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An oft-quoted way to reduce one's Carbon footprint is to eat less meat. I believe there is even a day of meatless meals that is planned, presumably as an awareness campaign, every year. However, I have an issue with this thinking: the meat I'd buy is already in the store in the first place. Its Carbon emissions are largely...emitted. Is it true that making a personal choice to, say, eat one less meat meal per week will actually affect global Carbon emissions, or is it just a feel-good measure to reduce my personal Carbon footprint without actually reducing the amount of Carbon released?

marked as duplicate by tim, DenisS, ventsyv, Brythan, March Ho Sep 14 '17 at 2:29

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  • If everyone does it, then it means something. And since something can't come from nothing, individual action can be appropriated a portion of that something, no mater how small. – fredsbend Sep 13 '17 at 18:42
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    "the meat I'd buy is already in the store in the first place." I suggest reading up on Capitalism (esp. supply & demand). The meat is there in anticipation that you'll buy it. If you don't buy it, then they won't keep putting it out. – NPSF3000 Sep 13 '17 at 19:03
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    Michael, you're gonna want to put a notable claim in here somewhere in order for us to examine it. Else this question is likely to be deleted. – DenisS Sep 13 '17 at 19:30
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    If you come to my area, which is overpopulated with deer, and eat them instead of deforesting to grow grain, it would help the environment – DavePhD Sep 13 '17 at 19:45
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    @MichaelStachowsky You have to reduce the long term demand for meat (beef in particular, cows have the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions) to have any effect on carbon emissions. If there is a short term drop in demand the extra meat will either be sold at a lower price or it will end up in the trash. Beef ranchers are deciding the size of their herds months in advance so you have to sustain that low demand for a while. After a few years some ranchers will go out of business and a new price point will be established with lower number total number of heads. – ventsyv Sep 13 '17 at 21:25

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