How to eat meat — and care about the environment, too

If you eat meat, does that mean you don’t care about the environment? Does it mean you are selfish or in denial about climate change or its potential impact on your children or grandchildren?

No, not at all. Shaming meat eaters by suggesting that they do not care about the environment is a common but overly-simplistic way to look at a complex, nuanced issue, says Dr. Bret Scher, Medical Director of Diet Doctor. 

“This is obviously such an important topic,” said Dr. Scher. “So it’s important to try to be a voice of reason in this field.”

In his recent DD news video, Dr. Scher delves into the details around the controversial topic of meat and the environment.

He notes that recent polls show that 40% of people in the US wrongly believe that animal agriculture is the top emitter of greenhouse gases. However, the Environmental Protection Agency website shows that agriculture as a sector contributes just 10% of all greenhouse gases. Other sectors such as transportation (29%), electricity generation (25%), industry (23%), and commercial and residential heating (13%) each contribute more.

“When you break up agriculture, animal livestock makes up only 4% of the total emitters in the United States with the rest [coming from] the use of fertilizer, growing rice, growing crops,” Dr. Scher notes. “So 40% of people think animal agriculture is the number one greenhouse gas emitter when it’s really just 4% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the US. That shows the strength of a reductionist, incorrect narrative, which is unfortunate.”

If you care about this topic, be sure to watch Dr. Scher’s 20-minute, in-depth video on the issue. As Dr. Scher notes, setting the record straight on emissions doesn’t mean we cannot produce our animal products in a way that is better for the animals, our health, and the planet. We can improve. This evolution can include regenerative agricultural practices that maintain soil health, store carbon in the ground, and reduce methane emissions. 

In the past, Diet Doctor has also published a three-part series on “The green keto meat eater” that delves into this controversial topic with more detail and evidence-based links.

Diet Doctor: The green keto meat eater: Part 1

Also last week, Dr. Scher recorded a news video about whether it is necessary for health and nutrition for everyone to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Click through for more information:

Diet Doctor news video: Do you need to eat fruits and vegetables?

If you are interested in reading more about the role of fruits and vegetables in healthy diets, read our evidence-based guide.

Diet Doctor: Do you need to eat fruits and vegetables to be healthy?

Each week, Dr. Scher creates two or three videos that review relevant or interesting scientific studies or controversial topics in the fields of nutrition, exercise, health, or disease. He carefully analyses the evidence, or researchers’ methods and findings. In doing so, he helps you better understand how to judge the quality of research and make informed decisions about your own health and wellness. 

You can find more of Dr. Scher’s news videos on the Diet Doctor Youtube Channel. Subscribe to the feed so that you don’t miss any of his videos.

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For more on how what can affect your insulin resistance, please check out our other guides:

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