Posted: October 18, 2011
Yesterday, like most Mondays, tweets linking to vegetarian recipes and reminders of “Meatless Mondays” littered the screen. Armchair activists urged their online minions to help save the planet from either incinerating or freezing by simply selecting meat-free options weekly on a day designated solely due to a public love of alliteration. Like clockwork, retweets of the original musings of the more prominent easy-fix promoters added to the cacophony. If logging off were an option, it would have been appealing.
With a fight or flight response in overdrive, an article suddenly appeared. The hashtags seemed to match the ongoing conversation, but the link carried a significantly more scientific, sensible message. Simply, demonizing specific foods or taking one action cannot and will not save the planet. People need to develop an actual understanding of the real consequences each of their choices have and then act in an informed manner.
Written by Dr. Judith Capper, an assistant professor of Dairy Science at Washington State University, the article looks at how, because no one took the time to look at the studies for indications that eating meat on Mondays can make a key impact on climate change, an industry that produces an affordable, quality food option which the majority of Americans enjoy comes off on social media as providing a socially irresponsible product.
This week, take back the Twitterverse. Spread the word that no one should base decisions on 140 characters or less. Maligning an entire industry based upon misinformation propagated due to laziness is socially irresponsible. Send out the aforementioned link and promote real science. Take a moment to ask for credible, current information on the environmental impact of livestock production.