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Meat is Heat: The Effects of Diet on Global Warming

One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world editorialized that climate change represents “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.” Currently, chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of death. Might there be a way to combat both at the same time? For example, riding our bikes instead of driving is a win-win-win for the people, planet, and pocketbook. Are there similar win-win situations when it comes to diet?

As I discuss in my video Diet and Climate Change: Cooking Up a Storm, the foods that create the most greenhouse gases appear to be the same foods that are contributing to many of our chronic diseases. Researchers found that meat (including fish), eggs, and dairy had the greatest negative environmental impact, whereas grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables had the least impact. And not only did the foods with the heaviest environmental impact tend to have lower nutritional quality, but they also had a higher price per pound. So, avoiding them gives us that triple win scenario.

The European Commission, the governing body of the European Union, commissioned a study on what individuals can do to help the climate. For example, if Europeans started driving electric cars, it could prevent as much as 174 million tonnes of carbon from getting released. We could also turn down the thermostat a bit and put on a sweater. But the most powerful action people could take is shift to a meat-free diet.

What we eat may have more of an impact on global warming than what we drive.

Just cutting out animal protein intake one day of the week could have a powerful effect. Meatless Mondays alone could beat out a whole week of working from home and not commuting.

A strictly plant-based diet may be better still: It’s responsible for only about half the greenhouse gas emissions. Studies have suggested that “moderate diet changes are not enough to reduce impacts from food consumption drastically.” Without significant reduction in meat and dairy, changes to healthier diets may only result in rather minor reductions of environmental impacts. This is because studies have shown that the average fossil energy input for animal protein production systems is 25 calories of fossil energy input for every 1 calorie produced—more than 11 times greater than that for grain protein production, for example, which is around 2 to 1.

Researchers in Italy compared seven different diets to see which one was environmentally friendliest. They compared a conventional omnivorous diet adhering to dietary guidelines; an organic omnivorous diet; a conventional vegetarian diet; an organic vegetarian diet; a conventional vegan diet; an organic vegan diet; and a diet the average person actually eats. For each dietary pattern, the researchers looked at carcinogens, air pollution, climate change, effects on the ozone layer, the ecosystem, acid rain, and land, mineral, and fossil fuel use. You can see in the video how many resources it took to feed people on their current diets, all the negative effects the diet is having on the ecosystem, and the adverse effects on human health. If people were eating a healthier diet by conforming to the dietary recommendations, the environmental impact would be significantly less. An organic omnivorous diet would be better still, similar to a vegetarian diet of conventional foods. Those are topped by an organic vegetarian diet, followed by a conventional vegan diet. The best, however, was an organic vegan diet.

The Commission report described that the barriers to animal product reduction are largely lack of knowledge, ingrained habits, and culinary cultures. Proposed policy measures include meat or animal protein taxes, educational campaigns, and putting the greenhouse gas emissions information right on food labels.

Climate change mitigation is expensive. A global transition to even just a low-meat diet, as recommended for health reasons, could reduce these mitigation costs. A study determined that a healthier, low-meat diet would cut the cost of mitigating climate change from about 1% of GDP by more than half, a no-meat diet could cut two-thirds of the cost, and a diet free of animal products could cut 80% of the cost.

Many people aren’t aware of the “cow in the room.” It seems that very few people are aware that the livestock sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But that’s changing.

The UK’s National Health Service is taking a leading role in reducing carbon emissions. Patients, visitors, and staff can look forward to healthy, low-carbon menus with much less meat, dairy, and eggs. “Evidence shows that as far as the climate is concerned, meat is heat.”

The Swedish government recently amended their dietary recommendations to encourage citizens to eat less meat. “If we seek only to achieve the conservative objective of avoiding further long-term increases in [greenhouse gas] emissions from livestock, we are still led to rather radical recommendations” such as cutting current consumption levels in half in affluent countries—“an unlikely outcome if there were no direct rewards to citizens for doing so. Fortunately, there are such rewards: important health benefits…” By helping the planet, we can help ourselves.

There are tons of articles on diet and sustainability. It’s such an important topic that I may review the new science once every year or two. When the U.S. Department of Agriculture entered these waters, the meat industry appeared to freak out, and the Dietary Guidelines debate continues.


What about just cutting down on meat in terms of health impacts? See my video, Do Flexitarians Live Longer?.

What are the health and food safety consequences of buying organic? See my video series that includes:

For information on GMOs, check out: 

I’m thrilled to announce that the How Not to Die Cookbook is out today(!), and there’s a great burger recipe in there that I’m sharing as another sneak peek into the book. Get the recipe here. The book is available at all major outlets now. 

In health,

Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


100 responses to “Meat is Heat: The Effects of Diet on Global Warming

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    1. Petra, I had the same issue not too long ago. I re- subscribed twice & still nothing. Then Thea sent me to specific place on the website, & that seemed to work. I will try to find her email & give you the instructions she gave me.




