A new study confirms what half of Europe is starting to think: reducing meat consumption is one of the most effective ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
A reduction in meat consumption, no matter how small, has been shown to go a long way. Why are those who eat less meat contributing to the war on climate change? Mainly due to the percentage of greenhouse gas emissions that are created by livestock production. Falling demand will equate to lower production numbers and, consequently, climate improvements. Mathematics, not opinion.
According to scientists from the University of Illinois, livestock production literally eats the soil, e contributes 57% of all total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The findings were revealed in the academic journal Nature Food. Some plant industry leaders believe this to be a conservative number, potentially ruling out the impact transportation has on the final figure. The CEO and founder of Impossible Foods Pat Brown (if you are interested in his vision of the future found here), estimates that the number is closer to 80%, but what does that mean in real terms?
Breaking down the statistics, the result does not change: he eats less meat.
Intensive animal husbandry they are a largely unsustainable practice, both in terms of planetary resources and money. It is a climate-damaging and unhealthy industry. And world governments do not seem to react quickly to ensure a transition for the many (innocent) farmers, despite figures that unequivocally demonstrate the need to move away from these food production models.
Farms are the largest users of land and water in the world, responsible for80% of the soil loss and 20% of the total energy consumption. In short, produce only 20% of what we consume generates at least 58% of emissions. Eat less meat if you don't want to eliminate it.
World leaders don't act
The release of these results makes it even more evident that those in positions of power are showing enormous indifference to an increasingly evident reality.
We have chosen (but are we going to do it seriously?) To focus our decarbonisation efforts on energy, transport and waste. All valid areas for improvement, but without addressing the consumption and production of meat, the efforts will be in vain. Any country that eats more meat than the global average should be fined as a polluting country.
COP26 has not recognized any responsibility of the global food system in emissions. An article published in the magazine Science earlier this year he said emissions from food production will still have to be reduced if fossil fuels are wiped out completely. It's not one or the other, but both require immediate attention.
Small changes for a big difference
There are a number of reasons why people don't want to switch to a mostly plant-based diet from budget personnel, but experts suggest that a simple and small reduction in overall meat consumption will have a collective impact.
Eat less meat. Listen. Eat meat one day less a week, and start playing your part.