Assuming that Paul McCartney didn’t die in 1966 only to be replaced by a lookalike, I can safely say that Sir Paul has done a lot in his (supposedly) long life. As a musician in the Beatles, he helped change music forever and wrote and performed some pretty awesome songs. He’s even been knighted, which is pretty amazing and hopefully he will be a handy defender of the queen if anyone chooses to invade England again. When he told me to “…get up and dance to a song that was a hit before…[my]…mother was born,” I listened. I believed him when he told me, “We Can Work it Out.” But now that he is trying to be mother nature’s son and asking the world to participate in Meat-Free Mondays, I feel as though his bird has flown.
To start, it’s awesome that someone with such global presence is trying to do his part to end global warming. Any good unvegan knows that global warming is not only bad for the world, but also for meat quality. Unfortunately, Sir Paul is going about this the wrong way. He is a great musician, no doubt, but shouldn’t issues on climate change be left to the professionals?
Frank Mitloehner is one of those professionals. As reported by CAP Radio, Mitloehner is a researcher at UC Davis, studying the impact of livestock on air quality. He has determined that in the US “…meat production alone only accounts for about one-and-a-half percent of greenhouse emissions.” The transportation of this meat is really what contributes to global warming and Mitloehner says, “…if people really want to make a change they should think about their contribution to burning fossil fuels which we know are the main contributors to climate change.” Therefore, Individuals, as well as enterprises, need to take action to reduce their footprints. All the business needs to invest in carbon offset programs, including the online store and eCommerce offsets to reduce the emission of carbon and soothe the environment.
So maybe we should listen to McCartney for music and Mitloehner for how to deal with the environment. Rather than blaming meat, we should blame the transportation of the meat, but meat is not the only food transported around the world. Plenty of vegetables come from a long distance to the plates of people outside the unvegan realm. Eat Local Mondays could do a lot more good than Meat-Free Mondays, and it would be great if Sir Paul would take some time to listen to people like Mitloehner for this info.
So, for showing Meat-Free Mondays to be a sham, Frank Mitloehner, you are a true Unvegan Hero.
(via CAP Radio)
15 thoughts on “Frank Mitloehner: Unvegan Hero”
This Mitloehner is complete BS. We shouldn’t cut back on meat because more people in poorer nations would starve? How about the fact that 7 pounds of grain these poor people could eat is used for 1 pounds of our meat.
And why would we leave this to the “professionals” when the vast majority of the profession is funded by animal product companies? Potential conflict of interest there…
To start, I don’t think UC-Davis is funded by animal product companies. That would be strange for a public university.
Also, yes, you are right that that grain could feed other people, but cows shouldn’t be feeding on grain in the first place (in fact, humans also shouldn’t be eating grains, they can do a lot of damage to our little bodies). Cows are only meant to eat grasses, which they break down into food for us. To say that people should stop eating meat really ignores the true problem of our current agricultural system, in which grain (and soy) agriculture destroys millions of acres of land and animals are being fed grains that they were never intended to eat.
On Frank Mitloehner’s Facebook page he advertises the California Beef Council
Yea I trust this guy, I wonder how much under the table money this guy got or what his real motive is
Tris may be on to something. Mitloehner’s background is in Agricultural Engineering and Animal Science. After looking at his CV, I’m not even sure what qualifies him as an “air quality expert”. His interests seem to be tied to livestock production.
It would be interesting to see who funds his research, public university or not. There may be an argument against the amount greenhouse gases emitted by livestock, but his research is definitely questionable.
Full disclosure: I’ve been a vegan for 18 years but I’ve been a skeptic for 37. And not that it qualifies me as an expert but I am a grad student in Environmental Science/Natural Resources Mgmt at VA Tech.
You agree that our method of raising cattle is wrong… but grain-fueled factory farming is the only way to keep up with current consumer demand. Raising strictly grass-fed cows would definitely mean cutting back on meat-consumption for the US. I’m not telling anyone what to do… I’m just continuing the line of reasoning. And I apologize… I don’t generally troll but I just wanted to add my 2 cents.
Mitloehner overlooks all of the contributing greenhouse gas emissions involved in meat production and focuses on direct creation of greenhouse gases by the animals themselves. If you add up all the BTUs and tons of greenhouse gases involved in the entire chain of creation, from calf to steak, you come up with the 18% or so number.
Limiting meat production is the key to lowering emissions, not meat consumption. However, in a market system, the way you lower production is to lower consumption, so over time, eating less meat lowers greenhouse gas production.