      1
  1. “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.” — The World Watch Institute

    http://www.cowspiracy.com




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  2. another recent article showing a positive sign of real changes coming very soon:

    bleacherreport.com/articles/2747546-derrick-morgan-and-his-wife-charity-inspire-titans-to-embrace-vegan-diet




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  3. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Gregor, but the idea that there is global warming based on the type of testing he holds necessary for “scientific method” including even modest testing of an hypothesis, and based on the misrepresentation of data on this topic should cause him to leave it undiscussed. It does no good for most viewers understanding of his credibility as a trustworthy reviewer of scientific topics.




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    1. Totally agree with you, Ralph.

      For Dr. Greger to open with this statement ‘One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world editorialized that climate change represents “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.”’ surprised me.

      I wonder what Dr. Greger (for whom I also hold with high regard) would say about a nutrition study that opened with “One of the most prestigious atmospheric science journals editorialized that eating beans represents “the biggest global health threat of the 21st century.”




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    2. In order for CO2 to cause dangerous levels of warming ( as opposed to mild inconsequential levels) you must violate known physics.

      The only way for CO2 to cause dangerous warming is if it is amplified by water vapor which is a strong greenhouse gas..That is the entire CO2 theory which has never focused on the DIRCET effects of CO2 but rather on the feedbacks…

      There is no evidence that water vapor has amplified CO2. The tell tale atmospheric signal was to be a Hot Spot 10 miles above the equator which never materialized.. The theory has failed. Add to this more than 15 years of no warming in the face of CO2 rising sharply and we can begin to turn off the Alarm bells and calls for drastic measures. 15 years of no warming was the time period designated by Climate Alarmists themselves as the deadline for Anthropogenitc warming.. We are now closer to 23 years.

      If you still need people to believe CO2 is the culprit you must provide evidence of amplification or disprove the most basic properties known about CO2 and demonstrate that it is some sort of super duper molecule capable of dangerous warming by direct effect.. In other words, without amplification by water vapor, you must violate known physics and show CO2 is something much more than what is known.

      “Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.”
      “The accumulation of false and/or misleading claims is often referred to as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ for forthcoming catastrophe. Without these claims, one might legitimately ask whether there is any evidence at all.” MIT Professor of Physics, Richard Lindzen




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      1. As far as wreaking havoc with our atmosphere, it’s true that CO2 is not the most dangerous offender… methane is far more damaging ton for ton. And where does a large portion of the methane come from? Two stomached cow flatulence, that’s where.

        On the other hand, there is evidence that adding seaweed to cattle feed (feedlots, dairies, etc where cattle are fed) can almost dispel the flatulence entirely or at least cut it way down.

        But for my money, I’m not worried about global warming as much as I am the air we breathe. I personally want to see new ways to control insects, weeds, fungus etc. that affect plants we grow for food.

        I’m growing tired of, and probably from, chemicals polluting the air I breathe.

        And why am I not overly concerned about global warming? Because when we reach a tipping point, these things will happen:

        https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/11/scalable-fast-easy-and-cheap-solutions-when-we-get-serious-about-avoiding-climate-doomsday.html

        Briefly, the entire article covers sulfur dioxide seeding to scatter sunlight, seeding the ocean with iron (think super tankers and cargo ships doing this as they travel the oceans) to cause algae blooms that capture CO2 and sink it to the bottom, and the feeding cattle seaweed to curb their problem.




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        1. The seaweed saving the day is overrated for two reasons, one that the 99% figure is in the laboratory while in real life:
          “However, that research used an artificial cow’s stomach in a laboratory. The only real-life livestock results available to researchers were from a Canadian study that found feeding seaweed cut cow methane emissions by 20%, and studies that showed a 70% reduction in sheep methane emissions when 2% seaweed was added to their diet.”

          and second:
          “They found that the main methane mitigation effects come from the chemical bromoform that is produced in the cow’s stomach when eating the seaweed, rather than the seaweed itself.

          This is a problem, Dr Reisinger told NZFarmer, as bromoform has previously been shown to deplete the ozone layer. If cows start emitting bromoform instead of methane, it could result in swapping one environmental problem for another.”

          https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/08/can-feeding-seaweed-to-cows-help-fight-climate-change/




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        2. There is so little methane in the atmosphere that it has to be measured in parts per Billion, not just Million…

          Lets do the math:

          CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere. 93% is put there by natural sources, from the Ocean and Soil etc. only 7% of that tiny 0.04 is human added.. The United States accounts for 40% of that 7%. We could cut our emissions down to pre industrial levels and the reduction would be so minuscule as to be practically un-measurable… Add the tiny bit of methane to those amounts and you sill have next to nothing. There are far larger influences on the Climate that correlate much better to warming and cooling than do CO2 and methane.. by far.

          The Climate cycles between cool and warm periods. Careful spectral analysis is very clear that we are in yet another cycle of warming that come in discernible patterns.

          I think Dr. Greger and Dr. McDougall believe they are speaking to a like minded crowd. That may be but they risk jeopardizing their credibility with in the long run IMHO.

          Here is Physicist Carl-Otto Weiss presenting his teams analysis of the cyclical nature of warm and cool periods..

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAELGs1kKsQ&t=44s




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        3. There is so little methane in the atmosphere that it must be measured in parts per billion…Global temperatures have been flat since 1997 even as CO2 has risen sharply… In the 165 years of the current (natural) warm period, CO2 and rising temps have correlated only 15% of the time.

