Eat meat, but eat less, says environmental report

People don’t have to ditch meat to save the planet, but they will have to eat less and switch to non-intensive produce, a new report has found.

The report, released by Friends of the Earth (FOE) and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), models future food production against different diets. It concludes that by limiting consumption to three times a week, people could make a big difference to the planet.

The authors reject the concept that intensive farming is necessary to feed the world’s growing population and claim that if everyone ate less meat, it would be possible to produce enough food for everyone using high-welfare, planet-friendly farming practices.

Clare Oxborrow, FOE senior food campaigner, said: “It’s amazing news that we can feed a rapidly expanding population without trashing the planet – and still eat meat several times a week. With as many obese as malnourished people in the world, fairer and healthier lower-meat diets are a win-win for people and the planet.”

Lasse Bruun, head of campaigns at CIWF, said: “It’s great to see that we can actually do without factory farming and still eat meat, just by cutting down the amount we consume. The true cost of eating too much meat is animal suffering, deforestation and obesity. We have the power to save our planet and be kind to animals. All we need to do is change our diets to a healthier and fairer option.”

CIWF and FOE are calling on the government to switch subsidies from intensive production to “planet-friendly and humane methods”.

“The Government has already backed a major scientific study that calls for a move away from intensive production – it’s time it stopped spending public money on it and got behind planet-friendly farming instead,” said Oxborrow.

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