Letters to the Editor: Apply the Clean Air Act to animal agriculture to fight climate change

A long line of Holstein cows at a dairy farm eating hay.
Holstein cows at a dairy farm in Pixley, Calif., in March 2020.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: A massive industry with political influence works to preserve profits, knowing the harmful environmental and health impact of their products. Government leadership is channeled by lobbying pressure and campaign contributions, allowing business as usual to continue. (“Why meat and dairy corporations are the Achilles’ heel of Biden’s climate plan,” Opinion, May 16)

Sound familiar? Remember asbestos? Tobacco? Acid rain?

In the case of global warming, there are multiple industry players. In her op-ed article, Viveca Morris speaks of one: animal agriculture. In this case, the tantalizing promise of capturing carbon emissions from animals raised for food works as a smoke screen that obscures the primary problem.

If President Biden is to deliver on his climate pledges, his administration has to address all forms of carbon emissions, including those resulting from the meat and dairy conglomerates. His administration should apply the Clear Air Act to all greenhouse gas sources.


Gary Stewart, Laguna Beach


To the editor: I was disappointed that Morris did not mention the Good Food Institute, which is already working with huge global meat and dairy producers, including Tyson Foods, one of the companies she identified as “climate super-polluters.”

The aim is to produce lab meat and plant-based meats that will be as good or better in both taste and price. It will cut through the binary meat-eater versus vegan argument by simply changing the protein content of everyday products.

While I understand the urgency to address greener protein solutions, identifying Tyson and others as enemies misses the point. If these companies find a viable alternative that enables them to fulfill carbon policy and still make a profit, why wouldn’t they?

Jane Easton, Bristol, United Kingdom


To the editor: Morris’ piece shows exactly why a carbon fee is the best option to lower greenhouse gas pollution.

A carbon fee as proposed in the recently reintroduced HR 2307, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, does not discriminate. If your industry produces carbon pollution, your industry pays a fee, and the money is distributed to Americans to offset any increased cost of carbon-pollution products.

Therein lies the incentive for industries to develop comparable non-polluting products.

Vicki Di Paolo, Huntington Beach