I think it depends on where you are. If you live in a city, where you cannot afford food better than the corner fried-chicken place, but you take the subway to work, losing the use of a car would not really make much of a difference to them, but if they were prohibited from eating meat, that wouldn’t go over so well. Unfortunately, this is also an affectation of the systems we live in, that make it cheaper to eat like that.
Livestock are responsible for almost two-thirds (64 percent) of anthropogenic ammonia emissions, which contribute significantly to acid rain and acidification of ecosystems.
A new UN FAO report states that livestock generate more CO2 than all forms of transportation (cars, planes, etc) combined. The number of livestock in the world is estimated to double by 2050.
I don’t think it’s really reasonable to ask anyone to do anything that they don’t want to do. Education about issues is the best way to get people to self-reflect and reassess their own choices. If at the end of that reassessment, they’re not really “seeing the light” and making major life adjustments like nixing meat from their diet or selling their car, one could gently point out less drastic ways of making small movements toward those ultimate goals, like eating less meat, or driving less frequently. But one must respect each individual’s agency, even if that agency leads to choices one might not ultimately support. But to answer your specific question, I think people are generally a little bit touchier about their personal tastes and dietary habits, and as jvanderlee pointed out above, it’s not always economically feasible for someone to make changes: i.e. the only job you can find is an hour’s drive away, and you have children to feed, etc.
Asking people to avoid meat is a much more reasonable request, since people can always get their protein from things like tofu, lentils, and cheese. If someone live half an hour from where they work, it can be much more time consuming to bike or take the bus to get there. Of course, not eating meat is a much less important request, because it has a much lower impact on the environment. With a collective effort of thousands not driving their cars, our CO2 emissions would eventually drop drastically.
I think asking will be pretty much ignored by the general public. It is because people are either skeptical or just don’t know why you’re asking them to do something. Education and further, clear, fact-based information will help, but even then most people will ignore it. It takes a real cause people can associate with to get them to do or stop doing something on a regular basis.
I think it all depends of the situation. If the situation requires these actions to sustain a society then yes it is reasonable. I.E. meat is limited and must be rationed. If those circumstances aren’t there then no it is not reasonable. You would be asking someone to stop doing something based on your belief. It gives the impression that their opinion doesn’t matter. For the example of eating meat. I understand some find it morally wrong to eat meat. I personally don’t. I think animals should not be subject to abuse, but some animals do serve the purpose of being food.
I think for most people it will be much easier for them not to drive a car than not eat meat. People do not directly see the slaughtering of animals and therefore won’t care as much. By driving a car people can smell the toxic fumes coming out of other cars and trucks. It convinces them that they are put toxics and killing there children. Also people see the BP crisis as a sign to not drive as much.
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