The easiest step towards global sustainability of the biosphere
Absolute technical readiness of the idea: you can stop eating meat and fish … tomorrow! The forest can also start planting almost tomorrow, although it is advisable to plant seedlings from the nursery, because then the forest will actually spend about 30-40 years on growth, and not closer to a hundred, until all the “primary” species give way to the main species in the natural cycle. But scaling up nurseries is not a big problem either.
By stopping eating red meat and fish, on the contrary, we reduce both personal and global risks. I have no statistics, but it seems to me that most food poisoning is meat poisoning. The most serious poisoning in my life, when they called an ambulance, was some cheap cutlets. Fish are said to accumulate heavy metals.
If you plant everything with forest completely and never do preventive felling, the risk of large fires probably increases. But every year I hear about fires only in the west of the United States (not in the east, where we are going to plant a broadleaf forest) and in Australia.
Profitability: stopping eating red meat and fish, the population only reduces food expenses. We undermine the interests of an insignificant (of the total population of Russia) number of farmers and businessmen – owners of meat and fish farms. Ordinary personnel of these farms can go to the created pig or chicken farms, to forest nurseries, to the production of proteins from plants, etc.
If the plan is implemented worldwide, the Russian steppe zone is becoming the most important global “breadbasket”, along with the midwestern United States. Roughly speaking, the international community should flood Brazil with money (in the form of carbon deductions) so that they agree to return the land to the forests, but then Russia will have to start feeding Brazil. And most of Eastern Europe.
Anticipating arguments against an idea
“Vegans lose their hair, break bones, and their heads do not work well. For a full-fledged balanced diet, a person needs to eat meat.”
Firstly, I didn’t even suggest giving up pork and chicken, let alone eggs and milk.
Secondly, it is not meat and fish as such that are important, but what they contain: amino acids, B12, iron, and other trace elements. I’ve been a vegetarian for over half a year now. I eat eggs, but not milk. I eat vegan protein (in fact, this is closer to a “complete meal”, called Huel), which has a complete set of amino acids, and a complete set of elements that a person needs. As a result I am I do not want and do not miss neither for meat, nor for fish, although he used to be an avid meat-eater and fish-eater. Obviously, the feeling that you want a particular food is a smart signal from the body that there is a lack of some nutrient or element that is in this particular food. I don’t get any more about meat and fish.
“Vegan meat from the store is impossible to eat.”
In general, I share this opinion about all “previous generation” vegan meat substitutes, which is why I do not eat them, and besides the protein powder, I eat only eggs and some plain tofu.
Vegetable meat of a new generation, Beyond Meat and Impossible, you can definitely eat, moreover, the difference in taste with real meat is minimal. If you are not ready to give up even this difference in order to do so much to achieve global sustainability and conservation of species, then I can only throw up my hands.
“Trees do not store CO2 – they fall and die, and the carbon is released back into the atmosphere.”
The forest reaches a relative balance of carbon with the atmosphere to maturity, but until it reaches this maturity, it retains a lot of carbon. The proposed solution with forests is not eternal (in terms of achieving sustainability of CO2 levels in the atmosphere), it only gives humanity a relative delay of 30 years to improve technologies and renew energy infrastructure.
Culture and politics are the main obstacles
Of course, it is very difficult to change the culture of meat and fish consumption, as well as to come to an agreement at the political level with Brazil and Europe. Technically, I would not call this a disadvantage, because, in my opinion, there is nothing to argue about, and the task is mainly to convince people. This is what this post is for.
Information disclosure: I have no investment in Huel, Beyond Meat, or Impossible Foods mentioned in the post. The author has an investment of $ 5,000 in a tree seedling and forest planting startup – Terraformation…