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Author Topic: Cambridge University Meat Ban  (Read 1012 times)

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Cambridge University Meat Ban
« on: November 17, 2019, 08:16:36 am »

Those around the East Anglia region may recall recently that Cambridge Uni moved away from meat for a plant based menu in their restaurants for climate change reasons (among other things I’m sure).


There’s always two sides to a story isn’t there............


https://www.countryside-alliance.org/news/2019/11/cambridge-university-red-meat-ban-flight-of-the-h?utm_campaign=1189824_Newsletter%20-%20151119&utm_medium=dotmailer&utm_source=Countryside%20Alliance&dm_i=44G9,PI2O,4TWV4G,30ZPO,1

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 09:28:07 am »
Interesting! Does anybody have access to reliable information about the environmental impact of UK sheep farming then?


When I tried to look it up a while back, I found wild claims about the amount of water used to produce a kilo of meat. However, when I delved deeper, it turned out the method used was to calculate how much rain fell annually on an acre and then divide that by the weight of beef produced by that acre (both as grazing and to grow wheat). That just strikes me as nonsense, since the lion's share of the water must surely end up in rivers etc, rather than being 'used' by the cows?


I have a personal interest in this, since I have been working for a company which is developing a meat alternative product, and where phrases like "unsustainable meat" are used as fact. However, when I look at my sheep, I don't see unsustainable. Sure, there's an environmental impact - they're continually burping and farting. However, they're also turning grass which we can't eat into meat which we can. The counter to that is that we should plough everything up and plant cabbages, but actually I doubt that would be sustainable over the long term without serious chemical inputs.


It strikes me that we should be making a distinction between sustainable meat and unsustainable meat (e.g. factory farmed grain fed cattle). As ever though, it's hard to tell what's really true, particularly in the midst of the current PR war stirred up due to the ulterior motives of the animal rights lobby.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 09:30:44 am »
And presumably they have ensured that all the plant based food is pesticide free and fairly traded (air miles aside)

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2019, 12:45:40 pm »
Species rich, organic grassland raising pasture fed organic animals for meat is sustainable here.

Ploughing ground and industrially producing vegetables is largely unsustainable. Animals in sheds eating food from the other countries is unsustainable.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 12:48:12 pm »
I had not heard about this but I am not surprised at Cambridge University's hypocrisy in the least.


Your points @Womble  are as always totally pertinent.  I too have been trying to find 'true' figures for the British beef and sheep farming way, but come up always against 'the research' which has largely been done using American style grain raised beef as the norm and as you say is presented as irrefutable 'fact'.  The only way to measure the output from animals of greenhouse gases is to confine them in a chamber where all the ins and outs are measured, and the animals are fed on grain, no fresh grass. It is known that the gut flora needed to digest grass are different to those needed to digest grain. It is claimed that grain fed cattle emit less methane and CO2 than grass fed.  As this cannot be measured by any system I am aware of, how can this claim be backed? It's hard enough to collect a urine sample from a cat, so how to collect farts and burps from sheep and cattle as they graze I don't know. After the gases have been passed then at least the CO2 is taken up by vegetation and sequestered - this does not happen where cattle are reared on hard standing with little vegetation in the vicinity.
There is never any mention made of the methane and CO2 emitted by 7 and a half billion human beings, and how their diet affects their output.  Are we too Victorian to mention human digestion?  I think we would discover that humans fed on your fields of cabbages, Womble, and on the vegan's favourite pulses ie beanz, produce far more methane than a few cattle and sheep.  Add in the burping of thawing permafrost and cattle fade into insignificance.


The need to find solutions for the anthropomorphic causes of climate change is urgent and vital for the survival of humanity and much of the rest of our biosphere, but hypocrisy and untruths by such an influential, august body as the University of Cambridge are at least anti-productive.  I'm sure their scientists are beavering away trying to find solutions, or they should be, but this is a backward step and decidedly shameful.


Meanwhile,the price of store and fat beef animals in the UK is dropping to the extent that farmers are making no income from their herds and could end up out of business.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 02:23:21 pm by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

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   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
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Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2019, 02:41:55 pm »
https://www.pastureforlife.org/


I just found this site, which looks as if it will have plenty of arguments to support pasture fed meat production, and research info.  I'm off to search the site.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

alang

  • Joined Nov 2017
  • Morayshire
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2019, 03:53:38 pm »
And presumably they have ensured that all the plant based food is pesticide free and fairly traded (air miles aside)

Why take air miles out of the equation. After all it produces a massive amount of CO2 and sulphur dioxide. Then there is shipping carbon footprint to take into account too. Surely if these 'intellectual persons' are concerned enough they should eat locally sourced, home grown grass, leaves and ferns.... oops i mean veggie/vegan food. I'm fed up of being told how bad farming etc is for the planet. I am a omnivore meat eater as designed to be by nature. If i wanted to eat 'other' protein sources continually, i would have been born a herbivore.

