Al Gore: I'm not a vegetarian but I have cut back sharply on meat (VIDEO) | 11/13/09

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Climate change campaigner Al Gore believes turning vegetarian could aid the battle against global warming. Substituting more fruit and vegetables in an everyday diet was the responsible thing to do, he said.

In the clip below, Gore is asked about the recent advice to go vegetarian by UK Climate Minister, Lord Stern. Here is an article reporting Lord Stern's advice:

Climate chief Lord Stern: give up meat to save the planet

People will need to turn vegetarian if the world is to conquer climate change, according to a leading authority on global warming.

In an interview with The Times, Lord Stern of Brentford said: "Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world's resources. A vegetarian diet is better."

Direct emissions of methane from cows and pigs is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Methane is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a global warming gas.

Lord Stern, the author of the influential 2006 Stern Review on the cost of tackling global warming, said that a successful deal at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December would lead to soaring costs for meat and other foods that generate large quantities of greenhouse gases.


Watch Al Gore discuss this issue:


5 Comments | Leave a comment


Meanwhile, Brigitte Bardot has spoken out against eating meat as well.

Mr. Gore should read "The China Study", by Dr. Campbell.


Mr Gore is clearly worried about what can come to pass - a middle ground if you will. He's not a hardliner and doesn't concern himself with what should be - but only with what can happen.

Certainly very few people in the USA would ever consider having the government tell them what they can eat - or what they can buy. Yet that's the way corporations work - you can choose from what they decide to bring to the market. You don't want GMOs - well the government arm of the company makes it against the law to inform people what DOESN'T contain GMOs - while they force the farmers to plant GMO crops because they've vertically integrated the hell out of the system ...

Certainly, in this modern age of engineered food products - very few people can resist overeating horrifically unhealthy foods. As the crisps adverts say - Can you have just one? The best thing to do is to avoid going to stores and avoid ever getting the junk into your home. The farm where I buy my grains, flours and flakes doesn't have any unhealthy options :) :)

In the economic speak of rabid capitalism - we must have the meat products assume a price in line with their actual cost - not the current ultra-cheap cost with most of the true costs of production externalized (destruction and contamination of of water, soil and the creation of multi-drug resistant bacteria ...). What's the true cost of USA style factory pig farming when it results in things like H1N1?


Al Gore says, "I'm not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on meat." Cutting back sharply on meat consumption is a step in the right direction. Raising animals by the billions for food is the other inconvenient truth!

"A diet that can lead to heart attacks, cancer, and numerous other diseases cannot be a natural diet," writes Keith Akers in A Vegetarian Sourcebook. "A diet that pillages our resources of land, water, forests, and energy cannot be a natural diet. A diet that causes the unnecessary suffering and death of billions of animals each year cannot be a natural diet."

I understand there are conservative Christians who fear vegetarianism...which is kind of like being afraid of nonsmoking, nondrinking, or recycling. Ronald J. Sider of Evangelicals for Social Action, in his 1977 book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, pointed out that 220 million Americans were eating enough food (largely because of the high consumption of grain fed to livestock) to feed over one billion people in the poorer countries.

A pamphlet put out by Compassion Over Killing says raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of both pollution and resource depletion today. According to a recent United Nations report, Livestock's Long Shadow, raising chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other animals for food causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks and other forms of transportation combined. Researchers from the University of Chicago similarly concluded that a vegetarian diet is the most energy efficient, and the average American does more to reduce global warming emissions by not eating animal products than by switching to a hybrid car.

A 2007 journal published by the American Dietetic Association found "meat protein production required 26 times more water than vegetable protein on rain-fed lands." The journal further states that dieticians "can encourage eating that is both healthful and conserving of soil, water, and energy by emphasizing plant sources of protein and foods that have been produced with fewer agricultural inputs."

"Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation."

---Union Nations' Food and Agriculture Association

70% of the grain grown and 50% of the water consumed in the U.S. are used by the meat industry. (Audubon Society)

Over 260 million acres of U.S. forest have been cleared to grow grain for livestock. (Greenpeace)

It takes nearly one gallon of fossil fuel and 5,200 gallons of water to produce just one pound of conventionally fed beef. (Mother Jones)

Farmed animals produce an estimated 1.4 billion tons of fecal waste each year in the U.S. Much of this untreated waste pollutes the land and water.

The number of animals killed for food in the United States is 70 times larger than the number of animals killed in laboratories, 30 times larger than the number killed by hunters and trappers, and 500 times larger than the number of animals killed in animal pounds.

“If anyone wants to save the planet,” says Paul McCartney in a PETA interview from 2001, “all they have to do is stop eating meat. That’s the single most important thing you could do. It’s staggering when you think about it. Vegetarianism takes care of so many things in one shot: ecology, famine, cruelty. Let’s do it! Linda was right. Going veggie is the single best idea for the new century.”


I would like to ask Mr Gore to lead the charge to end all subsidies to the meat and dairy industry and start taxing these products instead.

Just in the county where I live, the water, land, railroad (that transports the grain to feed the cattle), and slaughterhouse are all partially funded by taxpayers dollars.

Apparently the cows that just die are subsidized too as the government pays the owners a guaranteed amount of money to encourage them to be in business. These dead cows if they are sent to the rendering plant, end up in our soap and cosmetics, without even being tested for Mad Cow Disease.

This industry is so harmful we have to demand as taxpayers that we are not funding it. Of course at this point we are. And we have to pay for the health care and research institutes and all the other after effects of eating meat and dairy.

THere are cows on every hill side next to our water reservoirs so the cow poo ends up in the local reservoirs and water supply. The bacteria in the poo are NOT filtered out (it even says so in the annual report from the water district) and they end up in our bodies, along with the antibiotics and prions and God only know what else.

There is no end to the damage being done. Mr Gore please help.

It solves a lot more than global warming to end subsidies to meat and dairy.


"I'm not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on meat."

Right. And he's closely monitoring the thermostat in his 10,000 sf home to minimize his footprint.

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