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Production of meat is destroying our planet

Published 14/07/2016

There's an overpopulation problem all right, but not the one you might think. There are seven billion people on our planet, but you have to multiply that number by 10 to get the 70 billion farm animals driving the worst environmental crisis of modern times.

While human numbers are rising at roughly 1.2% a year, livestock numbers are rising at double that rate (2.4%). Animal agriculture emits high levels of CO2, nitrous oxide and methane - together responsible for at least 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. What we need is a public education campaign. Most people in this country, I suspect, still have little idea that the production of meat, fish and dairy products is destroying the planet.

Government policy would also help and, if the UK wants a blueprint, then it should look to China, which recently announced its plan to reduce meat consumption by 50% to tackle climate change.

A global shift to a vegan diet would see climate emissions decrease by 70% by 2050, according to a recent study by Oxford University and result in a monetary saving of over $1 trillion in costs linked to climate change and healthcare.

Can we afford not to stop eating meat?

JIMMY PIERSON

The Vegan Society

Online Editors

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