Would you give up beef to stop climate change? | The Tylt
Would you give up beef to stop climate change?
With the Trump administration doing its hardest to pretend climate change isn't happening, people are left wondering what can even be done to stop it. The best bet might be to give up beef entirely. If everyone in the United States committed to no longer eating beef, the U.S. would come close to meeting the goals pledged in the Paris Climate Accords—all of this can be done without major changes to our infrastructure or transportation systems.
Giving up beef would do more than giving up cars or reducing electricity use. In fact, a pound of beef will have a larger carbon impact than burning a gallon of gasoline.
Giving up beef so the world remains inhabitable—that's a pretty good trade.
Getting Americans to give up beef might be more difficult than convincing Trump to commit to the Paris Accords. Beef is a huge part of American culture. Between steaks, burgers and cattle ranches, the production and consumption of beef are often viewed as two of the most American things in our culture.
On average, an American will consume 71 pounds of red meat a year. While some of that is pork and lamb, a huge chunk of it is beef. Good luck convincing a Texan to give up her steak for soybeans. It's probably not going to happen.
At a more fundamental level, we're not going to stop climate change just from individuals changing their behavior. We need to rethink how we work as a society and that starts at the top.