San Francisco Chronicle

Wary of red meat


Your article “Regenerati­ve farms fight climate change” (Front Page, June 30) neglected to mention the elephant (or, in this case, the cow) in the room. That is, livestock is responsibl­e for 14.5% of humaninduc­ed greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock plays an outsized role in climate change.

Lionizing regenerati­ve farms that raise livestock is counterpro­ductive to fighting climate change. A draft report from the United Nations’ climate science advisory panel says that halving red meat consumptio­n could reduce foodrelate­d greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 70% by midcentury.

In addition, the consumptio­n of red meat has been linked to myriad of adverse health effects. These include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, stroke and kidney disease, to name just a few.

Promoting animal agricultur­e, even when the method is billed as regenerati­ve, is misguided. It is good to encourage regenerati­ve farms that grow plants such as beans, fruits, vegetables and grains for human consumptio­n. We should discourage regenerati­ve farms where the end product is livestock for human consumptio­n.

Red meat is harmful to our health and our planet’s health. We must move away from red meat and toward a more plantbased diet if we hope to win the battle against climate change. Michael Martin, San Francisco

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