When you picture Colorado you might think of skiing, hiking, trout fishing, river rafting, bike riding and tree hugging. And you'd be right in thinking all of these activities do take place in Colorado. But I can tell you that there are also plenty of SUVs driving those skiers to the slopes in Summit County, hiking trails in Estes, trout fishing streams in Deckers, white water rafting outfitters on the Colorado River and even to the bike riding, tree-hugging mecca of Boulder.
When I moved to Denver in 2006 I heard a lot of talk about how it was such a "bike friendly" city. I pictured bike lanes on every road, bike shops on every corner and throngs of cyclists riding to/from work. Wrong.
I rode 24 miles from Castle Rock to my office in Centennial this morning. Not one bike lane. Didn't pass a single bike shop. Saw three other cyclists during the entire 90 minute commute.
What I did see was a bunch of SUV-driving hypocrites heading to work drinking $4 lattes in paper cups wrapped in a recycled-paper coozie. And I'm sure many of them buy into the animal rights activist's argument that they can reduce their carbon footprint by foregoing a steak and eating tofu for dinner. Bull.
As as you can see from this map (tracked on my new Garmin Edge 705), I have to go miles out of my way to find roads suitable for riding...
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So, do cows contribute more to global warming than cars? I'm no scientist but I inhaled in a lot of fumes on my way to work this morning and although I did ride past a lot of cows (and heifers and steers and bulls), the only thing I gagged on was the exhaust from Hummers, Explorers, diesel-burning duelies and garbage trucks hauling our daily discard to the landfill.
The shell game being played by the anti-meatheads in Boulder and other bastians of veganism in this country is to point the finger at burping cattle as the cause of global warming while relieving our guilt by telling us that driving our SUVs to work is OK. Bull.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the number one source of methane gas in the United States is solid waste landfills. Remember those garbage trucks?
The issue isn't cows or cars. It's us. Every day, every hour, every minute we eat, breathe, urinate and excricate (is that a word?), we leave a carbon footprint on the Earth. When the alarm clock goes off, we turn on our lights, television, computer, microwave, open the fridge, run the dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer...we leave a bigger "hoofprint" than any cow ever aspired to leave.
Al Gore should be pissed. All of his work to raise our consciousness to global warming is being undermined by the anti-animal consumption community that even chastises him for contributing to global warming by eating meat. By shifting the blame from US to THEM (poor cows), they do a disservice to Al(l).*
OK, I know I'm standing on my soapbox, which makes me an easy target. But until I see more bikes than cars on the road I'm going to keep eating beef to get the zinc, iron and protein I need to fuel my body for the 24-mile ride to work. Beef, by the way, is a renewable fuel for my body. No OPEC controlling the supply. Don't worry. Eat beef...we'll make more!
*I should point out here that I am a registered Republican and defending Al Gore is not in my nature.