          If Dr. Greger came across a nutrition claim that had such a weak correlation he would dismiss it out of hand…




          0
          1. Marc, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were probably smaller in numbers than methane molecules.

            The CFCs opened up a huge hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica years ago. When we stopped the use of CFCs as refrigerant, we eventually saw a closing of the hole in the ozone.

            Parts per billion do matter.




            0
            1. I understand what you are saying.. It is possible in a general sense that a miniscule amount of something could have a large effect.

              However, the theory that CO2 plus a tiny bit a methane can cause dangerous levels of warming has no strong correlation with rising global temperatures. Global temps have been flat since 1997 with the exception of the 15 month El Ninio which is a totally natural phenomena ..The very second the El Ninio ended global temperatures dropped like a rock and went back to flat.. Climate Scientists have told us repeatedly that this pause in warming while CO2 keeps rising must last 15 years in order to conclude warming is not Human Caused.. We have gone far past that point to date. There is very good evidence that we are in yet another cycle of cooling followed by warming

              At year 14 of no warming the IPCC Scientists panicked and “fixed” the data, knowing the game was over at year 15.. Unfortunately for them, their emails were hacked into and we could see that they were dishonestly manipulating data to save their careers, in the famous Climate Gate scandal..

              Observable reality is the final arbiter of a theory… Climate skeptics appear to have the better case and the best evidence… Your mileage may vary




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    3. The title should be:

      “Humans are heat. The effects of the human infestation of the planet”

      But who would finance the study? All education is geared towards increasing the infestation. Let that sink in scientists.




      4
    4. Dr Greger is reflecting the science.

      It is the climate change and global warming deniers who refuse to accept the scientific evidence.

      We have seen this sort of thing before. When NF puts videos up that mention evolution, there are always creationists, “young earthers” and other evolution deniers who drop in and criticise him for describing what the science shows.

      To my mind, this is no different except that there are probably many more climate change deniers around than there are anti evolutionists. Apparently even President Trump falls into the climate change denial camp.
      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/12/donald-trump-climate-change-skeptic-denial/510359/




      5
      1. One thing that begin to show a more clear picture on global warming is watching a series the cosmos with Neil d Tyson. It’s the most in depth reason to why it probably a real issue. Without the complete in-depth dicussion It’s almost impossible for us normal people to believe how it’s impossible.
        We have also had several Ice ages and warming trends before man had ever came into existence. That also makes it hard to believe.

        That is an entirely different argument to say farm animals are the cause of global warming, and to use that to push a political agenda is why people are having a huge problem with this. As ponchito said people are the problem. We are going to have to deal with the people at some point.

        If farm animals are the problem why did dinosaurs freeze to death. As big as those animals were and prolific they should have burned up in global warming.

        Articles like this could kill this sight. instead of bringing mainstream people into a healthy lifestyle, instead it’s going to make you guys look like he crakpots many people think you are.




        2
    5. I agree… Even though Climate Alarmists wrap themselves in the flag of Science, the theory that the climate is driven by CO2 which is not much more than a trace gas, is specious at best.

      In order for CO2 to cause dangerous levels of warming ( as opposed to mild inconsequential levels) you must violate known physics.

      The only way for CO2 to cause dangerous warming is if it is amplified by water vapor which is a strong greenhouse gas..That is the entire CO2 theory which has never focused on the DIRCET effects of CO2 but rather on the feedbacks specifically water vapor…

      There is no evidence that water vapor has amplified CO2. The tell tale atmospheric signal was to be a Hot Spot 10 miles above the equator which never materialized.. The theory has failed. Add to this more than 15 years of no warming in the face of CO2 rising sharply and we can begin to turn off the Alarm bells and calls for drastic measures. 15 years of no warming was the time period designated by Climate Alarmists themselves as the deadline for Anthropogenitc warming.. We are now closer to 23 years.

      If you still need people to believe CO2 is the culprit you must provide evidence of amplification or disprove the most basic properties known about CO2 and demonstrate that it is some sort of super duper molecule capable of dangerous warming by direct effect.. In other words, without amplification by water vapor, you must violate known physics and show CO2 is something much more than what is known.

      “Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.”
      “The accumulation of false and/or misleading claims is often referred to as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ for forthcoming catastrophe. Without these claims, one might legitimately ask whether there is any evidence at all.” MIT Professor of Physics, Richard Lindzen




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  4. Your videos on diet can be very interesting Dr. Greger but you would be much better off ignoring the socialist climate change propaganda.




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    1. As has been said many times before, people will find it very hard to accept ideas (climate change) if their pocketbook depends on it not being true.

      I have to agree with Tom on this one, if not every one. It is astonishing to me how hard climate change deniers will desperately weasel around the very well established empirical truth to try to create some vestige of doubt, like the tobacco industry did for years, so they can keep burning coal and expensive SUV’s.

      John S




      4
      1. Actually I think the marketplace is deciding the fossil fuel issue. IMO, there is no advantage of being pro or con on the issue since Elon Musk and others like him are implementing the change away from fossil fuel based on business science rather than global warming science.

