During Panetta Institute’s 2010 Lecture Series, former Vice President Al Gore discussed the topic What’s Next for America? Our Environment: Can We Save the Planet that Sustains Us? During a moderated questions and answer session UC Santa Cruz student Eric Deardorff stood up to fire off his own question.
Because of his high profile stance on climate change and the effects humans have on the planet, the logical question is why does Al Gore eat meat?
While being approached by security personal, Deardorff refused to back down until his question was heard. “In regards to your literature you state that the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop eating meat. I was wondering if today you would commit to doing what you’re saying in your literature that the single most effective thing to do is to stop eating meat.” Before sitting, Deardorff offered the Nobel Peace Prize winner a free vegetarian starter kit.
After pointing out that he did not want to encourage other interruptions, Gore decided to answer the question nonetheless. “I have started eating less meat. I am not a vegetarian and I understand we disagree on that. But factory farming and industrial livestock operations are indeed extremely energy intensive and factory farms do contribute—no question about it.”
Gore continued, “For my own health and sense of well being, as well as to reduce global warming pollution, I have cut back particularly on the red meat that I eat, but I do still eat meat. I was probably like a lot of people eating too much meat previously. I do think it’s a healthy choice to emphasize more fruits and vegetables. But I think it’s an individual choice.”
Individual choice? Of course! But considering Gore believes that if climate change is left unaddressed it could be the “end of human civilization as we know it” he may want to rethink his meat consumption—since he openly admits it is a contributing factor to climate change. Seems a high price to pay for a hotdog.
Check out the undercover video below: