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Less meat to help save the planet

27.08.2008

Less meat to help save the planet

cunik People should eat less meat to help tackle the challenge of climate change, according to Eurogroup for Animals. The animal welfare organisation is taking part in a consultation by the European Commission on what the European Union's approach to a global climate change agreement should be. Eurogroup is advising to cut back on meat, and when people do eat meat it should be produced to higher animal welfare standards.

The major impact livestock production has on climate change was highlighted in a report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) : Livestock's Long Shadow - Environmental Issues and Options.

Livestock and related activities such as deforestation and increasingly fuel-intensive farming practices are responsible for more than 18% of human made greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the global emissions of the transport sector.

Livestock farming also contributes excessively to land use effects, since enormous amounts of crops are cultivated in order to feed the animals. Worldwide, livestock production occupies 70% of all land used for agriculture, which corresponds to 30% of the Earth's land surface.

Global meat production is expected to double to 465 million tonnes in 2050 due to people eating more meat and diary products.

Eurogroup director Sonja Van Tichelen said: "Climate change is something that will affect all of us, but by adjusting our diet we can already make a difference. Eating less meat will not only benefit your health, it will also lead to fewer harmful emissions. And by choosing to buy only meat produced to higher animal welfare standards you will help animals and the climate alike."

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