        Anyone who thinks we are heading for global gloom and doom can vote with their pocket book. That is, get a solar roof and a battery pack and drive an EV.

        Climate change deniers and believers have opinions.

        Scientific change is saying keep your opinions… but either way, buy our products because they are better.




        2
        1. Elon Musk and the batteries are a zero to the left because it does not address the real problem. It is just a distraction. The problem is growth, human growth. The economy is based on growth. Scientist are a tool of growth, the more efficient, the faster the growth. Schools teach how to grow. If you don’t grow you are marked.

          But there is a point when growth becomes a problem. The whole system collapses as everybody is brain washed to think they need to grow more, while in fact that is the problem. Success kills too.




          2
          1. Panchito you are exactly right. People are the problem.

            In making beer yeast begin to proliferate and multiply as they do heat begins to rise yeast get so happy as they devour the food supply and resources until nothing digestible is left. Many die off and a few go into hiding. People really aren’t much different from yeast. They want to grow, they are greedy they only stop when resources are used up and they have no choice.




            0
            1. The InterGalacticCouncil (IGC) has been aware of this issue for many years.

              We only want what is is best humans.

              We want no humans. We want your planet. We found your spacecraft with the music on it…and we like to dance.

              Please humans…do what is best for your species….




              0
      2. It’s not so much that we are climate deniers. Well some of us are. And perhaps it might be a fact. But to turn that into food propaganda is lame.




        1
  5. I used to believe diabetes is a disease of the starch … from medical school to graduate school and to postdoctoral fellowship in UCSF…. and residency…..
    I was a big meat eater and trusted my Hashimoto was caused by bread…..
    When I tried out vegan 10-day weight loss 3 years ago, I felt the truth speaking…. Thank you, …. am a 100% plant-based and devoted to the truth!




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  6. A bit of advice to the doctor. Don’t wrap up a healthy lifestyle and diet (veggie) with the global warming nonsense.

    Predictions!! Please look at what was predicted and see if they were correct.

    More than 20 years ago the climate models and their creators claimed “There will not be a 15 year period with increasing CO2 where temperature does not follow”. Well we just went through 18 years of exactly that. Some honest scientists, like James Lovelock, threw in the towel and admitted they were wrong but most don’t have the intellectual honesty.

    The climate cyclical scientists have also made some predictions. It will get very cold for the next 2-3 decades. Some like David Dilley have very specific predictions:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WaU_NJfKOE

    1) Phase 1 2014+ = similar to 1950-70
    Phase 2 2019-20 = rapid cooling (1880s like)
    Cold = 2022-2040 = Coldest phase
    2) Ocean levels will not increase after 2018
    3) More volcanoes & earthquakes 2020-2030
    4) Historic volcanic erruption 2024-2028
    5) Starts warming again in 2140
    6) 2116 our inter-glacial ends (see you in 90,000 years)




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      1. For those who are puzzled by the above post, you’ll get it when you see the Budweiser commercial… the writer of that commercial is or should be an automatic member of the Commercial Hall Of Fame.




        1
    1. Global warming hoax is just a way for the globalist, communist, anti-American elements to bring down America by robbing her of her wealth.




      6
        1. The anti-American United Nations admitted just that. Climate change according to the UN is about global income “redistribution” not weather changes which are insignificant in the bigger scheme of things.

          “Climate change” (can’t call it “global warming” any more as there has been none in the last 20 years) is hotter, colder, wetter, dryer, more snow, less snow, more wind, less wind, more hurricanes,less hurricanes……..you name it and it is now blamed on what is really just normal weather variation when you look back hundreds of years.

          It snowed in Texas and Florida the last few days…………do we blame that on “global warming” and a higher CO2 level of 0.04%? Every prediction the global warming alarmists have made has been false.

          Climatology is a total bought and paid for by government “science.” It is as un-American as it gets!




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    2. I will take this comment on David Dilley from Tom Dayton on SkepticalScience.com:

      “The credibility of David Diller is low, given that he claims to be able to accurately predict ENSO events (El Nino & La Nina) and hurricanes four years in advance, yet does not show his past predictions versus the realities, despite him having been in his business for 25 years. He also claims to accurately predict earthquakes. And claims that in 2025 global temperatures will hit a catastrophically major low. And then there is this astonishingly wrong claim that a grade schooler could correct, but which apparently is a key basis for his predictions: “The gravitational cycles of the moon and sun cause the seasonal tilts of the earth’s axis and the 4 seasons.””

      https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?a=105&p=6

      You can look up the original comment with links there.




      1
  7. It’s a shame leaders of the Vegan community are all in for CO2 driven global warming. They are backing flimsy science and thereby hurting their credibility. I love Dr. Greger and Dr. McDougal but they need to back off this issue some.

    Methane exists in such minuscule amounts in the atmosphere that it must be measured in parts per billion ( not just million)..

    In order for CO2 to cause dangerous levels of warming ( as opposed to mild inconsequential levels) you must violate known physics.

