Scientists Call for Us to Reach “Peak Meat”

In a letter to The Lancet Planetary Health Journal, 50 leading scientists called for meat production to peak by 2030. They asked for governments  to make firm commitments to stop expanding livestock production, to reduce the most resource-intensive livestock production, and to start “replacing livestock with foods that simultaneously minimize environmental burdens and maximize public health benefits—mainly pulses (including beans, peas, and lentils), grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.”
  • As CNN reported, the scientists called on governments to identify the largest emissions sources or land-occupiers in the livestock sector and set reduction targets to help fight the risk of global temperatures rising by more than the “safe” limit of 1.5-2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

What We Need: Reducing global meat consumption is critical to curbing climate change. When we restore forests that were cleared for livestock cultivation and reduce the amount of methane that animals emit, we can make an important step to sequester greenhouse gases and prevent their emission in the first place.

Why This Matters: The scientists warned that high- and middle-income countries should not outsource livestock production to other countries but instead reduce demand for meat products in order to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement. That means that we must do our part to become more conscious consumers–we can do better than this.

Go Deeper: Our relationship with meat is complicated, it seems as if we want to eat less meat but shaking the habit is hard!

Go Even Deeper: Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider echoed the sentiment of reduced meat consumption saying that consumers in countries like the U.S. are so “over-indexed on animal proteins.”

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