Lettuce Produces More Greenhouse Gas Emissions than Bacon Does

Dec 16, 2015

Bacon lovers of the world, rejoice! Or at the least take solace that your beloved pork belly may be better for the environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions than the lettuce that accompanies it on the classic BLT.

This is according to a new study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University who found that if Americans were to switch their diets to fall in line with the Agriculture Department’s 2010 dietary recommendations, it would result in a 38 percent increase in energy use, 10 percent bump in water use and a 6 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
The reason for this is because on a per-calorie basis, many fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood—the foods the USDA pushes in the guidelines over sugary processed food and fats—are relatively resource-intensive, the study finds. Lettuce, for example, produces three times more greenhouse gas emissions than bacon.

“You cannot just jump and assume that any vegetarian diet is going to have a low impact on the environment,” said Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decision sciences and engineering and public policy and one of the authors of the study. “There are many that do, but not all. You can’t treat all fruits and veggies as good for the environment.”

To continue reading the entire article, click the name of the source below.

46 comments on “Lettuce Produces More Greenhouse Gas Emissions than Bacon Does

  • Unfortunately, your “beloved pork belly”pigs are kept pregnant continually. After being impregnated, sows are placed in 18 to 24 inch wide pens or metal gestation crates. There is barely enough room for them to stand up and lie down. They cannot walk or turn around. Because straw is considered too expensive, they are not given bedding but instead forced to lie on hard floors which, in part, cause crippling leg disorders. Sometimes they are tied to the floor by a chain or strap. The pigs become so bored and stressed that they bite the bars of their cages frantically or rub their snouts back and forth across the front of their crate incessantly.

    Comparing bacon (a self-aware animal that feels great pain in its ‘processing’) to iceberg lettuce is disingenuous. A just comparison would be bacon to tofu, or seitan. Let’s get the numbers on CO2 emissions from best-practice soy bean farming.

    A larger issue is waste: today, we waste up to 40% of all food produced globally (meat and vegetable). In developing countries, this is usually a result of weak road or rail systems and lack of storage. In the developed world, waste tends to occur when unused and uneaten food is thrown away in stores and kitchens.

    Sources: Last Chance for Animals, “Factory Farming” / /
    WWF: Solutions for a hot, crowded, and hungry world



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  • By comparing the foods on a per calorie basis the study is being disingenious to say the least. 100g of bacon has an energy value of 533 Kcal; the equivalent for 100g of lettuce is 15 Kcal. But no-one eats lettuce for its’ calories. Try comparing with Avocado or Tofu instead.

    Or here’s an idea; look at a different nutrient. If I wanted to satisfy my RDA for Vitamin A by eating only lettuce I would need to eat 40 g of the stuff. With bacon I would have to consume 10 Kg. I could go and look up the carbon footprint of 10 Kg of bacon but the point is academic isn’t it – no-one who did that would be around for very long.

    Oh and yes, what Cassandra said.



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  • @OP link – Lettuce, on the other hand, is difficult to grow, harvest and transport. It requires significant amounts of water and energy to produce.

    I think they must be talking about out of season lettuce produced in commercial glasshouses.

    I can assure you that the lettuce produced in my garden requires no energy beyond that provided by the Sun. The open air summer crop, gets no extra water most of the time, and the early season polyhouse crop gets water, but no artificial heat.

    Animal feed on the other hand requires inputs of plant material in a ratio of about 3 or 4 to1 in efficient pig rearing systems. 7 – 10 to 1 for cattle.

    http://www.copfaqs.com/pork-017-food-conversion.htm



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  • Two things you should know:
    The test was on a per calorie basis. You need a sinkful of lettuce to give the calories of a slice of bacon.

    It would make more sense to compare a serving.

    Also consider that greenhouse-grown lettuce takes way more energy.

    This was a deliberately misleading article.



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  • A silly article – it is greenhouse gases from fossil fuel that is the problem. The carbon in pigs and lettuce comes from the atmosphere, and returns to the atmosphere after we eat it and break it back down to CO2. So producing pigs or lettuce is carbon-neutral.



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  • Eamonn Shute
    Dec 16, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    The carbon in pigs and lettuce comes from the atmosphere, and returns to the atmosphere after we eat it and break it back down to CO2. So producing pigs or lettuce is carbon-neutral.