    The only way for CO2 to cause dangerous warming is if it is amplified by water vapor which unlike CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas..That is the entire CO2 theory which has never focused on the DIRCET effects of CO2 but rather on the feedbacks…

    There is no evidence that water vapor has amplified CO2. The tell tale atmospheric signal was to be a Hot Spot 10 miles above the equator which never materialized.. The theory has failed. Add to this more than 15 years of no warming in the face of CO2 rising sharply and we can begin to turn off the Alarm bells and calls for drastic measures. 15 years of no warming was the time period designated by Climate Scinetists as the deadline for Anthropogenitc warming.. We are now closer to 23 years.

    If you still need people to believe CO2 is the culprit you must provide evidence of amplification or disprove the most basic properties known about CO2 and demonstrate that it is some sort of super duper molecule capable of dangerous warming by direct effect.. In other words, without amplification by water vapor, you must violate known physics and show CO2 is something much more than what is known.

    “Doubling CO2 involves a 2% perturbation to this budget. So do minor changes in clouds and other features, and such changes are common. In this complex multifactor system, what is the likelihood of the climate (which, itself, consists in many variables and not just globally averaged temperature anomaly) is controlled by this 2% perturbation in a single variable? Believing this is pretty close to believing in magic. Instead, you are told that it is believing in ‘science.’ Such a claim should be a tip-off that something is amiss. After all, science is a mode of inquiry rather than a belief structure.”
    “The accumulation of false and/or misleading claims is often referred to as the ‘overwhelming evidence’ for forthcoming catastrophe. Without these claims, one might legitimately ask whether there is any evidence at all.” MIT Professor of Physics, Richard Lindzen




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  8. Humans have lived with animals for a very long time. It’s the way animals are raised (industrial ag CAFO’s for example) that causes the problem. Animals raised humanly on small, local, diversified organic farms helps build soil fertility which in turn sequesters considerable CO2. You can’t consider a problem using a one-eye reductionist approach, but instead must look at it comprehensively, in a more wholistic context.
    I’m afraid Dr Gregor is a vegan ‘true believer’ stuck in a mire of narrowly defined ‘scientific’ studies.




    3
    1. @ron poitras: do you know what humane means?

      It means having or showing compassion or benevolence. The unnecessary exploitation, enslavement, abuse and murder of innocent sentient beings no matter how well you think they’re treated on a “small local organic farm” is not humane.




      9
  9. Dr Gregor wrote: It(Sustainability)’s such an important topic that I may review the new science once every year or two.

    I would welcome that. I find it helpful when you make peer-reviewed science accessible through your videos and blogs.




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  10. So, are the climate change deniers and the cholesterol deniers the same people??? Why don’t they troll alternativenutritionfacts.org??
    Just saying.




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    1. So, are the climate change believers and the cholesterol deniers the same people??? Why don’t they troll alternativenutritionfacts.org??
      Just saying.




      0
  11. I too have the highest regard for Dr. Greger’s (and Dr. McDougall’s) work and am personally grateful to them for pointing out and promoting a logical and well documented rationale for and pathway to a healthier diet.

    While acknowledging differences of opinion on global warming, I also agree with those who point out that trying to tie veganism to the global warming hoax decreases credibility in the eyes of those who seek truth in science. Global warming started before the end of the ice age. I for one am glad it did, and do not presume that human activity has been primarily responsible. Deliberate misrepresentation of climate data while ignoring substantial opposing scientific opinion has been documented. As best I can discern, global warming is more a well orchestrated politically motivated myth developed to justify globalism than a valid scientific reality.

    It has been said that a lie oft repeated becomes common ignorance accepted as ‘common knowledge’. I suppose there may be some real or perceived publicity or financial benefit in jumping on the promoted bandwagon of global warming. Nevertheless, I agree with those who comment that in terms of integrity and credibility, there seems more potential harm than good in linking the truth of the benefits of eating less meat with the deception of global warming.




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    1. Tom S, in the last sentence in your second paragraph, you appear to have made an error. You stated that (and I abbreviate) *climate change/global warming [is] a well orchestrated myth developed to justify globalism.* You didn’t actually mean to say that, right? As you would likely know, globalization is associated with increased and not reduced global warming. I politely ask you to reconsider/retract your thought that proponents of globalization could somehow benefit or be supported by proponents of global warming. It is illogical. Please see:
      https://www.alternet.org/story/71873/globalization_is_fueling_global_warming?amp




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      1. Judy, Thank you for your comment, which along with a subsequent comment by John points out how differently we, as thinking and apparently well meaning persons informed by different sources, can understand even the meaning of the word ‘globalism’. In a later comment John described globalism as: ‘the recognition that we all live on the same planet…same biosphere?’ In his sense globalism would seem to be a good thing.

        Your reference sites an article linking globalism with global warming, which presumably those who sound the alarm about global warming would see as a bad thing.

        Merriam Webster defines globalism as a national policy of treating the whole world as a proper sphere for political influence. In that sense whether this is a good or a bad thing is something subject to different opinions and potentially even different opinions by one person on different aspects. (For example- whether Israel or any nation or the UN should have the right to say what the capital of that nation is has recently been highlighted as a matter of differing opinion)

        Wikipedia defines globalism as a group of ideologies that advocate the concept of globalization. Globalization in Wikipedia is currently defined as simply the increasing interaction of people, states or countries through the growth of the international flow of money, ideas, and culture (again, likely something viewed by most as being a good thing).

