Is Food the Earth’s Worst Enemy?

The radical Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) can’t seem to go a day without lecturing the 99 percent of the country that doesn’t share its vegan agenda. This time, its corporate “outreach” manager is promoting an NPR report that says that, among other things, that farming accounts for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions globally. (The activist’s take, of course, is that we should all eat less meat.)

To call this figure questionable would be like calling Death Valley “warm.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in its 2007 assessment report that agriculture accounted for less than half the percentage that NPR states. And in the U.S., the EPA reports that agriculture produces less than seven percent of national emissions. Considered alone, animal agriculture accounts for just 4 percent.

Of course, that won’t stop HSUS from promoting its meatless agenda at the expense of reasonable, constructive solutions.

The Center for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) released a new report this month proposing practical solutions to mitigate livestock impact on greenhouse gases. CAST believes that improving the digestibility of livestock feed and better breeding can reduce the amount of energy needed in rearing livestock.

Are CAST’s solutions reasonable? Maybe. But this approach sure beats the approach of animal-rights zealots campaigning to “get rid of” livestock farms entirely. But then, why would we expect allies of PETA co-founder Ingrid Newkirk (who has called humans the “the biggest blight on the face of the earth”) and HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle (who has said, “I don’t believe in the green revolution as a means of feeding the world”) to do anything else? To the misanthropes, agriculture is the problem because people are the problem—you know, by destroying the earth and eating animals.

It’s one thing to question the work of the Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose advances in crop yields may have saved one billion people from starvation. But now as they attack agriculture, can we agree that these folks have as much credibility as Paul Ehrlich?

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