Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Paul McCartney’s meat-free Monday

Here is a classic case of why we should never pay the slightest attention to a musician’s opinions. Paul McCartney has helped launched a “Meat Free Monday” campaign in Britain – it is also running in the US and Australia – in a bid to help combat climate change. AFP reports:
McCartney said going vegetarian, even for just one day a week, was good for the environment because of research suggesting it cuts greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s livestock population.
“I thought this was a great idea. To just reduce your meat intake maybe by one day a week and this would seriously benefit the planet.”
Presumably he thinks that on Mondays all the cows in the world will stop burping and farting. I can see some cows from where I sit and they don’t look the type to take much notice.

Predictably, British farmers aren’t impressed. Nor should anyone else be, because as this week’s Economist says:
The five leading markets for Brazil’s enormous beef exports (the country ships more of it than the total of the three next-largest exporters, Australia, Argentina and Uruguay) are Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela and Egypt.
So even if consumers in the UK, US and Australia stopped eating beef altogether, there would be vast amounts of the stuff still being eaten. Even a meat-free week would have virtually no effect on greenhouse gas emissions. But that won’t stop them from congratulating themselves that, one day at a time, they are making a difference.

1 comment:

Fido said...

First, gesture politics. And now, we present - gesture eating.