For those unfamiliar, the Slow Food movement involves many factors that go into what we eat, but the general idea is that it's the opposite of fast food: not processed, not cookie-cutter, not frozen and microwaved and stuffed full of chemicals and sugar and who the heck knows what else. Ideally, a slow food meal involves the people who eat it from seed to table. I love that idea - it really appeals to the (probably romanticized) notions I have of being the product of generations of farm folk (which may or may not actually be true, although I know for a fact there at least *some* farmers in my genome somewhere).
(Slow Food isn't quite the same as Local Food, but there are a lot of close ties.)
Tied into these food movements is a general objection to factory farming, a la CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations). Factory farms pretty much kick out one or two crops at volume, without regard to how they impact the environment. The pig shit geyser of Al Franken fame looks at some of that impact (with, of course, lots of snarky shots at the Bush regime - bonus!) (it's both sickening, horriffic, and hilarious all at the same time). The overall downside to factory farmed meat is that it's horrible for the environment, cruel to the animals, and produces meat filled with chemicals and antibiotics and who the heck knows what else.
This is why eating veggie as much as possible is a good thing, on many levels. Or, alternately, trying to source as much of your meat as possible from family farms or wild game (yes, I mean hunting and fishing). Anything to keep money away from the meat-corn industry!
One of the other purported environmental impacts of beef specifically is the huge amounts of methane cattle belch into the atmosphere during their four-stomached, cud-chewing digestive process. The more cows being raised, the more cud being chewed, the more methane in the air, the more greenhouse-y the greenhouse, or so goes the theory. I'm not sure how much this is actually a legit concern, since I don't really have a handle on how much methane a cow is burping up over the course of a lifetime. Lucky for me, they're doing a study to find out!
I know on some level, I should take this news seriously, in the hopes that it will shed some light on one more way the meat industry is destroying the planet....but my inner five-year-old just can't beyond the idea that they're spending over half a million bucks to study burping cows. I swear, it's its own punchline!
Loud-mouthed liberal feminist. Anarchist knitter. Tequila-drinking artsy-smartsy fat chick. Bluesy folk-rock singer-songwriter. Rebel with too many causes. Quirky eclectic pagan poet. Paradoxical intuitive smartass. Sarcastic brainiac insomniac. You know, for starters.