Why is eating meat bad for the environment? How the meat industry contributes to climate change

With each New Year, after enjoying the festive season, millions of us rethink our eating habits – and whether it is a good time to work on them.

Most importantly, many people are thinking about reducing their meat consumption in order to save some calories.

But there is another reason to consider – namely the environmental impact of eating meat.

READ MORE: Why Do People Eat Less Meat?

Why is eating meat bad for the environment?

The production and consumption of meat have various environmental impacts – many of which are harmful. This requires huge amounts of land and water.

As a result, environmentalists have indicated that the meat industry is a leading cause of deforestation, water degradation and biodiversity loss.

Cattle farming has been linked to large-scale deforestation, the process of cutting trees to create more grazing land – often by burning them, which releases more carbon dioxide into the earth’s atmosphere.

This often brutal process of deforestation has been blamed for human rights violations, particularly against the indigenous peoples who live in the Amazon rainforest.

Illegal logging and aggressive land grabbing – sometimes with the tacit approval of governments – have done much to exacerbate environmental degradation.

The destruction of natural habitats also has a negative impact on biodiversity, so that some animal species are threatened with extinction.

Food production, it was already asserts, is responsible for around a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, including CO2, methane and nitrous oxide.

However, meat consumption in the UK has decreased significantly in recent years. ONE to learn revealed last year that we are eating 17% less meat than a decade earlier.

However, if we are to meet the environmental goals set out in the government’s National Food Strategy, meat consumption in the UK must decrease by 30% over the next decade.

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