Photo by Teresia.

A recent New York Times op-ed declared that sustainable meat is a “myth.” Whether pastured, small-scale, large-scale, rotationally grazed, locavore, industrialized, etc., all meat is essentially the same and none of it is sustainable. So says author James McWilliams who points, as many have, to the climate impact of livestock production.

I take issue with some of McWilliams’ figures (for example, here’s the Environmental Working Group’s explanation of pastured meat’s reduced climate footprint), but by and large I agree! Meat production at its current scale — and the scale it’s projected to reach as the developing world increases its consumption — is not sustainable. Period.