    There can be a greenhouse gas effect from composting, crop growing, or animal production, by producing methane, but while that is many times more powerful as a greenhouse gas, it breaks down in the atmosphere much more quickly than CO2, and is at a much lower concentration.

    https://www.skepticalscience.com/methane-and-global-warming.htm

    While methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, there is over 200 times more CO2 in the atmosphere. Hence the amount of warming methane contributes is 28% of the warming CO2 contributes.



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  • You can if you wish
    But remember that all action have consequences
    and every time you buy that meat, any meat
    u encourage the following:
    Global warming.
    And you have to understand that it threatens UNFAIRLY not only many humans but countless other live forms and entire species. Do you know what innoncence is? Because that the kind of people you bring consequence to when you buy whatever meat. These poor countries, living droughts, permanent rise tide, are BARELY having an impact on GES emmision. But you, with your everyday consumption, you slowly but surely bring misfortune everyday to innoncent people and living things. HECK! you probably dont even feel the consequences of rise of GES! Why? because you are a in a rich country.
    If you want to eat bacon and other. go ahead, But i want you, at every fuckin bite u take off that meat, that you do wrong to many many innoncent people.
    Why?
    because, like many immoral human being living now,
    Your pleasure is way more important, way more worth it, than other’s needs.
    Meat is for selfish dogs
    Meat is luxury food
    Good day sir



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  • I agree that the use of sow crates is appalling … beyond appalling, and would not knowingly eat pork raised in such a way. I support all measures to remove such practises from farms everywhere, and any other similar practises. That said, I eat pork …



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  • Ronald Rivas
    Dec 16, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    But remember that all action have consequences .. . .

    Actually eating meat over the centuries, has had a minimal effect on climate, until the exploding human population, and human industrial levels of consumption in the throw-away societies of the developed world, set about over exploiting and over consuming the resources of the planet.



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  • Know what animal is great at eating waste food products? Pigs.

    Know what we aren’t allowed to feed pigs in most of north america and europe? Waste food products.

    All because illegally untreated pigswill was fed to pigs and gave them foot and mouth disease and forced the slaughter and destruction of over 3 million animals. Now, if we were to require some sort of centralized treatment for all food waste we could safely feed it to our pigs leaving more grain and the like for human consumption.

    That’d be a win for the environment, a win for bacon lovers, and a healthier more balanced diet for the pigs.



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  • You aren’t doing it commercially either though.

    Add in tractors, irrigation systems, production of fertilizer, etc etc and farming gets a lot more resource intensive than your garden would have you believe.

    However they definitely were deliberately setting up the comparison to be in favor of bacon so the article itself is rubbish.

    For cattle and pigs, cattle taste best raised primarily on grass with hay and grain fed in the winter. Pigs can be fed pretty much anything provided you treat it to remove dangerous bacteria.



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  • Part of this discrepancy is also due to the way bacon is packaged and shipped. Its far more expensive to package and ship lettuce than bacon.

    There is also the question as to if these two are being considered as alternatives to each other, IE: Should we eat bacon instead of lettuce so as to lower our overall impact on the environment.

    We WOULD need to eat a LOT of lettuce to support our metabolism, and, between the two…the bacon might be the survival choice.

    Of course, brussel sprouts for example are lower impact than either…and so forth, so, there’s no real need to decide between bacon and lettuce.

    I think a BLT is in order right now actually.

    🙂



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  • Narcissistic_Martyr
    Dec 17, 2015 at 1:08 am

    You aren’t doing it commercially either though.

    I made a comparison in an earlier thread about fresh green beans available in the UK in summer.

    I had two possible sources – the local convenience store, and my garden.

    For a serving from the garden, I walk 25 metres from the kitchen, pick the beans and walk 25 metres back.

    For the alternative supply I walk 150 metres to the shop where there are sealed packets of beans, air-freighted from Egypt!

    These beans probably also had a larger carbon-footprint than bacon!



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  • Stephen of Wimbledon
    Dec 17, 2015 at 7:14 am

    No, this is a serious site with a mission.

    But that does not mean we can’t have a laugh at some of the mental contortions and forms of human stupidity, which are presented by some people as serious views!



