Barnaby Joyce objected with characteristic sophistication to Peter Singer getting the nation’s top honour last week, the Companion of the Order of Australia. Various letters appeared defending Singer on following days, but all talked of his moral philosophy and honours without touching on his environmental insight which was well ahead of its time.


Back in 1990, in the second edition of Animal Liberation, Singer wrote that forests and meat animals compete for land and then outlined the contribution of deforestation to global warming and wildlife loss. He described the imperative for reforestation to avoid the worst of both.

In the two decades since those prescient words, while mainsteam environmentalists were busy with BBQ fundraisers to raise money to campaign on such pressing matters as plastic bags or disposable nappies, the Queenland cattle industry deforested another 7.8 million hectares. Globally, cattle have increased by 130 million to over 1.4 billion weighing more than the human population.

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  • ali says:

    11:06pm | 23/06/12

    little joe, are you serious?  you cannot see the relevance of pointing to the methane ourput of one part of ag versus another on the basis of caloric values?  the fact that so many people are fed from one for the output created compared to the other?  this comes back… Read more »

  • ali says:

    03:06pm | 23/06/12

    @bertrand and friends, “The author clearly fails to realise that in contemporary social discourse raising environmental concerns places one alongside fascists and tyrants.” What recalcitrant egocentric rot.  many posters here at The Punch fail to realise the difference between well informed (by peer reviewed research) opinion as against desperate opinion… Read more »


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