A Letter to Laurie David about Global Warming and the Cattle Industry
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A Letter to Laurie David about Global Warming and the Cattle Industry
by Keith Akers


Editors note: Laurie David is a nationally recognized environmentalist, and former wife of Larry David, co-creator of the hit Series, "Seinfeld." More recently, her activism for environmental issues has also been portrayed in HBO's award winning comedy series, "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

May 3, 2007

Dear Laurie David,

I have seen "An Inconvenient Truth," read with interest your web site StopGlobalWarming.org, support your efforts to stop global warming, and have joined the "Virtual March to Stop Global Warming." Thank you!

I have a suggestion for the StopGlobalWarming.org web site. This web site lists 30 "simple things you can do in your everyday life" that can have an effect on the planet. One of those things should be eating low on the food chain, eating plant foods instead of animal foods. According to a recent report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent 18 percent than any other sector, including transport. The cattle industry is worse for global warming than driving cars.

Its good that one of the 30 things you list is to "buy organic food," which is also important. But "organic" cattle are only marginally better than conventional cattle in terms of global warming, because the main problem with cattle is their production of methane. Cattle are still going to produce methane whether it is organic or conventional feed that they are eating.

We can debate whether or not eating low on the food chain is more, or less, important than various of the other action items you mention -- low-flow showerheads, putting on a sweater in winter, or using a push mower. We can also debate the politically best term to describe this activity -- "going vegetarian," "eating less meat and dairy," or "eating low on the food chain." But surely it is beyond debate that eating low on the food chain should belong somewhere in any list of 30 actions an individual can take to help stop global warming.


Keith Akers

See follow up from this letter:
Laurie David and Vegetarianism

We welcome your comments:

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