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  • Hmmmm, much of what this article says is only relevant in specific situations where resources like water are limited and best use must be made of them. Here in Scotland the stuff falls from the sky with such gay abandon we tend to get a tad miffed about it and it’s certainly an irrelevant issue in terms of choice of the type of food to be produced. Obviously in places where water is scarce there’s a carbon impact for transporting, desalinating, building the reservoirs, pumping or whatever else is needed to get it to the fields. Also comparing lettuces which aren’t eaten for their calories with bacon which is makes little sense. It might be more relevant to just compare similar food types.

    The most important factor that I can see is the use of irreplaceable fossil fuels in production and that’s massively greater with crop production than livestock. I live in a house on a farm estate and see this happening on a daily basis. The crop fields need ploughing, harrowing, rolling, seeding, fertilising, pest spraying and then harvesting. Every pass of the tractors consumes fuel, about 5 gallons per hectare depending on the operation being undertaken. The barley we grow needs drying after harvesting and that is done by a tractor engine driving a drying machine. The beasts on the other hand look after themselves for much of the time. Either out in the fields grazing or if in barns it’s a very quick operation to take silage or commercial feed to them every day.

    None of this would be much of an issue if it weren’t for the massive overpopulation of the planet requiring intensive farming techniques. The primary concern for this planet is to reduce that population or at least to try and stop it growing at the current rate.



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  • **LOLOL this article is so skewed!! Look at the original source. It looks like they just cut it up and glued it back to skew the meaning.

    Okay, straight from the original article:

    “…on the bacon-versus-lettuce greenhouse gas emissions showdown, Heller called the comparison “ridiculous.”
    “We don’t eat lettuce for its calories,” he said, adding that is why in his food analyses he prefers to do assessments of full diets rather than food-by-food caloric comparisons.”
    Very stupid to compare it on a calorie basis. Imagine how muuuuch lettuce you need for 1000 calories of it and how little bacon you need for 1000 calories of it.

    “Switching to a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet would result in a 33 percent decrease in emissions. Vegan diets are 53 percent more efficient.””
    Yup.

    “If Americans shifted to following the Agriculture Department’s dietary guidelines, they would consume less meat—good for emissions—but would drink more milk—bad for emissions, the study found (ClimateWire, May 8).”
    Meaning if they were to eat meat as they’re stupidly being told now, it would be very bad for emissions, and it is.

    “That’s not to say all vegetables are bad. Onions, okra, carrots, broccoli and Brussels sprouts all have decent environmental footprints. Lettuce, on the other hand, is difficult to grow, harvest and transport. It requires significant amounts of water and energy to produce.” “I would eat less lettuce and more Brussels sprouts,” he added.”
    Seems like lettuce needs more energy than other vegetables, so they probably just picked lettuce to make it seem like the worst.
    “”To preserve both the Earth’s health and your own, Heller suggests cutting out meat. In the new analysis, beef was 3 ½ times more environmentally intensive than pork””
    And they picked bacon to prove their stupid point because it seems like it needs less energy than meat.

    “It recommended that Americans adopt a more plant-based diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. A number of environmentalists and public health experts are hoping to see the considerations included in the official guidelines.”
    Yup, straight from the original source.

    This article here is so stupid and skewed… Please inform yourself before posting shit. So sad, lol at their “mission”.
    **



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  • Good point. I have heard that if it weren’t for delicious pigs, cows, sheep and wild game animals etc eating grass, leaves, grain, seaweed etc, then the stuff would be gobbled up by voracious bugs in the ground, producing the same amount of CO2 and CH4. I’m not a scientist, but it seems to me that fossil fuels are the problem, in that they added a burden to the atmosphere, which cannot be easily removed.



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  • Prior to MLO the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, both paleo ice cores and inconsistent contemporary grab samples, were massive wags. Data at some of NOAA’s tall towers passed through 400 ppm years before MLO reached that level. IPCC AR5 TS.6 cites uncertainty in CO2 concentrations over land. Preliminary data from OCO-2 suggests that CO2 is not as well mixed as assumed. Per IPCC AR5 WG1 chapter 6 mankind’s share of the atmosphere’s CO2 is basically unknown, could be anywhere from 4% to 96%. (IPCC AR5 Ch 6, Figure 6.1, Table 6.1)

    The major global C/CO2 reservoirs (not CO2 per se, C is a precursor proxy for CO2), i.e. oceans, atmosphere, vegetation & soil, contain over 45,000 Pg (Gt) of C/CO2. Over 90% of this C/CO2 reserve is in the oceans. Between these reservoirs ebb and flow hundreds of Pg C/CO2 per year, the great fluxes. For instance, vegetation absorbs C/CO2 for photosynthesis producing plants and O2. When the plants die and decay they release C/CO2. A divinely maintained balance of perfection for thousands of years, now unbalanced by mankind’s evil use of fossil fuels.

