Climate, Coronavirus, and Carnivory #Fridays4Future #ClimateStrikeOnline

Vegans and vegetarians have been showing us for centuries that a diet doesn’t have to be meat-heavy in order to be nutritious and satisfying. Climate scientists have been showing us that the ways we treat animals and the ways we treat the planet in “harvesting” animals impact the climate.

The covonaviruses show us more: Whether we eat it or not, the breeding and processing (oh, hell, call it what it is: the slaughtering) of animals for their “products” is flat-out dangerous to us.

Will plant-based “meat” be better? Will cultured animal tissue be better? I’m a carnivore from birth, so I sure hope so. Meanwhile, this article from the New York Times by Jonathan Safran Foer, called The End of Meat ties it all together very well. I’m putting the link after the quote I share here, so vegans, vegetarians, and the squeamish can absorb this warning: The banner picture for the article shows slaughtered animals. It made me squeam, and I’ve been binge-watching Breaking Bad.

The combination of meat shortages and President Trump’s decision to order slaughterhouses open despite the protestations of endangered workers has inspired many Americans to consider just how essential meat is….

Our hand has been reaching for the doorknob for the last few years. Covid-19 has kicked open the door….

Some of the most thoughtful people I know find ways not to give the problems of animal agriculture any thought, just as I find ways to avoid thinking about climate change and income inequality, not to mention the paradoxes in my own eating life. One of the unexpected side effects of these months of sheltering in place is that it’s hard not to think about the things that are essential to who we are.

We cannot protect against pandemics while continuing to eat meat regularly. Much attention has been paid to wet markets, but factory farms, specifically poultry farms, are a more important breeding ground for pandemics. Further, the C.D.C. reports that three out of four new or emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic — the result of our broken relationship with animals.

The End of Meat, Jonathan Safran Foer, New York Times, 5/21/2020
I don’t revolve around you.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Killed by something considered harmless.

MA

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Climate, Coronavirus, and Carnivory #Fridays4Future #ClimateStrikeOnline

  1. Ally Bean

    May 22, 2020 at 8:31am

    Interesting article. Perhaps the middle ground between vegetarianism and meatism [a word?] is where we, as a country, will find ourselves as a result of the pandemic. 🤷‍♀️

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 22, 2020 at 2:46pm

      The word I use for meat-eating is carnivory, but meatism is a good one. 🙂 It’s a total toss-up where any segment of our society will be as a result of the pandemic. The Black Death changed Europe, for sure.

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  2. acflory

    May 22, 2020 at 9:36am

    Ugh. I’m sorry, I couldn’t follow the link. We’ve reduced the amount of meat we eat, and try to eat free range when we can afford it, but I just don’t want to think about the whole process, or its impact on the climate. I know that’s very much head-in-sand, but the worldwide lockdowns have shown how much /we/ pollute the atmosphere with our industry and our cars/trucks/bikes etc. I’d like to see those problems addressed before we tackle the methane from cows.

    Plus…okay so we don’t eat meat, but what about milk? butter? cheese? baby formula? And then there’s the issue of healthy eating. Can you see the McDonalds crowd learning how to cook, let alone cook healthy food? Not saying it wouldn’t be good for them, just can’t see it happening. :/

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 22, 2020 at 2:52pm

      It’s not just cow farts, it’s also water pollution from feedlot run-off, emissions from transporting animals from lot to slaughterhouse to packing plant to store, and the running and waste from the slaughterhouses and packing plants. Not to mention feeding animal by-products to other animals. Girl, I love meat, but most of the world and most of the people in history uses/used meat as a flavoring agent, not as an entree, and I think we’d do well to go back to that. Or at least turn fast food eaters onto the truly excellent plant-based “meats” that are out there now. Some of them, our vegan daughter can’t stomach, because they’re too “meaty”. 😀

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      • acflory

        May 22, 2020 at 9:34pm

        I’d have no objection to eating non-meat meat. lol But then I’m kind of half converted already. How do you get all of the ‘others’ to even try a non-meat or low meat diet? I’m sure it will happen eventually, but I believe it will be because of necessity, not choice. We humans really are a lot like lemmings. Even when we can see the cliff, we keep pumping out little legs to get there faster. 🙁

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        • Author

          Marian Allen

          May 23, 2020 at 7:10am

          “We humans really are a lot like lemmings.” True, that! The article I linked to said that the current meat shortage in America is making more and more people rethink their meat consumption and turning their attention to “non-meat meat”. You’re right, I think, that it would take necessity to change most people’s diets. Necessity and advertising.

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          • acflory

            May 23, 2020 at 8:41am

            lol – yes, lots of advertising! To be honest though, how do we know that the stuff inside KFC and McDonalds is even meat? I suspect they could go meatless and most people wouldn’t notice.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      May 23, 2020 at 7:07am

      Oh, yeah, dairy! That’s where it gets me where I live! Dairy is as bad as meat, and dairy is harder to give up. I’m still working on dairy, for sure.

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      • acflory

        May 23, 2020 at 8:42am

        Yup. I don’t mind goat’s cheese but goat butter? goat icecream?….:/

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