Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Save The Human

A few weeks ago, I attended the opening of a new initiative based in Hong Kong called Save The Human. It relies on a reduction in consumption of meat as a means to positively change our environment. Check out the video. My friend Vicky invited me and she appears at 4'30'' fashionably in pink.

Sorry Bobsy, I ate a burger before I went. My bad!

Feel free to join Save The Human's facebook group.


jonnydonut said...

Sorry, I just have to comment. I know you're not saying you agree with this or anything, but I just can't refrain myself.

As a geographer, it's clear that this video, while it is a good cause, is just wrong in several areas and using statistical propaganda. There is way more than enough water in the world for every person, the problem is that it's not readily available in certain areas. But of course it is readily available where livestock roam.

For example, I live in Texas. I eat beef from Texas, and those cows drink clean? water from Texas. That clean water could not be transported to areas with water scarcity easily. By becoming vegan, I would not be saving the planet. The clean water I save from the ogalla aquifer or rivers would have never been pumped out, and certainly would not have been transported because there's no money in it for the rancher. Of course I'm talking about a capitalist country of the US in this case, but I'm pretty sure hong kong is capitalist also.

Additionally livestock waste is not toxic, it's specifically used as fertilizer for agriculture. In that case, as a direct result of reducing livestock, we'd grow less veggies and take longer to do so. Not only that, but the land and soil which livestock roam may not be suitable for agriculture. You can't just swap land use, plants only grow in particular climate and soil conditions and harvesting relies heavily on the topography of the land.

I like how they seemingly ignored the need for irrigation, while Irrigation accounts for about a third of water use and is currently the largest use of fresh water (in the US at least)

Let's be clear, I have no problem with veganism or vegetarianism, I think it's great. But to claim that by being one I'm saving the planet is a little extreme and arrogant.

That's just my two cents.
have you ever heard of http://www.dhmo.org/

jonnydonut said...

oh check this out, on the page I was looking at.


fresh water usage:
irrigation = 30+%
other (including livestock) = 3%


michalgarcia.com said...

Hi Jonny, that's a very valuable perspective that certainly was not taken into consideration. Water usage and rights will likely be what the next large global disputes are about. It's difficult for any one person to remain unbiased about a particular topic, especially one they are passionate about. Most important is to consider the most sustainable options. We Texans like our meat, and though cow dung is a valuable fertilizer their flatulence does contribute strongly to overall pollution. In a study of the food chain, one notes that animals require significantly more energy to sustain themselves and plants require less and are subsequently at the bottom of the food chain. You are extremely correct in saying that the animals personally consume less water than do plants, but animals also consume significantly more energy in the form of plants than the plants consume in water, nutrients and sunlight. Conclusion? Less animals = less plants = less water usage = less pollution. Eating plants is more sustainable, but I'd still keep some meat to ensure I get enough protein and keep a diversified diet. (And because we can all go for a burger every now and then!)
The "statistical propaganda" is certainly overt, but only because it does not weigh in issues you mentioned as land and water usage. The statistics are not made up, but I can see where they might be misleading. Still, it would be foolish not to consider those statistics a rethink one's diet.

jonnydonut said...

well said`