Ever since Al Gore introduced his famous slideshow to the world and stood up as a leader in the fight against climate change, advocates of the vegetarian scene have urged the former Vice President to acknowledge the link between eating less meat and helping the environment. Yesterday, Gore finally jumped on board saying that reducing meat in one’s diet is “the responsible thing to do” when it comes to the fight on climate change.
Talking to ABC, Gore agreed with the UK’s Nicholas Stern that meat eaters have contributed greatly to increased global carbon emissions.”I’m not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat,” he said. “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis – not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.”
“You could add in the health consequences as well.”
Gore also added that substituting more fruit and vegetables in an everyday diet was the responsible thing to do. “I’ve made those changes, and while I don’t go quite as far as Nick saying everybody should become a vegetarian – partly because it’s difficult enough to get the agreement without adding that on top of it – it is a legitimate point of view.”
Some on this site have criticized Gore for not mentioning factory farming in his new book “Our Choice”. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but Think Progress says that Gore does indeed address the issue. From the site,
“Chapter Ten of Our Choice, ‘Soil,’ discusses the complex range of challenges and opportunities related to food production and consumption, noting in particular the costs of industrial agriculture. The chapter concludes with a series of recommendations, including practical ones for American consumers, like supporting farmers’ markets and eating less meat. And Gore follows his own advice:
There is a serious issue about the connection between the growing meat intensity of diets around the world and damage to the environment. And like a lot of people, I eat less meat now than I used to. I’m not a vegetarian, don’t plan to become one, but it’s a healthy choice to eat more vegetables and fruits. So it’s not a laughable issue.”
So, what do you think? Gore has reduced his consumption of meat — but is not planning on becoming a vegetarian. He also now publicly links factory farming as a contributor to climate change — and encourages people to reduce the meat in their diets. A good start? Or still falling far short of what you expect?