Meat Me in St.Louis
Its every contemporary cartographer’s dream to etch out some newfangled representation and have it skyrocket around the internet, such as this map! Its an interesting take on the classic US at night time from space visual with all its lite-brite splendor. So yeah, if you’ve ever wondered just how far you could possibly get from a McDonalds within the contiguous United States of North America, here ya go:
Mind you, there’s nothing near the quality of these steak maps (above/ below) in the crap they grind into McDonalds meat. Still, its a thematization from some clever butcher-cartographer who decided to go nuts with a cleaver in homage to some of hir favorite commonwealths, albeit at the expense of local water quality, methane emissions, unconscionable resource usage, and… oh yeah, the lives of whatever sentient bovine looked best outfitted to be a mappy meal. (Have to wonder if I am the first vegan geographer to post these on the wordpresses?)
In 2006 the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations issued a report called “Livestock’s Long Shadow–Environmental Issues and Options.” The document revealed that livestock cause 18% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, more than that coming from all the airplanes, automobiles, and trains combined. The FAO report produced these startling statistics:
Accounts for 9% of carbon dioxide from human related activities
Generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide that has 296 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Most of this is from manure.
Produces 37% of human induced methane that is 23 times as warming as carbon dioxide. This methane is from ruminants like cows, sheep, and goats.
Creates 64% of ammonia that contributes to acid rain
Uses 30% of the earth’s land surface for grazing
Includes 33% of the planet’s farming land to produce feed for livestock
Has resulted in massive deforestation in Latin America with 70% of former forests in the Amazon cleared for grazing
Provides livelihood for approximately 1.3 billion people and contributes about 40% of global agricultural output
Because of increased prosperity, global meat production is expected to more than double from 229 million tons in 1999/2001 to 465 million tons in 2050. Milk production is expected to climb from 580 to 1043 million tons during that same time.
Which is all to say: Consider spending more time lower on the food chain.
and Eat More Local Foods, Dammit!