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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Meat-Eaters Deserve the Tax Breaks!

Everybody poops.

It's such a well-known fact, they actually made a book with that title. Well, the creation of the book is more for toilet-training purposes, but the fact remains. A corollary to that fact would have to be the statement that "everybody farts" as well. Which is where our story really focuses. It's a fact that you do have to keep in mind - not that everybody poops, mind you, but that everybody farts. The follow-up fact to that is that while everybody does indeed fart, NOT everybody's farts contain methane gas. You have to keep that fact in mind as well, because there's a big to-do about methane gas in the world today. It's apparently one of those huge factors in greenhouse effects and global warming - those things that everyone seems to be taking very seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that they got TAXES involved in it. And nothing could be more serious than taxes. So even though we're talking about farts, let's try to keep our serious faces on. I know mine is certainly on, because I am taking on my old nemesis, PETA, with these facts that I actually did research and had to use mathematics!

This whole ordeal started about a month ago, when I read a letter from Ingrid Newkirk addressed to Washington D.C. politicos saying that just as hybrid car-buyers are getting a tax break, vegetarians deserve a tax break as well.

That's how it all started. PETA's president decided to compare the ecological benefits of purchasing a hybrid car (as opposed to a "gas-guzzler") to the supposed ecological benefits of eating vegetables (or rather "not eating meat" - since I know vegetarians don't actually have to eat vegetables, they just don't eat meat). Newkirk got this particular bee in her bonnet after the U.N. released a study saying that the cattle industry (or rather the collective of "large ruminants", which are animals with four stomachs) is the biggest producer of methane gas in the United States.

That's what the study said. I'm not going to refute their research or their study. Not at all. The first stomach of four in ruminants is where a lot of methane gets created, and cows are known for releasing methane gas. Just keep in mind that everybody farts, and human farts can contain methane as well. Trust me, it'll come back up later, I promise. I believe the study said that the American cattle industry produces 5.5 million metric tons of methane gas. Okay, that's our number one producer of methane, we admit it. So where does Newkirk take this fact?

She says that because vegetarians DON'T eat meat, they're NOT contributing to this "number one problem" and therefore deserve a tax break. Never mind the fact that it would be impossible to prove for a fact that one is a vegetarian (she suggests sales receipts that show no meat, which could easily be the one shopping trip you take that DIDN'T involve beef galore) - that's the entire basis behind her "vegetarians deserve a tax break" argument.

Now it's time to prove how backwards her logic really is.

Okay, so all of these cows produce a lot of methane. According to PETA, they'd love to see all of these animals roam free, rather than be cooped up, bred, and then slaughtered for their delicious tasty meat (or their lovely skin, or precious tallow, or everything else you can do with a dead cow - and that's a lot, just ask a Native American, since I'm told they were able to find a use for every single part of what they killed). So thanks to PETA, now only are we not EATING the cows, but they're free to roam, have sex, and have baby cows, and thus we still have a helluva lot of cows, farting and producing their deadly methane.

Smooth move, Ingrid. You've killed us all. I'm pretty sure that "killing us all" was never tax-deductible.

Do you know what omnivores like myself and the rest of the meat-eating population do? We eat cows. Which means we make cows dead. Do you know what dead cows don't do? They don't fart or produce methane gas. They just provide us with tasty eats. You know what foods humans eat does NOT produce methane? Meats. In fact, the more meat you eat, the less methane you produce, and the less chance you have of producing methane at all whilst farting. Which everyone does. (Glad you remembered!)

Seems to ME that the one who's doing the most to bring down the level of cow-produced methane gas would be the people killing cows and eating them. That's US, the meat-eating omnivores. Not YOU, the vegetarians. Seems like WE're the ones who deserve the tax break, which we could easily prove with sales receipts because they'd SHOW we eat meat and are killing all those pesky methane-producing cows!

I eat cows - to save the planet. (I should really make a T-shirt that says that. Or maybe "EAT A STEAK - SAVE THE WORLD" or something.)

Now that I've thoroughly put down Ingrid Newkirk's plan to get PETA members tax breaks and stolen those ill-gotten tax breaks for the meat-eating crowd like myself, it's time we kept pressing forward. PETA thinks they're the only ones who can find research, twist it completely, and prove a horrible point for their cause. Well, Newkirk - TWO can play at that game! It took me a while, but I finally got a lot of questions answered about human flatulence and what levels of methane WE produce as non-ruminant mammals. It's true - we don't produce NEARLY the levels of methane as our four-stomached dinners, but I stumbled across some information that was VERY interesting.

Remember how I told you that while everybody farts, not everyone produces methane gas?

Good. Here's where the fun begins. It turns out that while fats and proteins produce very little gas and little chance of methane - the highest producers of gas are things like vegetables, fruits, beans, whole wheat, bran and diet foods that contain sorbitol. Things that vegetarians like to eat! There was a study I found that was about testing the isotopes of methane to see if human-produced methane had a "fingerprint" to discern it from environmental methane. The real interesting part of the experiment was the unintended result that the colonic methane gas of omnivores was on average 4,000 times less than the colonic methane gas of vegetarians.

Let me repeat: the average methane production in an omnivore was 15 parts-per-million, and in a vegetarian it was 60,000 parts-per-million.

Not only was the methane concentration higher, but a vegetarian diet, as I just mentioned, contains many more gas-producing foods. The average human produces between 0.5 and 1.5 liters of colonic gas every day, and farts between 10 and 20 times a day. Let's say that the average human with the average diet produces the average amount of gas each day, so about 1 liter. The average vegetarian produces gas on the higher end of the spectrum, so let's guess 1.5 liters per day.

