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Meat consumption must be cut by 50% to prevent catastrophic climate change

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red-meat.jpgTwo weeks into my newfound pescetarianism, I've had some negative comments (mostly from people who don't really eat much greens or fish in general), but I'd like to think that's just ignorance. Overall most of my friends and family have been extremely supportive, and when I said no to lamb for Easter lunch at a friend's place they dished up salmon instead.

I am now doing my part and am feeling much better for it (am not missing meat much to be honest), and this latest piece of research will certainly make me think more than twice about returning to my carnivorous past.

New research warns that meat eaters in developed countries will have to cut their meat consumption by 50% to avoid the worst consequences of future climate change.

According to guardian.co.uk, a study published in Environmental Research Letters warns that we have to make drastic changes in both food production and at the dinner table by 2050 to prevent 'catastrophic global warming'.

Food production and the fertilisers used in farming are responsible for a significant share of the global warming that causes climate change. Only by cutting the use of fertilisers by 50% and persuading consumers in the developed world to stop eating so much meat can climate change be prevented, researchers are now warning.

As most people in the developed world consider meat a staple part of their diet (see mention above) it will not be an easy task to change this behaviour. Even more worryingly, in developing economies like China and India meat consumption is now rising along with prosperity.

Artificial meat could be a solution, and the fact is that, with a rapidly expanding population, we simply can't afford to continue to consume the volume of meat as we're currently doing.

While I'm not saying that everyone should stop eating meat altogether - some of my friends have said they never could - I do wish people did think more about where their food is coming from, how farming is impacting our planet and be more aware of their actions. It is all part of a chain: eating less meat would reduce the demand for fertilisers to grow feed crops for cattle and pigs. A reduction in demand for meat would reduce the number of farm animals required, which in turn would reduce the amount of manure produced - fertilisers and animal manure causes nitrous oxide which is the most potent of the greenhouse gases causing climate change.

What can be done to reduce meat consumption? What should governments do?

I, personally, can't help but think now that steak, as yummy as I still think it can be, was once a bull like Ferdinand...


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