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Next, there`s a new poll out on global warming. Now 83 percent of U.S. citizens now believe it`s a serious problem. That`s up from 70 percent in 2004. Everybody panic! We`re all going to burn to death in a flood!
But the polling geniuses didn`t ask the far more important question. Here it is. Who`s responsible? And what, if anything, can we do to fight it?
Well, I`ll answer both of them for you right now: Big meat is responsible. Become a vegan if you want to make a difference. Oh, now not so interested, huh?
"The Real Story" is that the U.N. report concludes that the world`s meat industry generates far more greenhouse gas than all of the worldwide transportation combined. Think about that. The U.N. is saying that the steak you ate for dinner last night did more harm to the environment than your drive in to work this morning.
Now, if you believe we`re all going to die in some sort of fiery flood, why wouldn`t you, you know, change? Why wouldn`t you stop eating meat? Yes, I`m talking to you, Al Gore. That`s exactly who I`m talking about. Why haven`t you made the adjustments to your personal diet?
I mean, I admire your passion, and congratulations on that little Oscar thing, but if you literally believe that the ocean will -- the ocean levels will rise by 20 feet, it`s not really unreasonable to wonder why you haven`t switched to a veggie burger is it?
Last week, a member of PETA was on the show, and afterwards I asked him to calculate how bad my meat-eating really is for the environment. It`s bad, I warn you. You know, what`s my meat footprint?
Matt Prescott from PETA is back now to give me the results. How bad is the footprint, Matt?
MATT PRESCOTT, PETA: Well, Glenn, I`ve got to say, your meat footprint is pretty deep, but I think I`ve got hope for you yet. When we talked earlier and you said that you opposed foie gras and veal because of the cruelty, I think that shows something. You know, most people just don`t realize that chickens, and cows, and pigs are abused in these hideous ways.
BECK: I realize, but I...
PRESCOTT: That they have their testicles cut off without painkillers, and they`re scalded alive, and have their throats slit...
BECK: Hang on just a second. Hang on, Matt. I want you to know, I realize that. It`s, for instance, foie gras, it bothers me when I eat it, but I still eat. Veal, because it`s a cute, little, cuddly cow, it bothers me. I don`t want to torture my food, you know, so it`s a little more tender, but chickens?
PRESCOTT: Anybody who`s ever had a dog or a cat knows that animals feel pain. They know that they don`t deserve to be tortured. Chickens and pigs and cows all feel pain in the same way that dogs and cats do. They`re intelligent animals. They`re individuals. Yet they`re abused in ways every single day that would warrant cruelty to animals charges if dogs and cats were the victims.
BECK: If chickens weren`t so darn yummy, I`d be with you. Actually, driving a Prius or going to an In and Out Burger, which does more damage to the environment?
PRESCOTT: Going to an In and Out Burger, by far. You know...
BECK: Let`s look at the damage that people do. Like me, we`ve put some charts together, and maybe you can take us through this here, Matt. First is my river pollution. What kind of damage -- what kind of damage am I doing?
PRESCOTT: Far more than a vegetarian. Rivers in people`s backyards and people`s own communities are grossly polluted by the meat industry. In California, the dairies throughout California wreak havoc on the waterways. This is water that children play in. This is water that, when your kids go outside, they swim in.
BECK: Well, wait a minute, why are you comparing me here to Kobayashi? That`s the guy who does the hot dog eating contest. That`s a little unfair.
PRESCOTT: Now, come on, I mean, you`re not eating 100 hot dogs in one sitting, at least I hope you`re not.
BECK: Well, I might try.
PRESCOTT: Kobayashi should try to switch to veggie dogs. They`re delicious and they don`t do any of the environmental harm. They`re better for his health and better for the animals.
BECK: Water waste, here`s the chart on water waste, what my meat footprint is on water waste. Look at this. And what are we talking about on water waste?
PRESCOTT: Well, we`re talking about not just the rivers; we`re talking about the oceans, if you eat fish. When we talk about water pollution, we`re talking about all of the trawling that the commercial fisheries are doing. They cast these giant nets into the ocean that rip up the coral reefs, and they spew out tons of ground-up animals. The nets catch porpoises, they catch dolphins, they catch birds and turtles. They grind them up on the ship and then they spew them back out.
BECK: And the final chart -- and I don`t even understand this one, help me out -- is manure waste. How am I exactly responsible for wasting - - what are we saving the manure for? How am I wasting manure?
PRESCOTT: We`re not talking about wasting it. We`re talking about generating it.
BECK: Oh, generating it.
PRESCOTT: Generating it. So by eating meat, you`re supporting an industry that raises and kills, in the U.S. alone, about 10 billion animals a year. All those animals are creating massive amounts of manure that`s going into our land, and that`s also going into our waterways, the same water that...
BECK: So, Matt, an honest question for you. Can you actually believe in, you know, we`re all going to die in some horrible flood because of global warming and not be a vegetarian or a vegan?
PRESCOTT: Well, for a long time, I myself wasn`t a vegetarian when I believed in environmental causes, but when I learned about the fact that eating meat is the number-one worst thing a person can do for the environment and for their own health and for the animals, I became vegetarian.
BECK: If I had to choose Whoppers and a Prius or carrots and a Hummer, which would you do, because I`m only doing one?
PRESCOTT: Well, I`d go with the carrots and the Hummer, you know. Gore, I think, is genuine. I think other environmentalists are genuine in their concern and in their efforts.
PRESCOTT: But they miss a big component, and that is that, by encouraging people to go to vegetarian, to go to Web sites like goveg.com, people can do far more good than they can by buying a Prius or switching to energy-saving light bulbs, which are all good things.
BECK: Matt, thank you very much. That is the "Real Story" tonight.