        Conservapedia defines globalism as ‘the failed liberal authoritarian desire for a “one world” view that rejects the important role of nations in protecting values and encouraging productivity. Globalism is anti-American (and anti- every other soverign nation) in encouraging Americans to adopt a “world view” rather than an American view. The ultimate goal of globalism is the unification of humanity under a one world government.’ (Which many fear would lead to or come by one world Tyranny and therefore be a very dangerous and bad thing for humanity).

        So, in response to your post, I would reply that if I made an error it would have been in using the word globalism, which is subject to such widely differing interpretations.

        What I intended to convey in that remark was my concern (with which at least some others have agreed) that global warming theory is likely at least in part driven or manufactured by influences which seek to undermine national sovereignties, eventually leading to a one world government and potential global tyranny.

        There are so many compelling advantages in limiting meat consumption that it seems unnecessary to tie veganism (with demonstrated health advantages) to what many see as the questionable and at best disputed theory of global warming. I would say the same is true for the clear advantages of not polluting our air, water soils and foods – I for one to not need to feel threatened by global warming to be motivated to promote action in these important areas.




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    2. “As best I can discern, global warming is more a well orchestrated politically motivated myth developed to justify globalism than a valid scientific reality.”

      Global warming denialism is an attempt continue as is…for profit and power.

      Globalism is the recognition that we all live on the same planet…same biosphere?




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  12. Global warming is a political hoax. Look to al gore. He has become a multimillionaire using global warming as his tool to accumulate immense wealth at the expense of American citizens. Take a look at our food supply and george soros, and the toxic chemicals he and his cronies spray on our food, on our lawns (“round-up) and the power he and, again, his cronies have over the farmers in our great country. Please please do the research for yourself.. Get Enlightened.
    With Love, Compassion, Understanding and Peace.
    God Bless America!




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      1. What about diseases originating out of CAFOs and spread by having multiple animals in close proximity? Bird and swine flu come to mind. I’m sure more enlightened people can think of others. These are a threat to everyone’s life, whether you believe in climate change or not.




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  13. I lean towards believing that majority of scientific journals that are warning us about global warming and that dairy cattle contribute their share. I was organic vegan for 5 years partially motivated by same. But I have since learned that an ultra-low carb diet is the ONLY dietary change in 50 years of chronic migraine that has made a difference. Very difficult to eat low carb as a vegetarian or vegan. Very.
    Keep up the good work Dr. Gregor.




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      1. Escaping the oil part can be very challenging. They put oil in some of the frozen vegetables that you find in the grocery store. Of course, there is oil in salad dressing, so I eat my salads without oil. I am getting use to it now. But, any kind of vegetable that you order in a restaurant is going to have oil in it or at least cooked in oil in the skillet. And, if it’s not oil you have to be on guard for, it is fat, lard, and the such that they put into everything.




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  14. Taking a somewhat different track, I think we have no right to consume other life forms irrespective of any linkage to environment or otherwise. Food forms the bottom most level in human hierarchy of needs and this can be satisfied by various sources available.




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    1. Here is what lay at the heart of this entire post. You believe one thing and want to force it on the rest of us who don’t believe as you do. Everything eats something else. Even trees eat meat. Burry a man/Cow in a forest do trees stop growing? However your argument exemplifies how vegans want to force their beliefs on those who don’t believe. Sounds a bit like the church, or isis, or Islamist.




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      1. @David Armstrong:

        “However your argument exemplifies how vegans want to force their beliefs on those who don’t believe.”

        Hypocrite. You force your beliefs and choice on innocent sentient beings by eating them. You’re literally shoving your violent choice down your own throat. Wake up.




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  15. .
    READINGS FOR A SMALL PLANET
    .
    Thank you, Dr. Greger, for the fullest perspective on the impact of dietary practice around the world. What we humans do with the environment does matter– and often much more than we realize (until later).

    Ever since Frances Moore Lappe wrote Diet for a Small Planet, thoughtful people have realized the earth is not an unlimited, automatically self-correcting environment. As we trash the environment and pollute it, we trash and poison our own future– and our children.

    Lappe wrote several books in diet and its implications for public policy, all pointing out that famine and other disaster is not inevitable but the result of ignorant, selfish policy-making. As Dr. Greger notes, the environmental cost of animal agriculture is a massive multiple of what grain, vegetable and fruit agriculture requires, and imposes many additional costs in increased rates of disease, coupled with degradation of the natural environment. (Tell that to the friendly folks protesting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO agriculture) in the South and Southeast United States– they cannot wait to be rid of the stench and threat to their own health).