Of course, all of this is considered separately from the enormous pollution toll that meat production places on our environment. Think runoff, water pollution, etc.
Unvegan makes a good point – cattle naturally eat and digest grass. Unfortunately, the acreage required is not cost effective; why else are Federal grasslands so highly subsidized for ranching? Sorry, Unvegan, but the most efficient, least polluting food system avoids raising animals for food all together.
Mitloehner also mis-characterizes the cause of starvation. It is no coincidence that the number of obese roughly equals the number of starving. The USA is replete with fat people who got that way from eating too much animal fat. Meanwhile, people starve. Yes, there is a direct correlation, as resources are stripped from poorer countries so we can have $1 hamburgers.
Thanks for the forum.
I love all the feedback and I’m glad everyone is responding so respectfully.
No doubt there are issues with the agricultural system, but they are not simply issues with meat. It really boils down to being a grain-based agricultural system. Subsiding on grains is no less devastating to the environment as subsiding on meat fed by grains, but consuming beef fed on grass is actually the way nature intended, because an overpopulation of herbivores degrades land as well.
The point is, giving up meat isn’t some sudden cure-all to the environment, in fact it can harm the environment a lot more than people think.
Full disclosure – Vegan for 20 years, not preachy. Here I agree with the Unvegan. The problem is with what we feed animals. The reason we feed animals grain is largely due to the “farm bill”. There is a huge incentives/subsidies for farms to grow corn and therefore we get ethanol, livestock feed and soda with high fructose corn syrup. Without those subsidies most people would curtail their meat consumption as the price would reflect the true cost of production.
Writing the synthesis was supported by a $26,000 research grant from the Beef Checkoff Program, which funds research and other activities, including promotion and consumer education, through fees on beef producers in the U.S.
I believe a picture is a thousand words, therefore, here it is :
A whole book-worth of words
Nice, that one is a classic.
“To start, I don’t think UC Davis is funded by animal product companies. That would be strange for a public university.”
UC Davis is in the heart of Central Valley, where there are a lot of farms. Frank Mitloehner works in the Agricultural Air Quality lab (see cows in picture at lab’s home page (http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/faculty/mitloehner/people/index.htm). The millions of dollars in funding includes industry, according to the pdf available from the google cache by googling “uc davis air quality fact sheet”. Looks like that fact sheet is no longer available. Also, the google cache for “uc davis air quality funding private industry” gives original wording as “Budget/funding: $4-5 million annually. Sources: Private industry …”
Or you can check Frank’s other group, the UC Davis ASI, discussing industry donations (http://childrensgarden.ucdavis.edu/newsroom/ASI%20EAB%20Report%202009.pdf). That pdf has not been buried.
You are all correct, he does not know about air quality; he has training in behavior and now he gets money from companies, such as Elanco, to run trials, which many of them are poorly design, he does not know math either. His graduate students are taught to run show business not research, and few times they lie about what exactly they did on the research. Please be careful with him.
Mitlohner is just telling the truth about livestock and air quality. He told the United Nations FAO that their report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” was flawed, and they put him on the oversight committee, and he fixed their report.
And if you look at the effect on greenhouse gas emissions if you quit feeding corn to U.S. beef cattle, here it is. The corn will be used to increase the human population of the world by 300 million people. If the surplus grain goes to China, the 300 million additional Chinese will increase global emissions by 2.0 billion metric tons. If the surplus grain goes to Russia, the 300 million additional Russias will increase global emissions by 3.6 billion metric tons. If the surplus grain stays in the U.S., the 300 million additional Americans will increase global emissions by 4.8 billion metric tons.
Wake up and smell the roast beef people! Christian Peters’ research at Cornell University (published in the journal Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems) concluded that land suited to the production of dairy and meat but not fruits, grains, and vegetables is more readily available. So production of beef and milk is necessary to produce food from all available land.
A vegetarian diet is not the most efficient in terms of land use.
And starvation is caused by a local unsustainable population of individuals (more people than the land will provide for living in the same area). That is called overpopulation. People are going to have to learn how to control their population, and how to produce food for themselves, if they intend to be sustainable. How much food did you grow today?
Why are you proud of having a diet that requires zero effort? Most people eat meat, but don’t write a fucking blog about it.
Is this your first time using the internet? If so, you’ll be fucking amazed at the minutiae you find that people are interested in. Hope all is well in Brisbane!