Thirteen (13) years have passed since that remarkable report of the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) on global warming. According to this, the livestock sector is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than transport. Moreover, animal farming is also considered a major source of land and water degradation.
«Livestock is one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems. Urgent action is required to remedy the situation», had said Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch and senior author of the report. People are consuming more meat and dairy products every year.
Global meat production is projected to more than double from 229 million tons in 1999/2001 to 465 million tons in 2050, while milk output is set to climb from 580 to 1043 million tons.
Livestock, use 30 percent of the earth’s entire land surface, mostly permanent pasture but also including 33 percent of the global arable land used to producing feed for livestock, the report notes. As forests are cleared to create new pastures, it is a major driver of deforestation, especially in Latin America where, for example, some 70 percent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing.
Thirteen years later, we are facing the exact same problem. Instead of decreasing, these numbers are rising. A greener diet could make a difference. We have too many options as far as our food alternatives to meat is concerned. The only thing left to do, is to adopt them.
Photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash