Save the planet, eat a vegan
Good news. It seems that your car and your fondness for sunken light bulbs in every alcove are not warming up the planet after all.
In fact, according to new research, power stations and transport produce lots of carbon dioxide, but in addition they also produce lots of aerosols that, in the short term at least, help keep the planet as cool as a deodorant model’s armpits.
So who has come up with this new theory? Some half-crazed nitwit with a motoring show to protect? George Bush? A bloke in the pub? No. In fact it comes from an organisation called EarthSave, which is run and funded, so far as I can tell, by the usual array of free-range communists and fair trade hippies.
The facts it produces, however, are intriguing. Methane, which pours from a cow’s bottom on an industrial scale every few minutes, is 21 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. And as a result, farmed animals are doing more damage to the climate than all the world’s transport and power stations put together.
“well, it’s debatable that farmed animals are causing more damage then fossil fuel use, but yes methane from farmed animals is a large problem.”
What’s more, demand for beef means more and more of the world’s forests are being chopped down, and more and more pressure is being put on our water supplies.
Plainly, then, EarthSave is encouraging us to go into the countryside at the first possible opportunity and lay waste to anything with more than one stomach. Maybe it wants me to shoot my donkeys. Happily what it’s actually saying is that you can keep your car and your walk-in fridge, but you’ve got to stop eating meat.
“ I severely doubt EarthSave is encouraging you to shoot anything, way to take what they said out of context. No, I’m sure they would urge you to cut back on your fossil fuel usage and quit eating meat.”
In fact you’ve got to stop eating all forms of animal products. No more milk. No more cheese. And if it can be proven that bees fart, then no more honey either. You’ve got to become a vegan.
“Oh boo hoo, no more killing animals for the lame ass reason of stuffing your face.”
Now of course if you don’t like the taste of meat, then it’s perfectly reasonable to become a vegetablist. It’s why people who don’t like, say, John Prescott become Conservatives. But becoming a vegan? Short of being paraded on the internet while wearing a fluffy pink tutu, I can think of nothing I’d like less.
“Precisely because you have never been exposed to the wide array of vegan food. But of course you are ignorant to the fact that such a abundance of vegan food choices even exists as you make painfully obvious by regurgitating the same stupid stereotypical “rabbit food” critique of vegan food below.”
Eating a plate of food that contains no animal product of any kind marks you down as a squirrel. Eating only vegetables is like deciding to talk using only consonants. You need vowels or you make no sense.
“A squirrel, quite. Oh excuse me, It’s time to brush my fluffy squirrel tail I sprouted after going vegan.”
Of course there are certain weeds I like very much. Cauliflower and leeks particularly. But these are an accompaniment to food, useful only for filling up the plate and absorbing the gravy. The idea of eating only a cauliflower, without even so much as a cheese sauce, fills me with dread.
There are wider implications, too. Let us imagine that the world decided today to abandon its appetite for sausage rolls, joints of beef and meat-infused Mars bars. What effect would this have on the countryside?
“Uh, maybe it would get a chance to recover from an unbelievably large grazing animal population?”
Where now you find fields full of grazing cows and truffling pigs, there would be what exactly?
“The flora and fauna that naturally occur there. Oh no! Now we couldn't have that.”
Hardcore vegetablists like to imagine that the land would be returned to the indigenous species, that you could go for a walk without a farmer shooting your dog, and that you’d see all manner of pretty flowers and lots of jolly new creatures. Wolves, for instance.
In fact if animal farmers were driven away, the land would be divided up in two ways. Some would be given over to the growing of potatoes – the ugliest crop in Christendom – and the rest would be bought by rock stars. Either way, Janet Street-Porter and her ridiculous gaggle of ramblers in their noisy clothes and stupid hats would still get short shrift.
“Just like all the other national parks and public use land right? Oh wait, that’s not what happens at all.”
What’s more, there’d be no grassland because there’d be no animals to graze.
“So because there are no farm animals to overgraze the grass and compact the ground making it nearly impossible for any grass to grow, there would be no grassland? I’m pretty sure the exact opposite would happen, the grasslands would make a comeback like you would’t believe.”
And there’d be no woods either because without pheasants what’s the point? I’m sure EarthSave dreams of a land as pristine as nature intended but it’d be no such thing. Within about three weeks Britain would look like Saskatchewan.
“Oh you’re a fucktard. Because we can’t shoot pheasants we might as well clear cut the forests. That’s pretty much the worst reasoning I’ve ever heard.”
So plainly the best thing we can do if we want to save the world, preserve the English countryside and keep on eating meat, is to work out a way that animals can be made to produce less methane.
Scientists in Germany are working on a pill that helps, but apparently this has a number of side effects. These are not itemised, but I can only assume that if you trap the gas inside the cow one of the drawbacks is that it might explode. Nasty.
“yep, but eating shit infested meat is a jolly good time isn’t it. Nasty indeed.”
And unnecessary. We all know that the activity of our bowels is governed by our diet. We know, for instance, that if we have an afternoon meeting with a bunch of top sommeliers in a small windowless room it’s best not to lunch on brussel sprouts and baked beans.
Recently I spent eight days in a car with my co-host from Top Gear James May, who has a notoriously flatulent bottom. But because he was living on army rations – mashed up Greenpeace leaflets to which you add water – the interior was always pine fresh and lemon zesty.
So if we know – and we do – that diet can be used to regulate the amount of methane coming out of the body, then surely it is not beyond the wit of man to change the diet of farmyard animals.
“except the side effects of changing the natural diet of ruminates are exactly why we have the problem with e-coli that we do today.”
At the moment, largely, cows eat grass and silage,
and as we’ve seen, this is melting the ice caps and killing us all. So they need a new foodstuff: something that is rich in iron, calcium and natural goodness.
“Ruminants fart, quit eating them if your worried about the environment, it’s not really that difficult of a concept.”
Plainly they can’t eat meat so here’s an idea to chew on. Why don’t we feed them vegetarians?
“I got an even better Idea, lets feed them all the stupid conservative ass-hats like yourself.”