Meat is ruining the earth, is it really worth it?

From: Grant White Park Close, Eastbourne

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 3:42 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 5:00 pm
Climate change is terrifying  (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)
Climate change is terrifying (Photo by NASA via Getty Images)

As an Englishman in my early 50s, I have been brought up on a diet of meat and two veg from an early age.

I have always enjoyed meat but as I take note of what this is doing to the world I have had to consider this. Since I was born, the population of the world has doubled from three to 7.6billion and the ever-increasing western fixation on a meat diet is now taking a terrible toll on our planet.

A total of 80 per cent of the world’s agricultural land is used to produce meat, and that meat only provides 20 per cent of human nutrition.

Vast swathes of forest are being cleared to not only provide grazing but to grow animal feed. Even grass-fed cattle in the UK are routinely fed soya to fatten them prior to slaughter and soya feed is used widely for chickens as well.

Consider that 90 per cent of soya is used for animal feed. A total of 77 per cent of soya feed used in the UK comes from South American countries responsible for clearing forests. Brazil soya production is up 170 per cent since 2001, Argentina 86 per cent.

The Amazon rainforest carbon sink holds more carbon than all of the extractable fossil fuel reserves on the planet. We cannot afford to lose it.

My family now eats meat twice a week. With the vast variety of world cuisine recipes now available to us our diet does not suffer.

Fast food chains such as Burger King buy huge amounts of this soya.

We must ask ourselves, does our appetite for meat warrant the destruction of the planet ?