climate change

Stop Blaming Meat Eaters

Jennings Oil fire in 1902

Being gluten free, vegan, and vegetarian is not only what some people do to survive, but is seen as morally appropriate based on environmental degradation. People have done everything from throwing blood on fur coats to publicly shaming people to deter the consumption of meat and animal products. So many of these dietary divas have patted themselves, while simultaneously looking shocked that their movements fail to draw people of color. It is, of course, impossible to go to fastfood establishments where people of color often work and socialize; no, they are too pure to debase themselves in that way.

To this end, I should disclose that I have sickle cell trait; not the full issue, just the trait. I used to give platelets, and even taking three, count ’em, three iron pills a day, there were still times when there was not enough iron in my blood to give platelets. As a universal platelet donor, I felt badly whenever that happened, but I was also unable to afford meat at the time, let alone red meat. When I got a little money, I was able to afford to get some red meat, and low and behold, I was able to donate platelets again. Even eating all the spinach, chard, beet greens, etc. did not produce enough iron so that I could help people avoid cancer.

When the Amazon fire was revealed, as well as the fires in Siberia and Alaska, everyone was quick to point out how ranchers had been linked to the fires. No one was focusing on the mining that was done. How about the fact that the fog of the Smoky Mountains is dissipating because people refuse to stop developing the canopy of the mountain range? Now traffic and smog are going to take over the ecosystem due to real estate consumption. Interestingly enough, the real estate industry, the ranching industry, and the mining industry all run one fuel source: oil. All the cranes to fell the trees, the cars used to commute to the sites, and the tractors used to clear the lands rely on the oil industry to sustain them. Oil is responsible for most environmental degradation, so much so that the oil lobby has bought and paid for the government of the United States, the worst environmental offender.

Eating meat is not the main problem in for environmental degradation; oil is, and has always been. Using oil destroys ecosystems and nations, and has produced some of the worst human rights violations throughout history. There is no reason why people have refused to invest research and development in alternative fuels other than oil money. Food is not the only reason there are fires all over the planet. Many of them were set so that people could have access to and exploit oil as a resource. It is time to stop demonizing the working poor who are given no time to cook, no land to garden, and no money to afford produce. Stop it.

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