India served a challenge to the US this week. Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh told the US if it wants to get serious about environmental emissions if needs to stop eating so much beef. An American is the biggest beef consumer, eating 25% more than Europeans. However, Ramesh is not so concerned about depletion of forest to create grazing land for cattle, the inefficiency of how cattle consume more food stuffs than they produce, or even the health impacts of the feed additives frequently given to cattle. No, Ramesh is far more concerned with cattle’s’ other primary output, namely methane.
The environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, said if the world abandoned beef consumption, emissions would be dramatically reduced and global warming would slow down.
“The solution to cut emissions is to stop eating beef. It leads to emission of methane which is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide,” he said.
His comments follow a call last month by Lord Stern, the author of a British Government study on climate change, for people to give up eating meat to reduce emissions. “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases,” said Lord Stern. “It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.”
Hindus are forbidden to eat beef and India has more vegetarians than any other country in the world। More than 30 per cent of its 1.1 billion people do not eat meat at all.
Give up beef, says जयराम rअमेस
New Delhi: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday urged people across the world to give up, or at least reduce, their beef consumption to bring down methane emissions. “Some people think this is a joke. But I am saying it very seriously. If people across the world give up eating beef, methane emissions would come down drastically,” Ramesh said at a function here. “What India has going for it is the fact that we are not a major beef eating nation,” Ramesh added. एनस
Pachauri backs Jairam on issue of beef eaटिंग
New Delhi, Nov 20 (PTI) The views of Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh that beef consumption leads to emissions today got the backing of noted environmentalist R K Pachauri।"If you count the emission associated with beef production, it is huge," Pachauri, who is Director General of The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) and Chairman of the Inter-governmental Panel of Climate Change, told reporters.Huge pasture land is required for meat production and at times the forest resource is denuded to make it pasture land. The cattle are given food grain which is produced by using chemical fertilisers and pesticides, Pachauri explained."Then the meat has to be refrigerated and transported.It is an international industry. It is kept in refrigerators in outlets. The whole process involves huge green house gas emissions," he said.
Stop Eating Beef to Avoid Climate Change: रमेश
No, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, a vegetarian himself, was not invoking any ancient Hindu scriptures, but what he said would certainly warm the cockles of those hearts who consider eating beef an anathema.Citing measures for developed countries to cut carbon emissions, he said, "It has been seen that developed countries which eat beef have the maximum amount of emissions. They can cut down on emissions, if they stop eating beef.""The single-most important cause of emissions is eating beef,” Ramesh said. “My formula is stop eating beef. This would stop the emission of [large amounts of] methane.”
“You may laugh at it. But the solution to cut emissions is to stop eating beef. It leads to emission of methane (CH4) that is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. But the best thing for us, India, is we are not a beef-eating nation,” the minister went on to add.
He was speaking after the release of the United Nation’s Population Fund’s (UNFPA) report: State of World Population 2009 — Facing A Changing World: Women, Population and Climate. While Ramesh quoted a number of studies — and global climate change expert R.K. Pachauri — to support his view, the issue has been debated for years.
Last year, a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation study found that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions — emissions that are causing temperatures to rise, causing erratic rainfall, higher sea levels and stronger storm events.
On the flip side, many scientists argue that meat-eating is good for the environment because it eliminates animals whose manure emits methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent in the global warming scenario than carbon dioxide.
Ramesh’s comments throw the ball back in the court of the developed world a fortnight ahead of the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen. Asking Indians not to expect much from the climate change conference in Copenhagen, Ramesh said the government would follow a "twin track" approach of not binding itself to any global agreement but at the same time putting in place "ruthless" measures to cut emissions on the domestic front."You should not have too many expectations from the Copenhagen summit. It looks like the negotiations would continue," he said here releasing a United Nations report on population."It seems there is a long haul before we arrive at an international commitment," Ramesh added.