Animal Ag Professor Dismisses Diet and Climate Change Connection

The meat industry’s drawing scorn about livestock production and climate change. So now a University of California at Davis professor, Frank Mitloehner, is saying that the connection shouldn’t inspire people to eat less meat:

Smarter animal farming, not less farming, will equal less heat.

No doubt that there will be technological improvements that will reduce greenhouse gases associated with cattle and pigs. Trouble is, these fixes are in the future, and it appears people need to be reducing their greenhouse gas footprints today. So, why not advise people to cut down or eliminate their consumption of red meat and dairy products, at least until livestock raisers solve their greenhouse gas problems?

Producing less meat and milk will only mean more hunger in poor countries.

Phrasing this argument in such a blanket way is just outrageously dishonest. No doubt, there are people in certain parts of the world who depend on small-scale livestock production to guard against malnutrition. But to suggest that reduced red meat and dairy production in developed countries would entail more widespread famine elsewhere is deceitful.

Experts who tackle this subject should rise above playing tricks with language. Link.

Update: Mitloehner’s a cash generating machine—he’s taken in $5 million in research grants including $26,000 from the Beef Checkoff Program. (Thanks, Adam.)