    As if to make her own thesis more explicit, Lappe wrote Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity, pointing out bad agricultural/economic policy can destroy our ability to provide enough food for the whole human population, and at a fraction of the cost of conventional, industrial means. This benevolent alternative future– “food self-reliance”– gets little attention in Washington, where a malevolent, monopolist corporate agriculture (read, Monsanto) is given a green light to draft our national food policy. Even as small farmers are driven off their own land by Monsanto litigation and congressionally-granted agricultural market dominance, we consumers must shift our food purchases to these same small farmers, making sure we (and our grocer-buyers) support the organic food-growing community in the market. We must also carry our own political advocacy forward, and actually make explicit demands on Washington policy-makers– all of whom claim they act in our name

    After Food First, Lappe (with daughter, Anna) wrote a compelling call to citizen consumer action in Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet, pointing out hope is not something we stumble upon, but hope is what we create by our own thoughtful commitment in ourselves and community/others.

    In her latest book, with co-author Jeffrey Perkins, Lappe argues for action– rather than be intimidated into silence by our doubt and fear, action has the power to create an entirely new world. As You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear makes clear change always begins with individuals and small groups, one victory at a time.




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    1. The editing tools provided by WordPress are primitive, at best. The post above (1) cannot be canceled by the poster, if problems occur and (2) we still have no ability at all to correct what is displayed.

      As it turns out, the post above had no more complex formatting than italics and bold over the book titles, and these format changes (both start bold and end bold, start italic and end italic) were provided through the blog comment module buttons, not placed “by hand”, so there should have been no problems at all.

      Forum moderator, please fix the comment edit functions, and pull the post above, so I can give re-posting another try tomorrow. Thanks– and, yes, I did make all the comment above both bold and italic..




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  16. I shall remain skeptical of this one. Don’t think the world was intended to hold 15 billion people. People seem more likely to be the problem. I’d almost bet concrete and asphalt has more to do with global warming than a few farm animals farting. I’m all for being healthier, eating food that nourishes our body, but when articles become what appears propaganda It’s a turn off.




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  17. It is sad that Dr. Gregor has (perhaps unintentionally) uncorked this one-up-manship battle of the videos and the back-and-forth over what, for some, is a belief/value system in search of affirming science.

    My belief is that opposing interpretations of scientific evidence will always be with us. Let views be stated. But the “tinfoil hat” type of comments are out of line.




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  18. The only way humans are going to stop eating animal protein is for a super volcano to erupt that would put the earth in an ice age like we have never seen before. Volcanoes have done this in the far distant past before, it could happen again. If the one over in Indonesia became a super volcano probably 90 percent of the human race would die from starvation. Many animals would also perish.




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    1. I’m all for cutting way back on animal protein , most of the world consumes way to much already .
      Your numbers taken from Cowspiracy no doubt leave a lot to be desired , they never really say how their numbers were calculated , so we need to take their word for it .
      Second point is there was 111,192,000 lb of cattle live weight in 1980 and the latest number from your own country Census is down more than 50% . You imply it is a bigger problem to day than in the past .
      3rd fact , there used to be 70 million buffalo roam america , they would have caused the same problem , don,t you think? Common sense can show who is lying .
      My new motto is “save the environment don’t use treadmill desks at work”




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      1. I was interested in your “common sense” note. Common sense is good, but in my opinion, if science shows that what we believe to be true and common sense proves not to be true, we should go with science.




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  19. CO2 is plant food. Without CO2 we all die. We are at dangerously low levels of CO2 ~ 400ppm. Below 300 ppm plants die and then we die. Indoor tomato growing facilities supplement CO2 at 1,500ppm. These facilities don’t burn to the ground they grow veg! CO2 is an essential building block of all carbon life forms i.e. plants and animals on this planet! CO2 is not and will never be pollution. Climate Change/Global Warming is a man-made myth to tax ignorant people and fund meaningless scientific studies as well as divert us from what is really important.

    I respect Dr G completely, but to even mention Global Warming/Climate Change on this website gives the hysteria credibility it does not deserve. Taxing carbon emissions to reduce global warming is like taxing water because it’s wet! The carbon cycle has been disrupted by humans! We need more CO2! The earth has survived CO2 levels at 1,000 ppm to 8,000 ppm when plants thrived producing an abundance of oxygen we have here today. If anyone wants to get excited about something… why not be worried about the dropping level of oxygen in our atmosphere? Now there is something to be concerned about!

    We humans create and dump chemicals into the air, land and waters without any hesitation or accountability. We “manage” and clear cut forests, plant mono-crops using only NPK synthetic fertilizers. We kill all life in soil(s) and plant lush green lawns in dirt and dump on chemical after chemical to keep the grass green and free of weeds. We enslave animals for their flesh to serve our taste buds. We use toxic “fertilizers” to grow mono crops. We then dump fertilizer by-products into our municipal waters to fight tooth decay! And, all these scientist are instead working tirelessly to defeat global warming? Why? Because it’s a buzz phrase that will get you money to Fund, Conduct and Perpetuate the myth to fund more studies! The more they bang this mythical drum the more money they get and the more fake studies are conducted until it grows legs. Mr. G just helped them grow legs by writing this article! Fighting over the various mythical studies merely helps it grow legs as well. Climate Change and Veganism are mutually exclusive.

    All you climate change believers are supporting a myth just like “Milk builds strong bones”, “Fluoride fights tooth decay”, “Cigarettes are healthy”, and “You need to consume meat to get your protein”. Stop listening to the conformational bias and start thinking for yourself! CO2 is not our enemy. It is the building blocks of life on earth and oxygen for us to exist. Fight pollution and stop these mythical drum beats of global warming! It’s fake news!