Some of these experts are so far up their own dark holes and out of touch with reality they just make themselves look like oxygen thieves.
I'm not scared to be seen, I make no apologies. This is me!

DavidandCollette

  • Joined Dec 2012
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2019, 05:26:13 pm »
Sorry alang, I did mean "as well as" in terms of air travel. The other factors alone should make it unsustainable, but them I am neither politician nor business person residing but not paying their way in this country
 Oops  sorry admin

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2019, 06:03:52 pm »
Just a thought, if we are all going to go on a plant based diet won't we produce a lot more gas  :eyelashes:

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2019, 07:35:18 pm »
Just a thought, if we are all going to go on a plant based diet won't we produce a lot more gas  :eyelashes:
Yep, my thoughts exactly....
But also if you want to be an evironmentally friendly (= low food miles) vegan in Britain, or in Scotland even.... you won't last long...

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2019, 07:41:44 pm »
Just a thought, if we are all going to go on a plant based diet won't we produce a lot more gas  :eyelashes:
I believe that has to do with the amount of sulphur based proteins in the veggie chosen?
Somehtign else to consider si that you cannot keep taking nutrients from the soil without putting back. Even with meat farming the cadaver is removed from the field if not the dung.Unless prepared to keep importing or manufacturing fertilizers the only rational solution is process/recycle human excrement and mince up all our dead relatives and ban disposable nappies unless biodegradable. I wonder what's on the meu at Cambridge Uni vet school.Who hasn't read 'Porterhouse blue'?

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2019, 08:34:27 pm »
If there were no cows and sheep where will you find enough NATURAL fertiliser to grow all he veg and cereals?
Through history, everywhere where any type of agriculture was practised, people had practice some sort of form of mixed farming - a house cow for milk, calf for meat for winter, and probably most importantly fertiliser to grow anything else that's edible.
If you don't have livestock then you need a ridiculous amount of oil, not hat to plough the fields but to produce artificial nitrogen fertiliser - 10 tonnes of oil to make 1 tonne of nitrogen fert.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2019, 09:13:12 am »
Letter from the redoubtable Simon Fairlie to Farming Today.  Simon says please feel free to send similar letters :)

Quote from: Simon Fairlie
Dear FT

Thank-you for inviting Professor Don Broome to comment on the fact that the global warming effect of methane from cow has been overstated. It is about time that this matter came out into the public realm.
I do however think he was being overcautious when he said that  beef farmers have been “blamed a little bit more than they ought to be". In fact the CO2 eq unit when applied to the UK cattle herd is wholly inaccurate.
The UK cattle herd has declined  by 25 per cent in numbers over the last 30 years. Professor Myles Allen and his colleagues at Oxford Martin School have explained that  if a source of methane undergoes a reduction of 25 per cent in emissions over 30 years it it will over that period be responsible for  global cooling  equivalent to 420 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of methane emitted in year one — but under the conventional CO2 eq methodology this would register as 735 tonnes CO2 eq  of global warming. This is not a “little bit” overstated, it is a gross slander. https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/reports/Climate-metrics-for-ruminant-livestock.pdf
According to the USDA the global cattle herd has stayed static in numbers since 1975, which means that the global warming caused by its methane emissions is far less than is normally registered using the conventional CO2 eq unit, and all these institutions withdrawing beef from their menus are acting  on false information.
I do hope you will tackle this issue in more depth later this week or in future, as the media as a whole seems strangely reluctant to address it.
Yours Sincerely
Simon Fairlie

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Cambridge University Meat Ban
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2019, 12:22:29 pm »
If there were no cows and sheep where will you find enough NATURAL fertiliser to grow all he veg and cereals?
Through history, everywhere where any type of agriculture was practised, people had practice some sort of form of mixed farming - a house cow for milk, calf for meat for winter, and probably most importantly fertiliser to grow anything else that's edible.
If you don't have livestock then you need a ridiculous amount of oil, not hat to plough the fields but to produce artificial nitrogen fertiliser - 10 tonnes of oil to make 1 tonne of nitrogen fert.
You don't need oil to make nitrogen fertiliser- it's the most abundant atmspheric gas and good ol' ammonium nitrate is essentailly nitrogen and water. Nor would it be technically difficult to own avat of nitrogen fixing bugs ina stew of nutrient and bubble air through it.Id be more concerned about 'organic matter' in the sense of soil condition and trace elements. AFAIK there are areas of the sttes growing stuff that is nutritionally deficient for the end user even if the bulk quantity grown sounds good.
Back to mince up your dead relatives and poo on the fields. You jsut wont be allowed to take medication or chemotherapy which should save money for the NHS and reduce the population AND give us more fertiliser :innocent:

 

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