View Full Version : Which is better - meat free or car free?

09-11-2007, 11:18 PM
So a discussion came up with a few friends regarding what helps the planet more, car-freedom or a meat-free diet.
So this is a discussion comparing the effects of auto use and a meat-free diet. I live both a car-free lifestyle AND a meat-free lifestyle.
If you look at car-freedom (http://www.bikesatwork.com/carfree/automobiles-and-environment.html) you not only eliminate Carbon Dioxide and Carbon Monoxide emissions (toxic to both the climate and the human body) you also prevent road rage, pedestrian terror, supporting hostile countries, the paving of the landscape, emergency services, social detachment, etc.
If you look at a meat-free diet (http://www.edie.net/news/news_story.asp?id=10219&channel=6) you eliminate the massive amount of fuel used to raise animals, the destruction of topsoil (mentioned above but which also happens in non-organic farming of vegetables), the damage to the human body, health care costs, toxic waste from concentrated animal waste, etc.
So my question is which is more beneficial to the world as a whole.
Thus far my conclusion is that car ownership has more effect on the human race (with exceptions) in terms of social separation and pollution while meat consumption is more destructive to the animal kingdom. I wont make a distinction between which is more important, since I think both are.
Your comments are welcome:rolleyes:

09-12-2007, 07:31 PM
although i don't agree with some of your points. One statement you made was, living car free eliminates emergency services. How is that possible, because you don't drive means you will never need emergency services. No firefighters, paramedics, police, atf, fbi, border patrol, etc..

And as a meat eater, i don't believe farming is harmful to society. The Human Race has been farming and hunting since the beginning of time. God intended us to eat meat.

I don't care what people choose to eat, its their own choice.

09-13-2007, 12:02 PM
I think a mass extinction of the human race would help best, but I don't want to be be the first volunteer! I am not sure that if you eliminate cars you are going to eliminate road rage ( that would turn into bike rage), pedestrian terror ( ask a pedestrian using the Hawthorn Bridge during commute hours), and as far as paving; my road bike will never touch gravel if at all possible as long as I pay taxes and live in a modern society. You are still going to need roads for infrastructure support and emergency services,transportation of goods and services, getting the produce to the inner cities safely and efficiently.

I personally believe that part of the answer to helping the earth would be if people could live closer to their work, their schools, and the services they rely on thereby their dependence on cars would lessen. Suburbia has destroyed the village lifestyle and spread us out farther away from things, and people we rely on.

As far as meat. I eat meat. I don't think it's the ideal of eating meat that is bad, I just think it's the amount that we eat is. No disrespect to BikerNE, but saying god intended us to eat meat is a bit shrill, I think human nature intends us to eat meat. You eat whats there. All you have to do is look back 300 years and look at what the Native Americans ate and that is probably close to our human needs. They live in a very fertile, vegitative land and they also ate meat, fish, foul. Tell an Inuit that he should change his diet to help the earth??
But as far as livestock practices in this country I believe you are right. There are better ways to do it without causing as much destruction.

Blah.Blah blah

09-13-2007, 12:19 PM
Both. I'm free of neither, but close on both counts.

09-16-2007, 10:26 PM
You have all brought up some good points. So here is an addendum to the origional post. I believe that it was a mistake to use the term 'eliminate' since nothing is concrete. Bicycle use does not eliminate carbon emissions because of manufacturing and transport of parts etc. It does not eliminate road rage etc. Bicycling merely reduces the negative aspects of transportation which we accept as normal. With 40% of emergency services going towards 'accidents' there would be a drastic reduction in the misery as well as the financial cost associated with crashes and emergency services.
The same exists for a meat-free diet. It would not eliminate climate change, heart attacks, osteoporosis, etc. Vegie people simply have a reduced incidence of them. It is entirely possible to have an unhealthy veggie diet just as it's possible to have road-rage against a bicyclist. I hope that this clears up some ambiguity. I still welcome your thoughts.

09-21-2007, 09:23 PM
Child-free. The best way to save the planet is to stop reproducing. :rolleyes: