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According to the website Quartz, Obama spoke at
the Global Food Innovation Summit in Milano, Italy about the
importance of cutting back on meat. While it wasn’t the hard stance against
eating meat, he did speak up against the harm being done by animal agriculture.
“I think people
naturally understand that big smokestacks have pollution in them and they
understand air pollution, so they can easily make the connection between energy
production and the idea of greenhouse gases. People aren’t as familiar with the
impact of cows and methane, unless you’re a farmer,” Obama stated, according
He continued, “That doesn’t mean that we can’t teach you
and me to have a smaller steak, for our own health. It doesn’t mean we can’t
make progress in educating the advanced world about the need to reduce, just
for dietary reasons, the amount of meat that we consume at any given meal.”
When Kass pointed out that he may have cooked thousands of
steaks for Obama during his Presidency, Obama responded with a smile, saying, “I
don’t know about thousands. Maybe hundreds. What is true is I am not a
vegetarian. I respect vegetarians, but I am not one of them.”
While that may not be a statement that is as strong as
vegans wish Obama would make, it is certainly further than other former
Presidents have gone in speaking up about the grave damage being done by meat