This week a report from the United Nations Environmental Programme came out
(see it here). In the report they make it clear that the world needs to move away from consuming animal products. This is crucial in order to save our environment, world hunger, fuel poverty and climate change impacts.
Some key points they make in the report include:
- Animal products, both meat and dairy, in general require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives. (page 81)
- As total food consumption and the share of animal calories increase with wealth, nutrition for rich countries tends to cause higher environmental impacts than for poor countries. (page 81)
- Compared to industrial processes, agricultural processes have an inherently low efficiency of resource use, which renders food, fibres and fuels from agriculture among the more polluting resources. This is true especially for animal products, where the metabolism of the animals is the limiting factor. Large proportions of the world’s crops are fed to animals and this is expected to increase to 40–50% of global cereal production in 2050.
One significant driver for ecosystem degradation has been the expansion of the human population and changes in diet. Substantial habitat losses have arisen due to increased demand for land for agriculture and grazing, and significant declines in game and fish populations have resulted from overharvesting. (page 25)
- Food production is the most significant influence on land use and therefore habitat change, water use, overexploitation of fisheries and pollution with nitrogen and phosphorus. (page 79)
A strong environmental support for going vegan, or at least drastically reducing your meat and dairy consumption.
You can read additional articles on this here: UN urges global move to meat and dairy-free diet