American Government Proposed Radical Policy Change: Limiting Research Proposal

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American Government

Proposed radical policy change: Limiting meat consumption

Proudly, many Americans drag their recycling to the curbs. Perhaps they occasionally walk to the supermarket on a nice day. or, the most conscientious may worry about their global footprint and try to car-pool to work in their colleague's hybrids. But while small measures are certainly noble, there is something Americans could do that would reduce their collective carbon footprint to a far greater degree. And it lies on their plates.

According to the United Nation's leading expert on global warming (that's climate change in the preferred vocabulary of my Republican colleagues) Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on the subject, and a joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, people should observe at least one meat-free day a week if they want to really make a difference in combating global warming. "Meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions," because of the methane production of animals raised for meat consumption, particularly cows (Jowit 2008). Methane is twenty-three times more virulent as a global warming agent than carbon dioxideGet full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Research Proposal on American Government Proposed Radical Policy Change: Limiting Assignment

Noted food journalist and author of the Omnivore's Dilemma Michael Pollan has also commented that "meat-eaters" (of which he is one) should receive the same scrutiny as "SUV drivers" (Eisen 2008). Although he does not advocate total vegetarianism, Pollan does note that "a heavy meat diet is a big contributor to climate change, and that there are many good reasons to eat less meat" (Eisen 2008). Meat consumption is fossil-fuel intensive because feeding animals grain on feedlots means feeding them grain grown with fertilizers created with fossil fuels and pesticides. "You are moving that grain around the country to feedlots. You're moving the meat around the country. it's a very inefficient way to feed ourselves. It takes ten pounds of grain to get one pound of beef, seven pounds of grain to get one pound of pork, and two pounds of grain to get one pound of chicken. There is an equity issue, too. If we really have a limited amount of grain to feed the world, and we're feeding 60% of it to animals, and another 10% to our cars, that's going to be hard to defend in the future" says Pollan (Eisen 2008).

Yet this aspect of global warming and meat's contribution to world hunger has received little attention, perhaps because it is easier in some ways to change how we drive than how we eat.

But my fellow representatives, we are in a war -- not just a war on terror, but also a war to save the planet for our children and our children's children from the scourge of global warming. Additionally, because of changes in eating habits and the growing spread of factory farming practices to the developed world, and Western factory farming's particularly noxious use of grain-fed, methane-producing livestock, meat consumption "is set to double by the middle of the century" along with its environmental side-effects (Jowit 2007).

Americans have made sacrifices for the good of the country before, regarding their consumption habits. I still remember hearing my grandmother tell me about wartime rationing. Men and women were willing to make sacrifices for the good of the nation. Thus, I am about to make a radical proposal in the war against global warming: the rationing of beef consumption in America, as well as the rationing of other meats.

Sacrilege! You cry -- this limits consumer choice! Well, so do fuel emission standards on vehicles. You say that the government is telling you what to do -- but it must, as your environmental choices affect your neighbors' quality of life.

This is not… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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