Glenn Beck and animal-rights group PETA are tag-teaming to denounce Al Gore for eating meat while promoting strong action on climate change. On Beck's show, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk says, “You can't be a meat-eating enviromentmentalist--so, [Gore] needs to go vegetarian.” (Watch the clip) Beck has pointed to statistics showing that the meat industry is a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and challenged the former VP to "put down the cheeseburgers and pick up a veggie burger." Is Gore a hypocrite for not greening his diet as warns about the global warming threat?
This is about Beck and PETA, not Gore: “Beck’s strange leap onto PETA’s bandwagon” makes sense, says Lindsay Barnett in the Los Angeles Times, in that it lets Beck snipe at “one of his favorite targets,” Gore. And “the media-savvy animal-rights group seems, predictably, over the moon about having Beck as a strange bedfellow.” After all, Beck’s Gore attack made it all the way to ABC’s Good Morning America. (Watch Diane Sawyer spring the clip on Gore)
“Strange bedfellows: Glenn Beck, PETA join forces to give Al Gore what for”
Beck isn’t the only one raising this question: BBC journalist Jeremy Paxman also asked Gore about his meat consumption, says Sophie Pritchard of Food for Change, eliciting this weak response: He’s cut back, “but it’s a personal choice.” No, given the environmental damage of raising livestock, going vegetarian should be “a moral obligation.” But hey, “cutting down on meat seems to be doing Gore some good at least, he’s clearly lost weight.”
“Al Gore: no, I won’t go vegetarian”
Meat can be green, too: Eating a burger is not “the global warming equivalent of driving a Hummer,” says rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in The New York Times. The criticism of Gore’s “omnivorous eating” is based on “an overly simplistic” reading of credible research. In fact, growing soy causes more environmental damage than small-scale ranching, so “a conscientious meat eater may have a more environmentally friendly diet than your average vegetarian.”
“The carnivore’s dilemma”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How a degree from Duke University dashed my dreams of buying a home
- Half the world's population lives in these 6 countries
- This is why you can't trust the NSA. Ever.
- Innocent before proven guilty? The bizarre bipartisan rush to clear Rick Perry
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The single best way to help your kid succeed at school
- What Keeping Up with the Kardashians can teach America about interracial marriage
- Welcome to the age of ambivalent feminism
- Today in history: Lincoln reveals the real goal of the Civil War
Subscribe to the Week