I know no one really wants to be lectured by me about their eating habits, but sometimes I just have to drop the silly stuff for a week and hit on a more serious topic. Climate change weighs on me heavily, nearly all the time, and I’m always looking for ways to address the issue in my comic without being boring or preachy. Not sure if I achieved my goal with this week’s Dustinland comic, but I had to at least try.
I think meat is really something no one connects with global warming, even though it’s a huge issue. Even being climate change, there’s also all the pollution created by things like giant pig poop ponds, there’s the rainforest deforestation that occurs in order to make more grazing land for cattle — it goes on and on. And what really concerns me is that current diet fads are actually pushing people to eat more meat and less grains. Now, whether it’s better for you or not is not my concern. My concern is that we as a species cannot continue to eat so much meat — the planet simply can’t support it.
I know a big reaction to this will be “but I like meat, it’s so yummy, and I don’t care about the world enough to stop.” Or there will be people who really feel that way but don’t want to admit it to themselves so they’ll dig up some Fox News style “proof” that there’s no global warming or that even if there is, meat is actually good for the climate, and up is down, etc… But hopefully there are a few reasonable concerned people who might not have realized just how bad meat is for the environment, and if even one person thinks again next time they’re about to order a burger, that’s a good thing.
Oh and one last point: At the end of the strip, I discuss how no one has to STOP eating meat completely. I bring this up not just to make it all feel more doable and less daunting, but also to prevent the usual black or white only comments that accompany the usual “we can’t do anything about climate change” arguments. You know, “oh, so why don’t you live in a teepee.” That sort of thing. The idea that we can either be cavemen or do nothing. It’s a ridiculous ploy I see over and over again, while in reality, we don’t have to completely alter our lifestyles and drop out of society. If each one of us would take even a few small steps, it would make a big difference. Maybe not the whole difference, but it would help a lot.