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Sandy caused by us

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Frankenstorm Sandy is one more dramatic demonstration that climate change and its extreme weather patterns are now part of our future.

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Although we’re unlikely to reverse climate change, we can still mitigate its effects by reducing our driving, our energy use, and our meat consumption.

Yes, meat consumption. A 2006 U.N. report estimated that meat cosumption accounts for 18 percent of man-made greenhouse gases. A 2009 article in the respected World Watch magazine suggested that it may be closer to 50 percent.

Carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to confine, feed, transport, and slaughter animals and to refrigerate their carcasses. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

We have the power of reducing the devastating effects of climate change every time we eat. Our local supermarket offers a rich variety of soy-based lunch “meats,” hotdogs, veggie burgers, soy and nut-based dairy products (including cheese and ice cream), and an ample selection of traditional vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts. Product lists, easy recipes, and transition tips are available at www.livevegan.org.

Brad Benedict

Brainerd

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Sarah Nelson
Sarah Nelson joined the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2010 and works as a online reporter, content editor and staff writer. She is a world traveler, accused idealist and California native now braving the winters of Central Minnesota. She believes in the power of human resolve and hopes to be part of something that makes history by bringing an end to injustice in the world. Sarah has worked as a criminal background researcher, high school civics teacher, grant writer, and contributing writer with Causecast.org — tackling every issue from global poverty to bio-degradable bicycles. Her favorite thing about living in Minnesota is July. Sarah left the Brainerd Dispatch in April 2014.
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