Today’s New York Times op-ed page features a piece by Nicolette Hahn Niman, wife of the founder of Niman Ranch, one of the big names in sustainable livestock. Her goal is to push back against the argument that to be an environmentalist you have to stop eating meat in general, and beef in particular. Her argument is, in short, that the real problem is eating food (meat or vegetable) that’s not sustainably raised is the real problem when it comes to climate change.
For the past few months, I’ve definitely tried to cut back on the red meat. Industrial agriculture is cruel to animals and terrible for the environment, and eating beef is bad for your health, regardless. I haven’t cut it out completely because I love beef, but I have tried to be significantly more thoughtful about when I eat it. This piece argues that you don’t have to feel especially guilty for the occasional steak indulgence.