    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3! How are we supposed to take this seriously? (Anyway 3 is totally assumed/fabricated to make the numbers work.)

    IPCC AR5 attributes 2 W/m^2 of unbalancing RF due to the increased CO2 concentration between 1750 and 2011 (Fig TS.7). In the overall global heat balance 2 W (watt is power, not energy) is lost in the magnitude and uncertainty of: ToA, 340 +/- 10, fluctuating albedo of clouds, snow and ice, and the absorption and release of heat from evaporation and condensation of the ocean and water vapor cycle. (IPCC AR5 Ch 8, FAQ 8.1)
    IPCC AR5 acknowledges the LTT pause/hiatus/lull/stasis in Text Box 9.2 and laments the failure of the GCMs to model it. IPCC GCMs don’t work because IPCC exaggerates climate sensitivity (TS 6.2), of CO2/GHGs RF in the heat balance and dismiss the role of water vapor because man does not cause nor control it.

    The sea ice and sheet ice is expanding not shrinking, polar bear population is the highest in decades, the weather (30 years = climate) is less extreme not more, the sea level rise is not accelerating, the GCM’s are repeat failures, the CAGW hypothesis is coming unraveled, COP21 has all the makings of yet another embarrassing fiasco, IPCC AR6 will mimic SNL’s Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gildna Radner aka Emily Litella), “Well, neeeveeer mind!!”



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  • The sea ice and sheet ice is expanding not shrinking…

    You appear to be good at research but possibly bad at using critical thinking skills to evaluate what your research finds. Antarctic sea ice is expanding. Is it expanding because global warming is a conspiratorial hoax by scientists to earn money so they can upgrade their 1990 second had Camry to a 2001 second hand Camry and the planet is actually cooling. Or is there some other scientific reason for the expansion of Antarctic sea ice.

    Seems there is a scientific explanation and the expansion is caused by global warming. If you add extra energy to any system, effects occur. First law of thermodynamics. That energy gets converted by the system into action, but never lost. When you add extra energy to the earths weather, you experience an increase in the energy content of events. That is, it pushes the edges of the bell curve outwards. More hot weather. More extremes. More severe. And yes, more freezing temperatures. Just like we are seeing all over the world.

    My city will smash the all time heat record for December tomorrow.

    If you add extra energy to the Roaring 60’s, the south polar vortex winds that sweeps around the bottom of planet earth, unimpeded by any continents, that extra wind energy has an effect. Stronger storms. Larger waves. One of the effects of this extra energy is that it tugs at the edge of the Antarctic sea ice boundary. As it breaks away large icebergs of the sea ice, gaps appear further inshore. Those gaps freeze over with extra sea ice and the cycle repeats, increasing the size of Antarctica’s total sea ice. But it is caused by global warming. There is an excellent video presentation at this link explaining the science for those that wish to be informed.

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4056545.htm

    There are lots of global warming denial styles in play. Yours is to try to blind the reader with falsely interpreted data points, cherry picked and out of context within the totally of the reports you cite. The trouble is, no reputable scientist agrees with you. In fact, 190 countries of the world don’t believe you either.

    Paris was a major turning point. Anyone who still persists with the denial of science after the whole world has agreed that man made global warming is happening, and that its effects on life on this planet could be dire, falls into the same psychological category as the deeply religious. An irrational belief. A brave move to post the material you have in the discussion forum of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science

    There was a time when would I trade link for link with science deniers across a lot of subject matters, but I don’t bother anymore because I was wasting my time. I will not be able to change the mind of a person who irrationally denies the science of global warming. The Confirmation Bias Dark Side of the Force is strong in this one. So I don’t bother anymore. So don’t flood the site with links. They can all be proved wrong. They can all be traced back to extreme right wing free market ideology.

    p.s. On chemistry. Re read your post and substitute cyanide for CO2. Small changes in concentrations of chemicals can be lethal.



