A Giant And An Oil Co. Ask Us To Stop Eating Meat

A 7-footer you’ve never heard of has joined with an oil company in a campaign to tell the Twitter world not to eat meat in order to save the planet. You can’t make this up!
A 7-footer you’ve never heard of has joined with an oil company in a campaign to tell the Twitter world not to eat meat in order to save the planet. You can’t make this up!
(FJM)

“Who says meat has to come from animals?”

That’s the marketing strategy behind Beyond Meat, the plant-based burger startup now available in thousands of retail stores coast-to-coast. But calling ground soy or pea protein meat is not nearly as offensive as Beyond Meat’s next claim.

“Building meat without the animal requires fewer resources, making it a much more efficient and sustainable process.”

If you were raised on a ranch or around a feedlot, you’ll likely dispute that claim. But what if you’re, oh…let’s say, a 7-foot, 21-year-old from Vantaa, Finland? Lauri Markkanen is that person, and he has just announced he’s given up red meat “as a concrete step towards minimizing my personal carbon footprint.”

Markkanen announced on Twitter in November that he’s calling on his followers to make a difference by making “sustainable choices.” Apparently, Markkanen doesn’t know about beef’s sustainability.

Okay, so a giant from northern Europe doesn’t eat beef, why should you care? First, because, as the winner of the genetic lottery, Markkanen pulls down a cool $4 million plus per year playing basketball for the Chicago Bulls. And, he has nearly 100,000 Twitter followers, most of whom are likely millennials and most of whom probably can’t tell the difference between a cow and a bull. In other words, shorter, clumsier versions of Lauri Markkanen.

Claiming he wants to “inspire everyone to commit to sustainable choices,” Markkanen has partnered with Neste in this public relations campaign. Not familiar with Neste? It’s a Finnish oil refining and engineering company.

You read that right. A 7-footer you’ve never heard of has joined with an oil company in a campaign to tell the Twitter world not to eat meat in order to save the planet. You can’t make this up!

But we can fight back with truth, like the fact U.S. cattlemen are producing roughly the same amount of beef today as in 1977 with one-third fewer cattle. And that fewer cattle mean less emissions.

One of the best sources of science-based facts about beef, and a champion of the livestock industries, is University of California, Davis, professor Frank Mitloehner, who says it is “demonstrably wrong” when activists claim meat production generates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector.

Mitloehner’s work at UC Davis focuses on ways in which animal agriculture affects air quality and climate change. He says that if Americans eliminated all animal protein from their diets they would reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by only 2.6 percent. According his research at UC Davis, “if the practice of Meatless Monday were to be adopted by all Americans, we’d see a reduction of only 0.5 percent.”

Markkanen’s attempt to encourage environmental awareness is admirable. His efforts would have more impact if he were to direct his Twitter followers to the science-based observations of Dr. Mitloehner, on Twitter @GHGGuru.

Related content:

Traceability Critical To Romane Outbreak

Felony Charges For Liberating Chickens

 

 

Latest News

Tyson Announces Support for U.S. CattleTrace

Beef industry efforts to develop a voluntary animal traceability system gained significant traction today as Tyson Fresh Meats becomes the first beef processor to invest in membership to U.S. CattleTrace.

BT_Red_Angus_Bulls
Bull Breeding Soundness Evaluations

Before bulls are turned out this spring a complete breeding soundness evaluation (BSE) should be conducted by a veterinarian, including a physical examination, reproductive tract examination, and semen evaluation.

Mushrush_Argentina_Heifers
Keeping the First Calf Heifers on Track

Heifers conceiving early in their first breeding season will have increased lifetime production and efficiency. It is critical heifers attain enough weight to initiate their first estrous before the onset of breeding.

Stepped-Up Basis Repeal Would Be Detrimental to Ranches

Study says this tax increase, whether via tax at death or carryover of basis, will have negative impacts on family-owned businesses, US gross domestic product, and job creation both in the immediate and long term.

Nutrition Communications Workshop in Iowa

The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) recently hosted a nutrition communications workshop for dietetic graduate students enrolled in the University of Iowa’s Master of Clinical Nutrition Program.

Wendy's Corporate Responsibility Efforts and New Goals

Wendy's will focus on responsible sourcing, sustainable packaging, greenhouse gas reduction and increasing diversity within its leadership, management, and franchisees.