The European Union has come to a harsh realization: It's time to cut back on meat consumption. And they don't just have to cut back, they have to half their beef and lamb consumption, in order to meet environmentally friendly climate goals.
All of the land that must be used to raise animals for food is land that could be used planting trees and other crops to replenish the environment. As it stands, animal waste accounts for much of the methane and nitrous oxide in the environment. The Food Policy study reports that in order to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by the 80% set goal, cutting meat consumption in half is "unavoidable."
The plan was originally to look at the effect food waste has on our environmental woes, but halving that would account for only 1-3% of our problems, while changes in meat consumption would have a much larger effect. According to Food Navigator, livestock products (and even fish) are the most greenhouse gas intensive products accounting for about 75% of all food-related emissions. Looks like a major cut here would help the EU reach its optimistic 80% goal.
For all of you meat eaters out there, there is a bright side! Pork and poultry is still okay. The harmful emissions from these are reportedly about 10-20 times less than those of of beef and lamb.
So, let's follow the EU's example and work to help the environment by eating more chicken and pork barbeque!