In a World of Carnivores, Meat Exacts a Costly Toll


世人皆吃肉 養肉代價高


HERE’S THE BEEF This feed lot in in California can accommodate up to 100,000 head of cattle.

By MARK BITTMAN
Published: January 27, 2008



A big change in the consumption of a resource that Americans take for granted may be in store – something cheap, plentiful, widely enjoyed and a part of daily life. And it isn’t oil.
美國人消耗某種看似取之不盡的資源的方式,恐怕將面臨巨大改變—這東西便宜、量多、大家都愛用,已經成為日常生活的一部分。這東西可不是油。


It’s meat.
而是肉。




Livestock’s High Energy Costs

The two commodities share a great deal: Like oil, meat is subsidized by the federal government. Like oil, meat is subject to accelerating demand as nations become wealthier, and this, in turn, sends prices higher. Finally – like oil – meat is something people are encouraged to consume less of, as the toll exacted by industrial production increases, and becomes increasingly visible.
這兩種商品有很多共通點:肉與油的產製都接受美國聯邦政府補助。肉和油一樣,需求會隨著各國日益富裕而增加,因此造成價格上漲。最後,肉和油一樣,隨著工業化肉類生產所需的成本愈來愈高,付出的代價愈來愈明顯,大家都被勸導要減少消耗。


The Huge Flow of Animal Waste

Global demand for meat has multiplied in recent years, encouraged by growing affluence and nourished by the proliferation of huge, confined animal feeding operations. These assembly-line meat factories consume enormous amounts of energy, pollute water supplies, generate significant greenhouse gases and require ever-increasing amounts of corn, soy and other grains, a dependency that has led to the destruction of vast swaths of the world’s tropical rain forests.
近年來,受到各國日益富裕的刺激,加上大規模圈欄式動物飼養方式普及的助長,全球肉類需求量呈倍數增長。這些生產裝配線式的肉類工廠消耗非常多的能源,汙染水源供應,產生大量溫室氣體,需要使用的玉米、大豆和其他穀類也越來越多,這種對穀物的依賴,已經導致世界各地大片熱帶雨林遭到毀滅。


Beef cattle raised for the Harris Ranch Beef Company, Coalinga, Calif.


Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, recently announced emergency measures to halt the burning and cutting of the country’s rain forests for crop and grazing land. In the last five months alone, the government says, 1,250 square miles were lost.
巴西總統路易斯‧伊納西歐‧盧拉‧達‧席爾瓦最近發布緊急措施,要終結為種植農作與放牧而燃燒、砍伐巴西雨林的行徑。巴西政府表示,光是過去五個月,巴西已經損失3,200平方公里的雨林。


The world’s total meat supply was 64 million metric tons in 1961. In 2007, it was estimated to be 258 million metric tons. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over that period. (In the developing world, it rose twice as fast, doubling in the last 20 years.) World meat consumption is expected to double again by 2050, which one expert, Henning Steinfeld of the United Nations, says is resulting in a “relentless growth in livestock production.”
1961年,全世界肉類總供應量是6,400萬公噸。據估計,2007年總供應量達到2億5,800萬公噸。在此期間內,全球每人平均肉品消耗量增加了一倍以上(開發中國家每人肉類平均消耗量增加的速度是世界平均值的兩倍,過去20年來增加了一倍)。世界肉類消耗量在2050年預計會再增加一倍,聯合國專家漢寧‧史坦菲說,這個情勢將導致「畜產的成長沒完沒了」。


Americans eat about the same amount of meat as we have for some time, about 227 grams a day, roughly twice the global average. At about 5 percent of the world’s population, we “process” (that is, grow and kill) nearly 10 billion animals a year, more than 15 percent of the world’s total.
美國人吃肉的量這幾年來大致持平,每天約食用227克,大概是全球平均消耗量的兩倍。美國人口約占世界人口的5%,每年「處理」(就是說,養來宰了吃掉)近100億頭動物,占全世界總處理量的15%以上。


An estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases – more than transportation.
根據聯合國糧食及農業組織估計,全球不結冰的土地中有30%直接或間接投入畜產,聯合國糧農組織還指出,畜產製造了全世界將近五分之一的溫室氣體,比交通運輸製造的溫室氣體還要多。


