Meatless not as green as painted

Chicken was reserved for very special occasions when I was a child.

Beef and mutton (and I do mean mutton, not lamb) were the staple meats in our household.

Beef and lamb (not mutton these days) still feature in at least half our dinners most weeks, we usually have fish a couple of times a week, venison now and then, and quite often have a vegetarian meal for at least one weekend dinner.

This means we’re eating less meat than we used to but if this table is accurate we’re obviously eating someone else’s share of beef and lamb and they’re eating our share of chicken and pork:

I’m usually in charge of what we eat and eating less red meat than in the past is a choice based on health advice.

For some people eating less, or no, meat, is a decision made because of their views on animal rights, or the idea that less meat is better for the environment.

Whether that idea is right is up for debate. More vegetarian diets and less meat isn’t necessarily as green as its pianted.

I’m not sure the science is settled on that when the whole environmental cost from paddock to plate is measured.

 

 

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4 Responses to Meatless not as green as painted

  1. adamsmith1922 says:

    Mutton is a great meat, sadly much neglected these days.
    When I first read the Forsyte Saga I recall that saddle of mutton was a feature of a major dinner party. In fact I seem to remember it being German mutton which was apparently considered superior. The flavour of mutton properly cooked is magnificent.

  2. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Mutton is great eating

  3. I also look forward to a deeper exploration of the true carbon calculation of pasture fed cattle. People who claim meat is bad for the environment are only looking at methane emissions (usually without considering the carbon sequestration of grass and shelter belts). They ignore the higher amount of pesticides and herbicides that a vegetarian diet requires their farmer to use. Dispensing with animals also makes it difficult to improve organic matter in the soil as the land is cultivated every year on a crop field instead of every ten years on a dairy farm paddock. This breaks down the soil structure. Animal farms have the benefit of the animals depositing organic matter directly from their rear ends. Imagine the amount of stubble fires if even half the dairy/beef/sheep farms were converted to grain.

  4. The best pies are mutton. I don’t mean that as faint praise either.

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