Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Opinion | The Hidden Prices of Low-cost Meat

About 50 years in the past, beef price greater than $7 a pound in right this moment’s {dollars}. At present, regardless of excessive inflation, beef is all the way down to about $4.80 a pound, and rooster is simply round $1.80 a pound. However these low costs conceal the true prices of the meat we devour — prices that the meat and poultry industries have quietly offloaded onto not solely the animals we devour however us people, too.

Animal agriculture is chargeable for at the very least 14.5 % of whole greenhouse gasoline emissions, with some estimates as excessive as 28 %. It makes use of half the earth’s liveable land. Manufacturing unit farms pose enormous threats as potential sources of antibiotic resistance and future pandemics. And the present meat manufacturing system masses farmers with usually insurmountable ranges of debt. Our meat could look low-cost on the grocery retailer, however we’re all choosing up the tab in methods we’re usually starkly unaware of.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Leah Garcés is the chief govt and president of Mercy for Animals and the writer of “Grilled: Turning Adversaries Into Allies to Change the Rooster Business.” Few animal rights activists have her breadth of expertise: For years, she’s been steeped within the experiences of farmers who increase animals, communities that dwell alongside industrial animal operations and, after all, the farmed animals that dwell shorter and extra depressing lives. So I invited her on the present for a dialog about what meat actually prices and the way that perspective might assist us construct a more healthy relationship to the animals we eat and the world we inhabit.

We focus on what it’s prefer to dwell subsequent to a hog farm, manufacturing unit farming’s function in rising antibiotic resistance, how the present system of contract farming saddles particular person farmers with debt, the lengths the U.S. authorities — and taxpayers — goes to to subsidize industrial animal farming, the likelihood that the subsequent pandemic will emerge from a crowded manufacturing unit farm, how excessive prices — like deforestation within the Amazon — are hidden from customers on the grocery retailer, the problem of serving to kids make sense of routinized cruelty, whether or not regenerative agriculture may also help undo the injury executed by industrial animal farming, the historic animal welfare case at the moment in entrance of the Supreme Court docket and extra.

You possibly can hearken to our entire dialog by following “The Ezra Klein Present” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a listing of e-book suggestions from our friends right here.

(A full transcript of the episode shall be accessible noon on the Instances web site.)

“The Ezra Klein Present” is produced by Emefa Agawu, Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld and Rogé Karma. Truth-checking by Michelle Harris, Mary Marge Locker and Kate Sinclair. Unique music by Isaac Jones. Mixing by Isaac Jones. Mixing by Sonia Herrero. Mixing by Isaac Jones and Sonia Herrero. Viewers technique by Shannon Busta. Particular because of Kristin Lin, Kristina Samulewski, Leah Douglas and Evi Steyer.

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