"Where's the beef?" ( or "Why vegetarians are just better people")

This is again off topic, but interesting in a tangential sort of way. It does seem like I've gone away from climate-related posts more and more as I became more and more dedicated to the idea of being a "topical" blog. Oh well.

Anyway, I just read a post by George Monbiot about beef in the UK and imported beef from Brazil. I like to read Monbiot because he's got references, but I also have to admit that I like to see things I know in print, e.g.,
We shouldn't be eating beef at all. Because the conversion efficiency of feed to meat is so low in cattle, there is no more wasteful kind of food production."

George Monbiot, Are You Paying to Burn the Rainforest? [LINK]

Basically, Monbiot is demonstrates a shortcoming of globalization. Even if people in Britain aren't directly buying Brazilian beef, or if they only buy some, the beef is getting exported from Brazil. Whether it goes to catering companies, stores, restaurants, dog-food companies, whatever, the beef is moving out of Brazil. That leaves less domestic beef in Brazil, which means there's more demand for beef production, and more impetus for people to burn down the Amazon to create pastures. By eating beef, people are indirectly burning down the Amazon. That destroys species, and might have serious large-scale environmental consequences.

[I had a paragraph here about how destroying the tropical rainforests could have far-reaching impacts on weather and climate, but I've decided to leave that for another time.]

Also, a couple lines in Monbiot's article about the treatment of workers on the beef ranches in Brazil reminded me of migrant farm workers in USA, especially California. For a quick introduction to that topic, check out Eric Schlosser's Reefer Madness, section 2.

If you happen to make it down to this point of the post, good for you! But also, I'm thinking about trying to organize my thoughts better for the blog. Right now it is whatever strikes my fancy, and then a few minutes of stream-of-consciousness writing. I've noticed that other blogs (some at least) have been doing a better job of writing a coherent "article," and that seems like a good idea. I'm not sure that I can really do it, but I'm thinking about trying. If you have any climate-related issues that you think I should tackle, leave a comment.

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