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A new report, Meat Atlas 2021, shows that 20 milk and livestock companies produce more greenhouse gas emissions than Britain, France, or Germany, and the world’s five biggest meat and dairy companies emit the same volume of GhGs as fossil fuel giant, ExxonMobil. Worse, over 2,500 investment firms, banks, and pension funds have been giving these companies billions of dollars. Between 2015 and 2020, meat and dairy companies across the globe acquired $478 billion dollars.
Why This Matters: Livestock agriculture produces 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. By this point, it’s common knowledge that people in rich countries should eat less meat and dairy to lower their carbon footprint.
But this report shows that the meat industry is still growing — and it’s not slowing down any time soon. The report calculates that meat production could increase by 40 million metric tons by 2029, with 60% of this meat coming from the US, EU, China, and Brazil.
According to the report, three-quarters of all agricultural land is used to raise animals or crops for animal feed. “In Brazil alone, 175m hectares (about 432 million acres) is dedicated to raising cattle,” which is about the size of the “entire agricultural area of the European Union.”
But we also have to change the way we eat. Stanka Becheva, a food and agriculture campaigner working with Friends of the Earth, told the Guardian that even trendy alternative meat options are not enough: “This is all for profit and is not really addressing the fundamental issues we see in the current animal protein-centred food system that is having a devastating impact on climate, biodiversity and is actually harming people around the globe.”
By Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer With drought continuing in the West, and the summer’s historic floods throughout Europe, the world is wondering how climate change will also affect the way we eat. This controversial question was addressed by agriculture experts, NGOs, government officials, and corporate leaders at Peas, Trees, and 1.5 Degrees, a Climate […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer In the lead-up to today’s United Nations Food Systems Summit, young activists spoke about their priorities for the global gathering at yesterday’s Food is the Future event. At the event, youth representatives from worldwide interviewed adult peers in the world of food system work. In an effort to […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Investing in small-scale local farm activities can take on rural poverty, sustainability, and nutrition challenges according to a report released today by the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development. The report, Transforming Food Systems for Rural Prosperity, recommends supporting all elements of food production, not just growing crops. Expanding […]
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