Desperate Times Require Intelligent Measures | Reversing Meat-Eating Culture to Combat Accelerating Climate Change

World Preservation Foundation (WPF) scientists recently published a paper in the International Journal of Climate Change that explains how steep reductions in livestock production will be the most effective way to slow warming in the next decades, by at least 2°C.  Here’s the paper and press release.

Not only is livestock shown to be a quick-fix, the paper also highlights the work of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency that looked at long-term climate fix – the cost of mitigating global warming.  It works out that returning the world’s pastures (a quarter of the land surface) to grow trees, woodland and native perennial grasses, will soak up at least 20 years of carbon emissions.

We rarely, if at all, challenge the fundamental ways in which we humans approach the environment and our belief in our rights to consume it as a resource.

by Dr Nik Taylor
School of Social and Behavioural Sciences,
Flinders University, Australia

Overview: Following an overview of the environmental impacts of meat production, this report turns to an outline of the research addressing changing to meat free diets and by doing so I review research into both the barriers and incentives to adopting a meat free diet. I then turn to a more sociological consideration of meat-eating and discuss the cultural and social practices which surround our food choices and beliefs about the necessity of meat in our diets. What this report does not do, however, is consider historical arguments about the “rights” of humans to eat meat or arguments from moral philosophers regarding the rights of other animals not to be eaten. While recognising that these arguments are highly important I have elected to omit them here partly due to confines of space and partly because they detract from the central issue which is not whether humans should eat animals because they (arguably) always have done so, but is whether the environment can sustain current meat-eating practices. – Dr. Nik Taylor

Download the paper:

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