Robert Lawrence of the “Meatless Mondays” program ought to do his homework before linking U.S. meat production to climate change. (“Want to help save Earth? Lose some weight,” Nov. 12).
While the United Nations claims meat producers are responsible for 18 percent of global greenhouse gases, data from the Environmental Protection Agency show that U.S. livestock production only contributes 2.4 percent. If anything, Lawrence should be encouraging us to eat home-grown beef, since our domestic ranchers appear far more efficient and eco-friendly than their counterparts overseas.
And it’s not true that Americans are eating far more red meat than the government recommends. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that the average American eats 2.3 ounces of red meat per day. This is far below the 5 to 7 ounces that the federal government’s current Dietary Guidelines recommend for foods in the “meat” group.
Animal rights activists and other advocates of strict vegetarianism are working overtime trying to hitch their cause to the global-warming bandwagon. But the facts just aren’t on their side.