• Gary Moller

Why eating game meat and lamb is good for the planet

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Wild pork for dinner tonight!
Wild pork for dinner tonight!

There is a lot of pressure on everyone these days to cut their meat consumption and to go plant-based in order to save the planet. I do not agree that cutting meat and going plant-based is going to save the planet. It may help destroy it. We can still eat meat and do a lot of good for the environment. Eating some meat - not heaps - may be what we need to be doing. Doing so in moderation such as the portions you can see on my plate.

This article is not an attack on "plant-based" eaters. Please do not take it that way. When it comes to health and nutrition there are many paths that one can take that lead to the same destination - a lifetime of good health. Actually, there are literally thousands of paths to choose from when you consider the number of ethnicities and cultures, each with their traditional foods.

What I do have a problem with is the food zealots and gurus who profess that their way is the only way and who practice the "Bush Doctrine" which is "If you are not with us, then you are against us".

I'll disclose that I am a supporter of the Weston-Price Foundation and have been for the best part of 20 years. I have met the CEO, Sally Fallon who just happens to be married to Geoffrey Morell, a retired dairy farmer from Southland. It is a small world indeed!

Going plant-based is not going to save the planet

If all 8 billion of us were to rely solely or mostly on plants for food, there goes the last of the Amazon, all arable land and all remaining flatlands. Crops like palm oil, soy and corn need flat lands to be grown on. We will need more industrial-scale production of grains which means massive monocultures that rely on GMO technologies, pesticides, herbicides and artificial fertilizer. The fertilizers and chemicals are petroleum-dependent for production. None of this is good for the planet.

The Veggie Burger is not real food - it is a highly processed product that is best described as being "food-like". It can not be compared to a piece of lean, organic, grass-fed beef or lamb in terms of nutritional content.

Let's face it, the real problem is that there are just far too many people.

Some sources of meat are better than others

Two nights ago we had feral venison sausages. They were delicious and actually low in fat. last night it was wild pork which was not quite so nice. It was "gamey" due to what it must have been eating but you'd be surprised at what a person will eat when they are hungry (refer to my articles about intermittent fasting to know how to prepare for a feast on wild pork). We had lamb chops earlier last week. The feral meat comes from over Wainuiomata way, so there are no carbon miles involved other than a short drive over the hill from where we live.

Eating meat from these sources, including NZ lamb, are good for the planet. They are carbon neutral since they all came from local sources.

No grains were harmed in their production.

Hunting feral pests like these is essential. If their numbers are not controlled by hunting there would be even more untold destruction of our native flora and fauna and it is already bad enough. If not hunted, then we would have to resort to more mass poisoning than is currently the case. When our native bush flourishes it sucks up carbon dioxide.

What about beef, lamb and dairy?