The GRSB's 12-page document does indeed seem vague in its goals. It speaks of preserving the grasslands and forests that are routinely cleared to support cattle production; upholding rights for beef workers "throughout the beef value chain"; ensuring cows' health and welfare; enforcing food safety protocol; and promoting efficiency and waste reduction. But importantly, the document notes that because these steps will need to develop at a local level, the GRSB "will not develop a seal, certification or comparable standard for sustainable beef." And, ultimately, that's because such a thing doesn't exist."The only sustainable beef is beef that was never produced or consumed," said Gidon Eshel, a professor of environmental sciences at Bard College who specializes in agricultural environmental sciences. "Beef and sustainability are about as compatible as war and goodness."
"Beef and sustainability are about as compatible as war and goodness," Eshel said.
"Many of these principles are laudable, but unless they are backed by specific changes, they are quite meaningless. You can say you love someone, but then you go out and sleep with their best friend and really your words don't mean much!"