Due to the increasing risk industrialized animal agriculture poses to animals, the environment, and our health, Greenpeace has launched a new campaign urging global meat and dairy consumption to be cut in HALF by 2050. To reach this goal, Greenpeace is calling on governments to end policies that support industrial meat and dairy production and encouraging governments to make sustainable, plant-based foods readily available to citizens.
In a new report, Greenpeace states if our global meat and dairy consumption continues on the dangerous path it is on now, agriculture is projected to produce 52 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, 70 percent of these emissions will be from meat and dairy.
Not only is industrialized animal agriculture one of the major drivers of global climate change, factory farming occupies around half of the world’s arable land, uses a majority of our freshwater resources, AND is one of the largest drivers of global deforestation. With the world’s ever-growing population, we would need another planet to continue feeding the population cheap meat and dairy.
The report also notes that the production and consumption of meat are behind our global health crisis. High red meat consumption is linked to cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. On the flip side, switching to a plant-based diet could save BILLIONS in healthcare costs. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the U.K. could cut its healthcare and societal costs 5.87 billion Euros ($7.30 billion) if only 10 percent of the population opted for plant-based options.
“A new, diverse global movement is growing: one hungry for a better way of eating and producing food that is in tune with ourselves and the environment. Together, we can loosen the grip of industrial animal agriculture on our food system and build a healthier world for our generation and the next,” said Bunny McDiarmid, Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
It is so wonderful to see a major environmental organization addressing the connection between meat consumption and the environment. Traditionally, environmental organizations would shy away from talking about this issue – largely due to concerns their donors wouldn’t like being told their meat is killing the planet – but increasingly, this is becoming a conversation that is, frankly, irresponsible to ignore. By opting for a plant-based diet you can HALVE your personal carbon footprint – that’s way more impactful than switching off all your lights or biking to work every day … plus, eating delicious vegan food is hardly a difficult sacrifice!
While encouraging governments to make a serious commitment to promoting plant-based foods over factory farming is important, we don’t have to wait for legislative change to happen to make a difference. For more information on how you can help the environment with your food choices, starting TODAY, check out the new #EatForThePlanet book!
Lead Image Source: Socially Responsible Agricultural Project/Flickr