GRAIN and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) have issued a devastating report on the effects of meat and dairy production on climate change.
The report’s principal finding:
At issue are demands for growth in the meat and dairy industries.
The report explains:
Current industrial levels of production cannot be sustained, nor can growth models for meat and dairy remain unchanged. The paradox of the corporate business model based on high rates of annual growth versus the urgent climate imperative to scale back meat and dairy production and consumption in affluent countries and populations is untenable.
Its inevitable conclusion:
cheap meat and dairy comes at a high cost due to social, environmental and animal welfare problems that continue to be under-regulated. In addition, this production is only made possible because the corporations receive an indirect subsidy from taxpayers in the form of government-funded price supports that keep grain cheap.
It is past time to regulate the industry and redirect the massive subsidies and other public expenditures that currently support the big meat and dairy conglomerates towards local food and farming systems capable of looking after people and the planet.
That’s the challenge. The need to address it is urgent. Let’s get to work.
Meat consumption, health, and the environment. Science July 20, 2018. Authors: H. Charles J. Godfray, Paul Aveyard, Tara Garnett, Jim W. Hall, Timothy J. Key, Jamie Lorimer, Ray T. Pierrehumbert, Peter Scarborough, Marco Springmann, Susan A. Jebb.
This lengthy, extensively illustrated and referenced article covers much of the same territory but with greater emphasis on the health impact of meat consumption, and the amounts of water used in meat production, primarily from feed.