Letters to the Editor: Foodies, stop parroting the meat industry on plant-based burgers

Meatless burger
A meatless Impossible burger at the Umami Burger restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
( Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: As the L.A. Times Editorial Board notes, the climate impact and cruelty of meat production are appalling. While it’s unsurprising that the meat industry is freaking out about plant-based burger producers Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, unfortunately some food advocates are also denouncing them using similar arguments.

The fact is, when it comes to addressing the global climate and extinction crisis, time’s running out. We need to embrace real-world solutions. In the coming decades, 1 million wild animals and plant species could be lost forever unless we take immediate, drastic action.

Livestock production consumes 30% of the Earth’s land surface. Cattle operations, including grass-fed beef, imperil wolves, grizzly bears, beavers, prairie dogs, bees, butterflies, rare plants and hundreds of endangered species.

It’s self-defeating to reject important advances like plant-based burgers because they aren’t perfect. To thwart the extinction and climate emergencies we must support policies, technologies and markets that are reducing animal consumption now.


Lori Ann Burd, Tucson

The writer is environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity.