How to Reduce the Climate Impact of Food: Increase Quality of Life

Chris Newman
10 min readNov 5, 2022
It’s not your fault, buddy. (image via BBC)

So, I made this short video below awhile back on TikTok, which summoned the wrath of vegans, as the things I say often do:

The video explains that animal agriculture is a significant, but not “main,” driver of climate change, which drew the ire of vegan commenters who, per usual, give the energy industry a pass in favor of blaming and shaming regular people. Their argument: people are just gonna have to give up meat if they want to save the planet.

But here’s the thing…

Ever noticed that improvements in the stock market are almost always portrayed as a good thing in the media? We’re conditioned to believe that rising stock prices, growing earnings, and higher productivity are categorically good despite the fact that they rarely have any meaningful impact on regular, working people.

Have you also noticed, though, that improvements in the conditions of the working class are portrayed as nefarious? For example:

  • Cheap and easily exploited labor has become harder to come by over the last couple of years. But instead of being celebrated, this phenomenon is being blamed for historic levels of inflation (even though that inflation can easily be tied to price gouging and corporate monopolies)
  • As reparations and socialistic programs have opened e.g. China and India to global markets, the resulting increase in their standard of living is listed as a leading driver of global climate change.

The latter point is particularly true when it comes to the consumption of meat. Reductions in global poverty mean that people are no longer forced to subsist on starvation rations of basic staples like rice and cassava, and one of the first luxuries they turn to…

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Chris Newman

Building a new, accessible, open, and democratic food economy in the Chesapeake Bay region @ Sylvanaqua Farms