Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cow patties and pig farts

As a vegetarian of some 25 or more years, I was intrigued by a report in the well-respected medical journal The Lancet that a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions could be achieved by a reduced reliance on meat in the developed world.
Apparently, as 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions are from agriculture (comparable to the contribution of industry and more than that of transportation), and as livestock production accounts for 80% of those agricultural emissions (mainly in the form of methane), then a proposed 10% overall cut in global meat consumption by 2050 would slow down greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, as well as having all sorts of other health benefits like reduced heart disease, obesity and cancer.
In order to achieve that innocent-sounding 10% cut, though, the report proposes that those in rich countries would need to halve their meat intake from the current 200-250 grams per person per day, while those in developing countries would increase theirs from current levels of 20-25 grams per person per day.
Well, I'm doing my bit - how about you?

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