News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

What is the true cost of eating meat?

Veganism is the only sane way forward. A study last year showed, for example, that if all Americans substituted beans for beef.

BIBI VAN DER ZEE: ‘Food and farming is one of the biggest economic sectors in the world… In 2016, the world’s meat production was estimated at 317m metric tons, and that is expected to continue to grow. Figures for the value of the global meat industry vary wildly from $90bn to as much as $741bn… The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation states that livestock is about 40% of the global value of agricultural output and supports the livelihoods and food security of almost a 1.3 billion people… But is meat still crucial to human life? Some argue that, just because we’ve always eaten meat, that doesn’t mean we always have to. If we can get all the dietary nutrients and protein that we need elsewhere, should we?…

The 20th century saw the application of the principles of the industrial revolution to agriculture – how could inputs be minimised and profits be maximised? The result was the factory farm, first for chickens, then pigs, and more recently cattle… What is the environmental impact of our current farming model?… On some estimates farming accounts for about 70% of water used in the world today… Farms contribute to water pollution in a range of ways… which is growing and intensifying faster than crop production, has “serious implications” for water quality… Livestock is the world’s largest user of land resources… the production of feed representing almost 80% of all agricultural land… According to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, agriculture, forestry and other land use accounts for 24% of greenhouse gases…

What next? Some argue that veganism is the only sane way forward. A study last year showed, for example, that if all Americans substituted beans for beef… But there are some alternatives. Reducing the amount of meat you eat while improving its quality is advocated by many environmental groups. But where do you find this meat? The organic movement was founded on the pioneering work of Sir Alfred Howard. It is still relatively small – in Europe 5.7% of agricultural land is managed organically – but influential. There are other agricultural models, such as biodynamic farming and permaculture’. SOURCE…


You might also like
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.