Grain, meat and even energy are grouped in a way that could have dire results. More meat means an increase in demand for feed, especially corn and soy, which some experts say will contribute to higher prices.
穀物、肉類甚至能源兜在一塊兒的關連性可能帶來可怕後果。要生產的肉類愈多,飼料的需求就愈高,玉米、大豆的需求尤其受影響,一些專家認為這些作物的價格將受到拉抬。


This will be inconvenient for citizens of wealthier nations, but it could have tragic consequences for those of poorer ones, especially if higher prices for feed divert production away from food crops. The demand for ethanol is already pushing up prices, and explains, in part, the 40 percent rise last year in the food price index calculated by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization.
這對富裕國家的人民而言會有些不便,但是對比較貧窮的國家則會有很悲慘的下場,特別是價格升高誘使農人由糧食作物改種飼料作物。對乙醇的需求增加已使農作物價格往上衝,多少解釋了聯合國糧農組織計算的糧價指數去年為何上漲40%。


Though some 800 million people on the planet now suffer from hunger or malnutrition, the majority of corn and soy grown in the world feeds cattle, pigs and chickens. This despite the inherent inefficiencies: about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, a professor of economics at Stanford University in California. It is as much as 10 times more in the case of grain-fed beef in the United States.
雖然現在地球上有八億人口不是捱餓就是營養不良,全世界種植的玉米和大豆卻有大部分成了牛、豬、雞群的飼料。加州史丹福大學經濟學教授羅莎蒙‧奈勒表示,儘管內含缺乏效率的層面,這種情況持續存在:例如要使吃家畜肉類產生的卡路里跟直接攝取穀物所得的卡路里一樣多,就得消耗大約兩到五倍以上的穀物。若以靠穀類養大的美國牛肉為例,要消耗的穀物更是十倍以上。


The environmental impact of growing so much grain for animal feed is profound. Agriculture in the United States – much of which now serves the demand for meat – contributes to nearly three-quarters of all water-quality problems in the nation’s rivers and streams.
種植這麼多穀物來飼養動物,對環境的衝擊相當深遠。美國農業—其中多半在滿足肉類需求—造成全美近四分之三的河川、溪流水質汙染問題。


Because the stomachs of cattle are meant to digest grass, not grain, cattle raised industrially thrive only in the sense that they gain weight quickly. This diet made it possible to remove cattle from their natural environment and encourage the efficiency of mass confinement and slaughter. But it causes enough health problems that administration of antibiotics is routine, so much so that it can result in antibiotic-resistant bacteria that threaten the usefulness of medicines that treat people. It also leads to tainted meat. A California meat company this month issued the largest beef recall in United States history, about 65 million kilograms.
由於牛的胃天生適合消化青草,而非穀類,工業化方式養的牛隻成長茁壯的唯一意思就是體重快速增加。這種餵食方式能讓牛隻脫離牠們的自然環境,也鼓勵業者大批圈養與大規模屠宰,以提高生產效率。但是這種作法造成許多衛生問題,業者必須常常為牛群施打抗生素,結果還產生有抗藥性的細菌,恐使治療人類的藥品失去藥效。肉品也因此受到汙染。加州一家肉品公司這個月發布美國史上最大宗的牛肉召回通知,數量多達6,500萬公斤。


Experts say it is unlikely price spikes will change eating habits, but perhaps the combination of deforestation, pollution, climate change, starvation, heart disease and animal cruelty will gradually encourage the simple daily act of eating more plants and fewer animals.
專家說,價格遽增也改變不了大眾的飲食習慣,但是濫伐森林、汙染、氣候變遷、饑荒、心臟疾病與虐待動物等事情加在一起,也許會漸漸促使人們日常飲食清淡些:多吃點菜,少吃點肉。


Mark W. Rosegrant, director of environment and production technology at the nonprofit International Food Policy Research Institute, says he foresees “a stronger public relations campaign in the reduction of meat consumption – one like that around cigarettes – emphasizing personal health, compassion for animals, and doing good for the poor and the planet.”
非營利組織「國際食品政策研究所」環境及生產科技主任馬克‧羅斯葛蘭特說,他能預見「一個更為鮮明強烈的公關宣傳活動,主張減少攝取肉類,就和反菸害運動差不多,這個活動強調個人健康、同情動物,還有為窮人與地球做善事。」


QUANELIN 發表在 痞客邦 PIXNET 留言(0) 人氣()