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ecology & environment

Agnostic Carnivores and Global Warming: Why Enviros Go After Coal and Not Cows

agricultural-growth

Agricultural Growth in Paraguay 1997 to 208 (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

 

An interesting article from 2011 on freakonomics.com, still relevant today, about why environmentalists go after oil pipelines and power stations instead of promoting veganism which has been shown to be a more effective solution to environmental issues. Earlier this year I went along to a screening of 350.org’s divestment film at the Impact Hub in Islington. The film’s sequences showing 350.org’s rallies across America caught my interest, featuring large audiences of people displaying passion for their cause, but I did wonder how many would be prepared to make the personal changes necessary to bring about real change.

A couple of quotes from the article:

…modern environmentalism has depended on high-profile media moments to shore up the activist base. Veganism, however, hardly lends itself to this role. Although quietly empowering in its own way, going vegan is an act poorly suited to sensational publicity. Pipelines and other brute technological intrusions, by contrast, are not only crudely visible, but they provide us (the media) with clear victims, perpetrators, and a dark narrative of decline.

 

 …given that the documented power of veganism to directly confront global warming, and given the fact that emissions have only intensified alongside all efforts to lower them, I’d suggest McKibben, 350.org, and the environmental movement as a whole trade up their carnivorous agnosticism for a fire-and brimstone dose of vegan fundamentalism.

 

Here is the full article:

Agnostic Carnivores and Global Warming: Why Enviros Go After Coal and Not Cows.

 

[main image credit:  United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)]