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  • This is utter bullshit and someone like Dawkins should know better than to waste his supporters time. He is an influential figure and should act accordingly otherwise he is going to lose real supporters like me who actually sends his organization money every month. I’m done.



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  • Saiju, you’re right. It’s complete bullshit. I think it may be a hoax. I don’t think you should quit, however. It isn’t Dawkins himself who chooses the articles, and it’s a damned good site, and most of the articles are good. Just express yourself as you did, and consider staying with us.
    (You send money every month? That’s pretty generous.)



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  • Price of bacon at my local Tesco store this winter: £1.50 (300g)

    Price of a lettuce at same store: Cheapest (full of water) Iceberg 49p up to organic £1.25

    From the ‘olden days’ when things were eaten when in season to now when we can have anything flown in from anywhere, I think this article and responses has opened my eyes to what sits on different shelves of my fridge.

    In defence of this site: It should not have to put ‘Discuss” after every article. They have gotten rid of the link (and my main bugbear) to the ones whose name begins with ‘J’ which shows that they are mostly on top of things but when an article goes up around the Net, and this could end up on my Facebook wall and confuse the shit out of most of the people there, we should be able to discuss and weed out and pass on the message in a proper form. All good in my eyes.

    Even when young, my father remembers helping his mum not only eat the fruits and nuts in season but also press and preserve for winter in many ways depending on type. Some could not be preserved and were only eaten in season with gusto and great enjoyment giving a feeling of being at one with nature.

    I’ve found this piece interesting if not always practical.



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  • I read mostly books. I do read some of the articles on the site and certain articles from the internet that people send me.
    As for lettuce, I must confess: I didn’t get it.



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  • Asimov said that overpopulation was the number one threat to the environment. And he said that in the early seventies, if not earlier. No one listened and few are listening today. Overpopulation.
    In several of his novels (or at least one) he had couples actually applying for permission by the government when they wanted to have a child. Perhaps something like that would be in order at this point. Sounds awful but in the novel it seemed sensible.
    Short of that, people should be encouraged to have no more than two kids – tops. And Catholics…Well I could go on and on.



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  • Nicholas Schroeder
    Dec 17, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    IPCC AR5 acknowledges the LTT pause/hiatus/lull/stasis in Text Box 9.2 and laments the failure of the GCMs to model it. IPCC GCMs don’t work because IPCC exaggerates climate sensitivity (TS 6.2), of CO2/GHGs RF in the heat balance and dismiss the role of water vapor because man does not cause nor control it.

    To suggest that climate scientists dismiss the role of water vapour is laughable nonsense! The water cycle is a key element of climate science even at a school level! The catalytic effect of CO2 increasing levels of water vapour is a key element in the greenhouse effect.
    You really should use the papers of real scientists as your sources rather that this contrived denier’s rubbish!

    The sea ice and sheet ice is expanding not shrinking, polar bear population is the highest in decades,

    Funny how that is not what is shown in several years of multiple satellite mappings!

    There are of course some local increases in East Antarctica and some areas of Greenland where cherry-pickers direct their focus.
    There are also melt effects which give false increase readings on radar altimeters.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-35074501
    “Radar altimeters bounce their signals off a horizon that is below the top of the snow, where the ice becomes compacted,” explained Leeds co-worker Prof Andy Shepherd.

    “But if there is a big melt, as we saw in the middle of Greenland in 2012, the snowpack conditions change and this scattering horizon is re-set, making it appear as if the ice sheet has gained one to two metres in height.

    “With these new results, we have been able to correct for this, and that allows us to confidently map changes in elevation.”

    the weather (30 years = climate) is less extreme not more, the sea level rise is not accelerating, the GCM’s are repeat failures, the CAGW hypothesis is coming unraveled,

    The ice loss is billions of tons per year with steadily increasing sea-levels. Records for storm intensity and temperatures continue to be broken.

    COP21 has all the makings of yet another embarrassing fiasco, IPCC AR6 will mimic SNL’s Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gildna Radner aka Emily Litella), “Well, neeeveeer mind!!”

