feed 800 million people.
  • Livestock accounts for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions globally.

That’s just a sampling.

Watson goes beyond merely quashing popular environmental talking points, though, going so far as to suggest that farming animals may be “part of the solution…

“Church aisle with wooden benches and tile floor leading towards the wedding altar” by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“As witnesses not of our intentions but of our conduct, we can be true or false, and the hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all other vices except this one. Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.” — Hanna Arendt

Reflexive contrarians are the worst: you say yay, they say nay; you go…

Given the abundance of bad news propping up our social media feeds and TV screens — a possible nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, the spread of far-right populism in Europe, people putting pineapple on pizza, etc. — you could be forgiven for thinking that life on Earth is becoming more dangerous and miserable. These are, to be sure, trends and events that should concern us all, but are things really as bad as they seem?

The economist Max Roser appears to have provided us with an antidote to our pessimism, namely data. His brilliant website — ourworldindata.org

Ludwig Raal

Occasional Writer & Aspiring Gadfly

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