Author Topic: Should the world phase out (or at least massively reduce) meat-eating?  (Read 1027 times)

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Online arthwollipot

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I doubt anyone, (reasonably), would object to wild rabbits being on the menu. Cutting down their numbers, even to zero, would only be a positive for this country.

My grandmother made rabbit stew once. The smell was so foul that I couldn't go into the house for hours.
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Offline lonely moa

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We meat eaters could still eat the meat of animals that are culled. No need to go full vegetarian.

Millions of kangaroos, wallabies, and wild non-native species like goats, pigs & camels are killed each year in Australia. It could be a lucrative business in the future.

I doubt anyone, (reasonably), would object to wild rabbits being on the menu. Cutting down their numbers, even to zero, would only be a positive for this country.

Deer, thar, chamois, pigs and wallabies fit the bill in Aotearoa, as well as those bloody bunnies.  Mind you, shooting a couple of cattlebeasts and lambs every so often works a treat. 
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Offline Tassie Dave

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I doubt anyone, (reasonably), would object to wild rabbits being on the menu. Cutting down their numbers, even to zero, would only be a positive for this country.

My grandmother made rabbit stew once. The smell was so foul that I couldn't go into the house for hours.

Mutton Bird (short-tailed shearwaters) being cooked is worse. The smell lingers for weeks. My mother refused to cook them. She'd buy them pre-cooked, but never raw. They are a very oily flavoured bird.

Rabbit was a treat when I was growing up in the 60s and 70s. We rarely could get it.

Offline mindme

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The problem is that doing so would reduce all but the wealthiest in society to the kind of poverty not seen in western countries since around WW1.

I'm not so sure building life cycle costs into everything would have that effect. Paying an extra $25 for a $500 computer you may hang on to for 5 years isn't going to put a computer out of the reach of poor people that can still afford $500. Making beef $10/lbs instead of $5/lbs will. A world where people can't write resumes and apply for jobs is bad. A world where poor people can't eat gobs of beef isn't much of a concern. It's like saying why don't poor people have access to affordable sushi and $7 Starbucks beverages?

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Offline Harry Black

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My point is that if we make it so that there is a real deterrent from eating meat, it will make it unaffordable to normal people.
If we do the same for electronic devices that use up precious metalsmith (and why wouldn't we?) It creates an unaffordable, two tiered society.
Otherwise its just a gimmick policy.

Whats the carbon footprint of lab grown meat btw? Im nkt sure that is a great solution?

Offline lonely moa

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There are a lot of humans in less developed areas that depend on meat (and dairy) for their main sustenance.  The don't have the cash to spend on imported food products.  Their sheep, goats and cattle prosper and land unsuited to agriculture.
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Offline daniel1948

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My point is that if we make it so that there is a real deterrent from eating meat, it will make it unaffordable to normal people.

We already have a two-tiered economic system that makes many essentials unaffordable to poor people. Housing, medical care, education, etc. Why shouldn't we do the same with something that's an environmental disaster and a public health epidemic?

The point is that rather than keeping meat cheap so that poor people can participate in environmental destruction as much as rich people, we need to change our economic system so that everybody has enough money for all the essentials plus enough extra to be able to afford some enjoyable things that make life worth living. And jack the price of meat and carbon through the roof so that people who really want to spend some of their disposable income on those things can, but as a society we will overwhelmingly choose more responsible alternatives.
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Offline stands2reason

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We shouldn't pick and choose things that we think of as being more or less efficient just because contingency makes them more or less efficient right now. The whole point is that we are taxing the externalities, in and of themselves, and let the market sort it out. We should never tax a sector or product in general, instead tax the specific externalities.

The best example I can think of is gas vs diesel taxes in some EU countries. Diesel is typically taxed lower than gasoline, because diesel engines typically have a higher thermal efficiency. Those policies were set up more than a decade ago, before gas direct injection and valve-timing technology. Now, a passenger-car-sized modern gas engine has basically the same efficiency as a similarly sized diesel (for larger vehicles, from trucks to cargo ships, diesel engines still scale much better with size). But, now it sounds like diesel isn't good because it releases more pollution other than CO2. So, now we should arbitrarily decide to tax diesel higher, because it typically results in dirtier exhaust? Of course not, because then there's no incentive to develop a better diesel exhaust catalytic converter.

My point is that if we make it so that there is a real deterrent from eating meat, it will make it unaffordable to normal people.

There shouldn't be a tax on meat, per se. There should be taxes on the environmental impact of meat that should also apply to everything else. The first step would be a carbon tax. Once in place, that is already factored into the energy used. Greehouse gas emissions in general would include ruminant flatulence, but then it also includes natural gas that leaks out of oil wells.

Offline John Albert

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I could support a luxury tax on meat, if the revenue went toward developing green energy and sustainable alternate food sources.

Offline Ah.hell

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I agree with stands2reason's last post and totally disagree with John Albert's last post. Almost entirely because "green energy" and "sustainable" food will be what ever the politicians decide it is rather than any remotely objective standards.  There's plenty of explanations for why merely taxing the externality is better.  Mostly it amounts to letting the wisdom of the crowd find the better solution rather than dumping money on tech that may or may not pan out.

Also, you don't need to "jack the price through the roof".  Even marginal increases on the prices of things to reflect the externalities will have a substantial impact.  A marginal increase in the cost of beef will mean that 300 million people in the US will eat marginally less beef which will have a substantial impact.


Offline John Albert

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"green energy" and "sustainable" food will be what ever the politicians decide it is rather than any remotely objective standards.  There's plenty of explanations for why merely taxing the externality is better.  Mostly it amounts to letting the wisdom of the crowd find the better solution rather than dumping money on tech that may or may not pan out.

Who says the standards won't be objective? Maybe the legislation is worded in such a way as to mandate that objective standards be used. The revenues should be used to subsidize demonstrably efficient solutions, not just "dumping money on tech."

So you object to subsidizing beneficial tech because you don't trust government to make those kinds of decisions?

I don't trust the "wisdom of the crowd" for open-ended questions. That's just an idiom for free market evangelism. Decisions like which tech to subsidize need to be made by experts who don't have a financial interest in promoting one solution over another.

« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 02:05:18 PM by John Albert »

Offline Harry Black

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Has the wisdom of crowds been objectively measured to say its worth trusting?
Gods and markets are two things I dont have faith in to help solve my problems.

Offline John Albert

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It's been pretty consistently shown that when answering a question with a knowable, numerical answer, the average of crowd-sourced guesses have consistently proven to be statistically better than answers from individual guessers.

It has not proven a reliable technique for answering open-ended questions like, "what is this summer's best movie?" or "how can service be improved?" or, "what is the most viable technology for sustainable renewable energy?"

Offline werecow

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Has the wisdom of crowds been objectively measured to say its worth trusting?
Gods and markets are two things I dont have faith in to help solve my problems.

Somewhat related: in machine learning we sometimes do ensemble modelling, where rather than training one big model on a huge dataset, we combine the predictions of many weaker models, trained on subsets of the dataset instead. This tends to work best when the models have a weak bias and large variance, i.e. there is a large diversity among the models that make up the ensemble.
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Offline The Latinist

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I recently saw a YouTube video that said that wealth distribution could be accurately modeled by the assumption that everyone started with the same amount of money and then exchanged random amounts with everyone they encountered.
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