    I really don’t mind.
    Inconsequential opinions of the hopelessly confused who sit in denial, are of little consequence, compared to the mountains of solidly researched scientific evidence from thousands of studies all over the planet and from orbits above it!



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  • Nicholas Schroeder
    Dec 17, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3! How are we supposed to take this seriously?

    I think your sources need better divining rods for their conjured-up magic figures!! World coal production is a matter of record. I don’t think any competent scientists, economists, or mathematicians, are going to take your joke figures seriously

    Let’s forget oil and gas for the moment, and bear in mind that the global production of coal when burned produces more mass of CO2 than just the original carbon

    https://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=1&pid=1&aid=8
    World CO2 Emissions from the Consumption of Coal (Million Metric Tons)

    2008 * * 2009 * * 2010 * * 2011 * * 2012

    12355 * 12426 * 13312 * 13938 * 13788

    (Anyway 3 is totally assumed/fabricated to make the numbers work.)

    I thought that was obvious! It was certainly not measured or calculated!

    this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2?

    BTW: The Earth’s atmosphere has never been “perfectly balanced” it has varied greatly seasonally and over geological time. – and the figure of 45,000GT is ridiculous!

    https://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/03/30/math-how-much-co2-by-weight-in-the-atmosphere/
    Thus, the total weight of CO2 = 0.0582% x 5.1480 x 10000000000000000 tonnes = 2.996×10000000000000 tonnes = 29660000000000 tonnes.



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  • Thank you Alan. I struggle at times to go through the process again, again of researching the deniers suspect sources, identifying the real science and posting a response. Sometimes I can’t help it and I just go for the speaker, not the speech.



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  • What is a Poe-o-meter?
    The true genius shudders at incompleteness – and usually prefers silence to saying something which is not everything it should be.
    Edgar Allan Poe



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  • David R Allen
    Dec 19, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Thank you Alan. I struggle at times to go through the process again, again of researching the deniers suspect sources, identifying the real science and posting a response.

    There is a nice video animation of years of the satellite data on sea-ice and polar ice caps on my BBC link.

    It pretty well demolishes denialist claims, by giving year on year and seasonal changes, based on multiple satellite surveys simply explained.

    You might like to make a note of the link.



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  • Nicholas Schroeder
    Dec 17, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3!

    Only a scientific illiterate would quote the same mass for carbon burnt and the CO2 produced!

    So keeping an annual total simple:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-31872460

    Annual global emissions remained at 32 gigatonnes in 2014, unchanged from the previous year.

    How are we supposed to take this seriously?

    No competent scientist is going to take figures seriously from sources which cannot even competently recognise the schoolboy error of failing to add the weight of the oxygen of combustion, to the weight of the original carbon, and therefore quoting the two as the same figure!
    Whether such scientific illiterates take real science seriously or not, is of little consequence! – likewise the opinions of those who uncritically cut and past the published drivel on denial sites!



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  • This is nonsense science. I suspect the pork industry is behind it. Even a highschool biology student can calculate the amount of energy required in feed to produce a pig, including the energy lost in the conversion from pig food into the pig. Meat is considerably more energy and resource intensive. A fish requires 1.7:1 ratio of food mass to fish mass. A chicken requires 1.9:1. OtheNevertheless, it is widely accepted that existing industrial agricultural methods are unsustainable, waste enormous amounts of fuel and resources, and destroy not only the soil but excessive fertilizer causes massive watershed and ground water damage.



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  • A pig consumes 8 lbs of feed a day. 5.9 pounds of feed convert into 1 pound of pig. Do the math with all the other resources put into growing, harvesting, and moving the feed to the pig. When you can grow lettuces in a small aquaculture setting, not even using soil, in the locality it is consumed in (aquaculture is largely done in doors) it just doesn’t make sense to say that Lettuce produces more greenhouse gas emissions than bacon. Live stock produce more green house gasses than all the cars and trucks and trains and planes and ships on the planet.



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  • This is quite correct. They often suffer…a lot. However us humans have been experimenting with this new age idea for the last 200 years or so of becoming ‘non-hunters or even anti-hunting. After thousands of years of sustaining ourselves by hunting and using our eye teeth for tearing into meat suddenly it has become trendy to not eat meat and get all touchy feeling about killing animals for their meat. If you have a conscience about eating farmed pork but still want to keep eating it then I advocate becoming a hunter.



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