Sustainability of Berkeley butcher shop debated

Sustainable butcher shop article omits important factors

The article on sustainable meat leaves out critical information.  While “sustainably raised” meat is better than factory farmed meat, it is hardly a “win-win-win.” Beef is the worst product for the environment, sustainably raised or not, because cows produce so much methane. The article also declines to mention where the animals are slaughtered. Industrial slaughtering causes terrible suffering for both animals and workers.  People must be able to consider all of the implications of meat production before deciding how much (if any) to consume.

— Katie Cantrell, 2009 UC Berkeley alumna

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The realities of “sustainable meat” and environmental responsibility

Regarding Mary Susman’s article about the opening of a new butchery in Berkeley outlining the supposed benefits of buying and eating meat from local “sustainable ranches” to promote environmental responsibility and stewardship, I am compelled to respond to these claims with facts about the real impacts of meat production and consumption on the environmental and moral fabric of our planet.

The article quotes one of the store owners, who states that “It’s really irresponsible to eat meat that’s raised in a way that’s not responsible for the environment” and while I can appreciate their sentiments to be ecologically conscious, the fact remains that raising animals for meat production is responsible for more greenhouse gases, freshwater pollution, topsoil depletion, deforestation and habitat loss than all other human activities. Indeed, according to a 2006 United Nation’s report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow” raising animals for food contributes nearly 18% of all human induced greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this ecological devastation, even when raised under so called “humane” conditions these animals are subjected to unconscionable pain and suffering, despite the labels which suggest otherwise.

Eliminating animal-products from your diet would be an integral and powerful step towards fostering ethical, sustainable and responsible relationships with animals, both human and non-human alike, and our beautiful planet.

— Mansheel Singh, Berkeley resident and animal rights advocate

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