Saturday, February 03, 2007

BBC Vegan Experiment Ends

BBC NEWS | Talk about Newsnight | Meet Daisy the cow – global climate’s enemy number one. BBC Newsnight Justin Rowlett proves he is unethical and no longer the Ethical Man despite also proving that Veganism has all the answers

Justin says 'According to the UN report we humans are responsible for a total of the equivalent of 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. That’s where I got that incredible figure of 18 per cent of total emissions.

Which brings me back to my experiment in veganism. The reason I suppressed my carnal desires throughout January was to find out what difference cutting animal products from my diet would make to my so-called carbon footprint.

As usual, my carbon guru Professor Tim Jackson has been on the case. He calculates that eighteen per cent of the carbon emissions created by the average diet are from meat and a further ten per cent are from dairy products.

But, as should be apparent from this blog, only counting carbon dioxide would be a woeful underestimate. The problem is no-one has calculated the contribution methane and nitrous oxide emissions make to the climate cost of the food we eat. Professor Tim reckons it is safe to double the figure for carbon dioxide which means sixty per cent of the global warming potential of the average diet is from animal products.

Justin says 'Does that mean we should all be going vegan?

If animal products account almost two thirds of the greenhouse gasses associated with food are from animal husbandry that is surely a powerful argument for any aspiring ethical man or woman to go vegan. But does a vegan diet give you all the nutrients you need?

I felt great not eating meat and a Bupa health-check at the beginning and end of my experiment showed that I shed two kilos in thirty one days, cutting my body fat from 19 per cent of my weight to just 15 per cent.

I also saw my cholesterol level plummet from 5.6 mmol/L (rather high) to just 3.4 mmol/L (very low for a man of my age). '

Exasperatingly he still went back to eating meat!!!

Bristol Vegan Fayre

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