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Red Meat

Rumor runs rampant on the Right: Joe Biden is out to take away our steaks and burgers, in order to cut the greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. Your average bovine produces huge amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas hundreds of times more potent than carbon dioxide. So people who believe in global climate change would like to see us all be vegans. Good luck with that!

Soybeans or other crops can be rendered “Round-Up Ready,��� by gene-splicing, so that farmers can spray their crop with the famous herbicide, and it will only kill the weeds. 

Now, people who don’t believe in climate change tend to question or deny the science. Ironically, then, science has the answer that will satisfy both the red meat carnivores and the plant-based vegans. Genetic science has that silver bullet. Those who attend to science know that it is now possible to splice genes from one organism into the genome of another, to give the recipient organism some desired characteristic it would not have otherwise.

For example, soybeans or other crops can be rendered “Round-Up Ready,” by gene-splicing, so that farmers can spray their crop with the famous herbicide, and it will only kill the weeds. The farmers will die of cancer, but a long enough time later that it will be hard to blame Round-Up. But I digress: you get the idea about gene-splicing.

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So what does gene-splicing have to do with confronting climate change? I’m glad you asked. Fact is, it is now possible to splice garlic genes into cows, thereby converting the cows into ambulatory plants. Like all plants, these garlic cows will consume carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, rather than methane. As garlic cows become the norm in the planet’s herds, global emissions of greenhouse gases will level off and then decline. Problem solved!

Think of the side benefits. Carnivores could have all the steak they want without confronting the disapproving glances of vegans. Vegans and vegetarians could have steak too. Cholesterol would be a plague of the past, like yaws. People who despise broccoli could skip it. The hard labor of home gardening could be replaced by keeping your own garlic cow.

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There are downsides, to be sure. To get meat, you would still have to kill the cow, but ethically it would be more like harvesting potatoes. To eat the red meat you would have to have a taste for garlic. And the milk from garlic cows, while non-dairy (like almond milk), would taste like garlic. It would take some getting used to on your cheerios. Garlic milk ice cream would be… novel.

But solving global climate change in a way that makes everyone happy is worth a garlic aftertaste.

John Peeler