[Ed. – Feel free to resume enjoying your breakfast burgers.]
The idea that giving up meat could help prevent climate change is gaining traction in American media. “Want to Save the Planet? Go Vegan Study Says,” a Newsweek headline last year. The study, published in Science, found that “moving from current diets to a diet that excludes animal products has transformative potential,” including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from food production by half.
This past January, CNN declared, “By filling your plate with plant foods instead of animal foods, you can help save the planet.” Specifically, the cable news operation cited a study in Nature that found that the production of animal products generates about 78 percent of agricultural greenhouse-gas emissions. To take account of the excess greenhouse gases emitted through meat production, the study’s lead author Marco Springmann proposed a food tax that would boost the price of beef by 40 percent and increase the price of other meats by 20 percent.