The Agriculture Department is set to issue new diet guidelines to Americans. But, this time, it may incorporate environmentalist dogma into the mix. According to the Associated Press:
A panel that advises the Agriculture Department appears set to recommend that you be told not only what foods are better for your own health, but also for the environment. That means that when the latest version of the government's dietary guidelines comes out, it may push even harder than it has in recent years for people to choose more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and other plant-based foods — at the expense of meat.
An approving New Jersey Star-Ledger even went so far as to assert that the good of the environment takes precedence over human nutritional health and life’s little pleasures:
Americans still consume more beef than the citizens of nearly any other country in the world — and if they worry about this at all, it’s usually just for the sake of their own arteries.
But never mind coronary heart disease. Whether or not you drop dead from eating too much red meat, your double burger is ruining the planet for the rest of us.
Yes, never mind!
As the AP notes, “The beef and agriculture industries are crying foul, saying an environmental agenda has no place in what has always been a practical blueprint for a healthy lifestyle.” But the logical consequences of the environmental agenda demands that that agenda make its way into every area of human activity. In response to the meat industry’s criticism of the Agriculture Department’s dive into the environmental issue, the Star-Ledger wrote, “Nonsense. It makes perfect sense for them to consider the environmental impact of beef, which also affects the health of humans on earth.”
The “effects” the Star-Ledger fears are “Cow burps, flatulence and defecations [because they] are laced with methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.”
But what is it about the environmentalist agenda that enables it to attach, like an infectious parasite, to so many areas of our lives? I left these comments:
The new War on Beef highlights the fundamental moral conflict we face. Environmentalists believe human impact on the natural world, including climate, is inherently bad and should be minimized, because their standard of value is non-impact on the Earth. The opposite moral premise is; human life as the standard of value.
Consider what’s at stake in this conflict. Human beings survive and thrive precisely by impacting—altering—the Earth. The whole history of industrial and technological progress is about human beings improving the planet for human habitation and flourishing. The result has overwhelmingly been a vast improvement in the human condition on Earth. On a pro-human life standard of value, this is good because we’ve transformed a dangerous natural world into a safer and healthier one. But on the environmentalist non-impact premise, all of this human progress is immoral because it resulted in altering the natural state of the environment.
So, it’s no surprise that environmentalists now want to sacrifice our nutritional health to their god—“pristine” nature. Never mind that less beef may be healthier for some overeaters. That is not the point. That’s only a throw-in to make their deeper agenda more digestible. “Never mind coronary heart disease. Your double burger is ruining the planet.” That’s the real point. Environmentalists once championed natgas because it’s cleaner than coal. Now that natgas is plentiful and starting to replace coal for electricity generation, the environmentalists want to stop natgas. Likewise, with the attack on beef. Once they’ve demonized beef, why wouldn’t pork and chicken be next? Why not plants? Modern agriculture requires the use of massive amounts of fossil fuels. Once we’ve accepted the premise that “saving the Earth” from human impact takes precedence over our diet, anything goes. On the environmentalists premise, there is rationally nothing humans shouldn’t ultimately be stopped from eating if it impacts nature. And why stop at food? Everything we humans do short of dying impacts (“ruins”) the Earth. By environmentalists’ standards, we shouldn’t just feel guilty for enjoying a hamburger. We should feel guilty for living. Life is guilt.
But life is not guilt. To stop the federal food nazis, we must reject the basic environmentalist premise. There’s nothing wrong with impacting the natural world to human benefit. It’s a good and necessary thing. This includes climate. Climate change is not the threat. Environmentalists since the New Left 1960s have been predicting climate catastrophe—and have been nothing but spectacularly wrong. Climate danger is and always has been the big threat to people. And whether it’s storms, too much rain, too little rain, heat, cold, snow, wind—you name it, humans have never been more protected from climate dangers. Extreme weather-related deaths worldwide have declined 98% over the past century, the era of global warming. Why? Because humans changed the Earth for the better.
The environmentalists mantra “save the Earth” really means “save the Earth from human progress.” Environmentalism is fundamentally anti-human life; and so is the War on Beef. Environmentalists, not hamburger eaters, want to ruin the planet—by progressively reducing it to its natural state.
I think I’ll treat my wife and I to a nice juicy, guilt-free double-burger at our local Five Guys tonight—to save the planet.
Earth Day: The "Anti-Industrial Revolution"