NEWSFLASH: Changing Your Diet Won't Change the Environment - In Case You Weren't AwareThu, 28 Mar 2019 10:48:55 CDT
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief Environmental Counsel Scott Yager has been busy this week monitoring the activities of the proponents of the Green New Green which was struck down in the US Senate earlier this week after Senate Democrats failed to support the legislation despite emphatic rhetoric calling for its passage. Although the bill has been defeated for now, Yager insists it will eventually reappear in one form or another and when that happens, he says it will be important for the beef industry to stand up and tell its story. Fortunately, Yager says producers are well-positioned in its argument against opponents as the science and facts are on the side of agriculture.
“It’s always good to lead with the science and the science is on our side with this issue,” Yager said citing data from the Environmental Protection Agency that indicates that the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by the US beef industry totals just 2 percent. “It’s a small number… We’ve been continually improving our efficiencies and have been getting better and better in how we raise beef cattle in the United States of America.”
To put that into perspective, Yager explained that compared to 1977, the industry today is producing the same amount of beef with 33 percent less cattle. Furthermore, Yager referenced a recent study by Virginia Tech University that investigated how much of an impact on the environment it actually has when a person omits meat from their diet. According to the results of that study - not much at all. Yager remarked on why the industry should be familiar with this information and be ready to deploy it when necessary.
“I think it’s important we keep talking about that and we make sure we lead with the science and the facts to make people aware that the beef cattle industry is not a significant contributor of greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “We’ve been improving over time and changing to a vegan or vegetarian diet is not going to result in a reduction of climate changing emissions.”
Listen to Yager’s full remarks on this subject with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to by the American Angus Association. America’s breed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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