Here's where the math comes in. I'll make it quick for you.

One liter of gas weighs about 1.3 grams, or 0.0013 grams.
One one-millionth of that (parts-per-million) is 0.0000000013 kilograms.

We factor in the 1 liter for an omnivore, 1.5 liters for a vegetarian, and the respective methane gas parts-per-million, and we get:

Daily methane for an omnivore: 0.0000000195 kg
Daily methane for vegetarians: 0.000117 kg

Annual methane for an omnivore: 0.0000071175 kg
Annual methane for vegetarians: 0.042705 kg

Now then, we've got about 6.6 billion people living on the Earth nowadays (give or take a few million). Let's assume that a worst-case scenario is that PETA wins and everyone in the world is now a vegetarian. (That's right, Newkirk, that's the WORST-case scenario!) Or the best-case scenario is that everyone who reads this article winds up either convincing every vegetarian on the planet to eat meat (or just kills them). Either way, best-case scenario is 0% vegetarian, worst-case is 100% vegetarian. Let's see what happens to the precious planet now!

Annual methane production worldwide if all were omnivorous: 46,976 kg
Annual methane production worldwide if all were vegetarian: 281,853,000 kg

(This "metric ton" that the U.N. report uses is 1,000 kilograms, so:)

Annual methane production worldwide if all were omnivorous: 47 metric tons
Annual methane production worldwide if all were vegetarian: 281,853 metric tons

Smooth move, Ingrid. You've once again killed us all.

Okay, in reality even 281,853 metric tons can't compare to the 5.5 million metric tons produced by the cattle industry. That's why I made the previous point about how we omnivores are working to kill and eat those global-warming bovines. PETA would rather let them all roam free and never pay for their environment-destroying flatulence. I don't believe in "ruminant amnesty" programs. I say they all get rounded up and deported - to my stomach.

But doesn't that math prove the point that vegetarians are through and through more a danger on the methane scale? They produce more in parts-per-million, eat more foods that produce that deadlier colonic gas, and are doing everything to STOP killing the main cause of the United States's methane problem! I say it's meat-eaters who deserve the tax breaks! PETA and Newkirk can go suck a fart-inducing carrot!


(Yea, THAT'S the T-shirt I need! Too bad it's hard to print all of the rest of this math on the shirt that proves the point. Oh well, at least you read it and if you buy the shirt, you could at least inform all those who question the logic.)

Here are some of my resources:
PETA's backwards-logic letter asking for vegetarian tax breaks
Vegetarian diets produce more gas
Vegetarians produce more methane
That lousy study attacking the cattle industry

Check back, because I may have a link to buy a T-shirt very soon!

In fact, Check out my store! I'll add more later, after some polling!


Rodrigo said...

Oi, achei teu blog pelo google tá bem interessante gostei desse post. Quando der dá uma passada pelo meu blog, é sobre camisetas personalizadas, mostra passo a passo como criar uma camiseta personalizada bem maneira. Até mais.

WordVixen said...

Hm... that may have to go on my wishlist. Too bad I don't wear white.

AaronBSam said...

I can add one that isn't white, but I think the price goes up if it's not a generic white tee. What color would you be interested in - what style of shirt?

WordVixen said...

The only T-shirt I've gotten from Cafe Press was an ash or heather grey one. I can't remember anything else about it, but it's a nice quality.

This one is nice:http://www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?clear=true&no=186 obviously with white print

I think this is the one that I have: http://www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?clear=true&no=7

Obviously cheaper, but I mostly wear black. Either one would be good though, since I try to wear lighter colors on vacation (walt disney world- gets hot).

Anonymous said...

The first part is certainly jackass logic. If people over time stop eating meat the meat industry will stop artificially inseminating cows, and their numbers will drop. The cows will not be left to run free and reproduce -- no corporation would waste that lucrative investment (ie, the cows). The process would take time, and the market would determine the animal population. Your slogan is self-serving and contrary to any good sense.

I'm not sure about the second part, but your facts certainly seem farfetched. Adding meat to the diet cuts the human body's methane production so dramatically? That just doesn't make sense.

Voice of Reason said...

You realize, of course, that if we were to all eat meat, that means we would have to eat the animals that become meat. And they have to eat the vegetables in order to live long enough to become meat. So, until some animal evolves the ability to perform photosynthesis and get its energy directly from the sun, something is going to have to eat the plants in order for there to be meat. What would really take care of the methane problem would be to kill all of the cows in the US- a nice middle ground that will both reduce the methan production AND piss of both PETA and the meat-lovers. Of course, the rotting corpses of millions of cows will produce large quantities of carbon dioxide as they decompose, so I guess it's sort of a lose-lose.....

Now, I don't actually advocate the mass killing of cows- I enjoy beef. But I think your argument that having everybody eat meat is just as stupid (and without logical basis) as the PETA people's argument that we should free all the cows and chickens et al. Because they wouldn't survive without human protection (Well, some of the cows might; but chickens? Every dog, coyote, fox, and racoon is going to have a field day for the few years it takes the freed chickens to die of exposure and predators.). Of course, neither you nor the PETA people are really out to fix the methane problem. You've got your own agendas to push.

Anonymous said...

Actually, in reality, the best solution would to be to eliminate the bovine species, if you're going with your theory.

So, we can just kill all the cows and eat them, then never produce another one. There are plenty of other species out there we can raise for food.

That also reduces the environmental damage created by "slash-and-burn" techniques, because we don't have to make as much room for cow pastures.

Everybody wins if cows go extinct!!

Except for the cows.

And Hinduism would kill us.

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