It’s not our job to have an opinion about meat. But when anti-meat advocacy contributes to a pattern of politically driven departure from facts in a science journal’s publication choices (in this case, Lancet), it forms part of a depressing (and relevant) “Trust the Science!” pattern.
As so often, the American Council on Science and Health has the story. First, the sky is not falling and Chicken Little needs anti-anxiety meds:
Recent research has shown, for example, that the amount of land dedicated to raising animals for food has declined markedly in recent decades. Indeed, all models of GHG emissions from land-use changes indicate that they have declined by a third since 2000. Technological innovations that improve animal health, produce better feed, and optimize the animals themselves for food production could boost this global sustainability trend. Dairies and livestock operations can even collect methane from animal manure and use it as an alternative energy source, turning a potent GHG into a sustainable source of fuel…
Moreover, approximately two-thirds of the world’s agricultural land is marginal, meaning only grass grows there. The good news is that ruminant livestock converts these nutritionally useless grasses into meat and milk that contain a wide variety of nutrients humans need.
These facts should radically alter EAT-Lancet’s policy recommendations, but the scientists on the commission aren’t familiar enough with farming to properly assess the evidence. “I think they are well-intended,” Mitloehner added, “but they don’t work enough with people in agriculture to understand subtleties or these reports would read differently.”Cameron English, “Time To Eat Bugs? The Lancet’s Science-Free Campaign Against Meat” at American Council on Science and Health (March 15, 2022)
Prediction from the coffee room: Lancet won’t take up the cause of eating bugs instead. That’s likely one Woke too far unless your job is giving advice at the UN… Even then, you only have to advocate it…
You may also wish to read: Asked by science watchdog: Why is Lancet — famed medical journal — into anti-science advocacy? Sure, “anti-science” is a loaded term. So often, it just means inconvenient science or “unacceptable views” or revelations of ties that should definitely be investigated. Or whatever. In some cases, it can mean a preference for Wokeness over facts.