    We are blind to the truth as we destroy our world! I am PRO CO2 and Dr. G you should be too! Be Vegan !!!




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  20. I respect Dr G completely, but to even mention Global Warming/Climate Change on this website gives the hysteria credibility it does not deserve. Taxing carbon emissions to reduce global warming is like taxing water because it’s wet! The carbon cycle has been disrupted by humans! We need more CO2! The earth has survived CO2 levels at 1,000 ppm to 8,000 ppm when plants thrived producing an abundance of oxygen we have here today. If anyone wants to get excited about something… why not be worried about the dropping level of oxygen in our atmosphere? Now there is something to be concerned about!




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    1. No matter how much real science you show people refuting global warming, they will not accept it because they are pawns of the democratic party. Politics to most democrats is like religion. They believe everything that Nancy Pelosi, Obama, Clintons tell them as though it were the word of God. If Hillary Clinton says it…then it’s got to be true.




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      1. Global Warming is a myth. There is no real science behind it. Every prediction, every claim, every measurement and every assumption has been wrong. Global Warming is a theory which has no credible evidence. The earth is cooling. I am a Vegan and I am a republican. Pollution is real. CO2 is essential to life on this planet. We have disrupted the carbon cycle and everything we do is moving us closer to extinction! We need to work with nature and stop pounding nature into our vision of what it should be. GMOs, ChemTrails/Geo Engineering and man-made chemicals are destroying our planet.




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  21. We humans create and dump chemicals into the air, land and waters without any hesitation or accountability. We “manage” and clear cut forests, plant mono-crops using only NPK synthetic fertilizers. We kill all life in soil(s) and plant lush green lawns in dirt and dump on chemical after chemical to keep the grass green and free of weeds. We enslave animals for their flesh to serve our taste buds. We use toxic “fertilizers” to grow mono crops. We then dump fertilizer by-products into our municipal waters to fight tooth decay! And, all these scientist are instead working tirelessly to defeat global warming? Why? Because it’s a buzz phrase that will get you money to Fund, Conduct and Perpetuate the myth to fund more studies! The more they bang this mythical drum the more money they get and the more fake studies are conducted until it grows legs. Mr. G just helped them grow legs by writing this article! Fighting over the various mythical studies merely helps it grow legs as well. Climate Change and Veganism are mutually exclusive.




    1
    1. Rj……you bring out an interesting observation that I have never thought about in regards to the global warming debate. It’s not some mythical global warming that is going to kill life on earth, but it is all the chemical pollution, radioactivity and nuclear waste, desertification of the land, and all of the other man made activities of Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, and Big Industry that is going to harm life on earth and make the planet unlivable. You made a real obvious observation that everybody seems to overlook because there is no money to be made if we stopped monoculture agriculture methods.




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      1. I agree with you. It’s those things and more. Too many to list. You are on the right path. But, we need to stop using Climate Change/Global Warming buzz words as if they meant something. To me they are just another word for “TAX”.




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  22. All you climate change believers are supporting a myth just like “Milk builds strong bones”, “Fluoride fights tooth decay”, “Cigarettes are healthy”, and “You need to consume meat to get your protein”. Stop listening to the conformational bias and start thinking for yourself! CO2 is not our enemy. It is the building blocks of life on earth and oxygen for us to exist. Fight pollution and stop these mythical drum beats of global warming! It’s fake news!

    We are blind to the truth as we destroy our world! I am PRO CO2 and Dr. G you should be too! Be Vegan !!!




    1
  23. Thank you very much Dr. Greger for having the courage to address the incredibly important relationship between global warming and diet choices. I’m sure that you knew ahead of time that such a post would bring out the trolls and deniers in droves, and it looks like you won’t be disappointed! It is clear from numerous polls, however, that most of (even) the US population knows that climate change is real and driven by human causes, so please don’t be swayed by the comments on this page.

    From your work, I can see that you are no neophyte when it comes to following science in the face of opposition. Please continue to post on this vital topic– I have already bookmarked and forwarded this post, and look forward to doing so with many more! :-)




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    1. I’m sure that you knew ahead of time that such a post would bring out the trolls and deniers in droves, and it looks like you won’t be disappointed!

      S Barns PhD, You are giving fellow PhDs a bad name by associating deniers with a charged word like troll.

      We get what your opinion is, but you’ve also (probably) got a stinkin’ asshole. The PhD doesn’t add credence to your stinkin’ opinion.

      Just my 2 million Bolivars… you know, 2 Cents.




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    2. Many people will slander skeptics with terms like “Denier”, which is meant to sound like “Holocaust Denier” to stop debate and honest inquiry..

      The fact is that skeptics have a very good, evidence based case… Science is a mode of inquiry, not a belief system.




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  24. We eat mostly plants like other primates example Gorilla’s who don’t need meat for strength! Admittedly a couple portions 4 oz each of wild caught fish a week because of long term studies showing overall mortality health benefits. For more detail see “The China Study” by Cornell nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell and many other sources such as primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall. Feel great, exercise most days, good weight.




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