Media & news

Meat the Enemy

Aug 11, 2021

Last month I wrote about the Fourth of July, the sacrifices so many people have made to gain and keep our freedom, and the importance of the holiday other than BBQs and cookouts. This month I will continue with the Fourth of July theme but from the angle of BBQs, cookouts, and hamburgers.

We usually spend the Fourth of July with our girls and grandkids, but this year we weren’t able to get together. However, we kept our tradition of hamburgers and baked beans. We have had grilled hamburgers on the Fourth for years, and we enjoyed doing it again this year.

However, our tradition may be in jeopardy. A recent University of Michigan study argues that to cut greenhouse emissions to the level required to control climate change, Americans will have to severely reduce consumption of red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy and animal-based fats.

I have written two articles in the past about the liberal attack on steaks and red meat – remember Big Mike’s Bean House and Big Mike’s Bean House, Revisited? I received replies that were to the effect of, “that couldn’t ever happen” and “they won’t take my steaks.” The articles were written in fun, but they were serious in the context that a growing portion of our society is really, really concerned about the potential catastrophes of carbon emissions and climate change resulting from meat consumption.

I challenge you to name a recent Biden administrative action that does not reference climate change. Almost every news event is linked to climate change. One report claimed the condo building collapse in Miami was caused by the rising seas due to climate change.    

This week, Oregon Governor Kate Brown warned: “that events like the Pacific Northwest heatwave could be a harbinger of things to come if politicians do not urgently confront the issue of climate change.”

Progressive democrats in Congress have threatened to withhold support of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposals if their demands about climate policy are not addressed.

A recent Wall Street Journal article cited claims from the United Nations Environmental Agency’s newsletter that “…every bite of burger boosts harmful greenhouse gases.” According to that same WSJ article, a U.N tweet from last summer warned, “The meat industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the world’s biggest oil companies.”

Furthermore, the article also cites an assertion from Greenpeace’s website that eating meat “makes the planet sick. The livestock sector….generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks, and automobiles combined.” (Of course, saying cars, trucks and automobiles may be redundant).

The Biden administration has acknowledged that its climate targets require “the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture.” When asked if she favored changing dietary guidelines to reduce the consumption of red meat in light of its impact on climate change, Vice President Kamala Harris stated, “The balance that we have to strike here, frankly, is about what government can and should do around creating incentives and then banning certain behaviors.”  

To be fair, Vice President Harris also told CNN, “I love cheeseburgers from time to time.” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, despite declaring “Meatless Mondays” in the U.S.Department of Agriculture(USDA)’s cafeterias, said, “There is no effort designed to limit people’s intake of beef coming out of President Biden’s White House or USDA.”

Big things change in little ways. Water erodes rock until it is gone. C.S. Lewis wrote, “The Devil believes the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

One study is not science, but this is not the first nor only study that finds that producing and eating red meat promotes climate change. Some progressives even labeled the study fake news about evil liberals. But we have continually been told that the science is over and if the science says eating red meat causes climate change and dooms the planet, are our Fourth of July hamburgers done, too?

So long as studies keep coming, as long as politicians keep stressing creating incentives and banning behaviors, as long as teen environmental activists like Sweden’s Greta Thunberg demand that immediate and radical political change be taken to save the future for children… as water erodes rock, how far behind can real political action be?

Old Scranton Joe looks like he enjoys a good hamburger on the Fourth of July. A spokesperson even posted a picture of him grilling steaks on a campaign stop. But President Joe may listen to those around him too much. He may have been pumping gas when he said no more fracking on federal lands.

Be careful of little changes. Be careful of the gentle slope, the soft underfoot of a gradual road to hell. Hold the Fourth of July dear.

I hope you have a good month.

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