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Big Meat and Dairy’s Supersized Climate Footprint

Big Meat and Dairy’s Supersized Climate Footprint

GRAIN, IATP and Heinrich Böll Foundation

As the meat and dairy industries descend upon COP23 to broadcast their “feed the world” narrative, let’s set the story straight: their emissions could lead us to a point of no return.

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Right problem, wrong solution. The answer is simple: veganism. The wholesale slaughter and abuse of countless billions of animals for their flesh, eggs, and other secretions is totally unnecessary, bad for the animals (obviously), bad for us, and bad for the planet.


This may be the most difficult sector when it comes to reducing emissions. There doen’t seem much hope in getting people to change their diets so as the article suggests there is a need to change farming practices. I would expect that might prices for meat and dairy so it is going to take a lot.

Sorry; science is not on your side. No one is denying the history of our species here. You’re taking aim at a position made of straw. Time to move on. I challenge you to find one reputable scientific study that suggests eating the flesh of animals is any longer necessary for good health (or for any other important end). Furthermore, the dangers (to us, the animals, and the planet) of excessive meat consumption are well documented. Veganism, on the other hand, is pretty much the perfect diet for contemporary humans, good for the animals, and much better for the planet.

Obviously humans have evolved to be omnivores. But there are over 7 billion of us and the number is growing, Humans have had a tremendous impact on the environment ever since farming began. Greenhouse gas emissions are far from the only problem. There are large dead zones in the oceans caused by nitrogen runoff from farm lands. Soils are being depleted of nutrients due to farming practices and soil erosion can be a problem caused by farming. Creating farmland has resulted in tremendous loss of wetlands and forests, both of which have important environmental benefits. No human diet is good for the planet if farming practices to produce the food are poor. Many changes are needed.


Thanks for the links. I would not claim that humans were “made to be vegans,” anymore than one should claim we’re made to be meat-eaters (we are, in fact, opportunistic omnivores), but, since we can live quite well (better many health professionals say) on a strict vegan diet, the history is irrelevant to our current needs and (ethical) interests. All diets can be unhealthy (a vegan can over-indulge in junk food like chips and candy, for example), and all carry risk of deficiencies (average vegans: calcium, iodine, B12; average omnivores: calcium, folate, fiber, iodine, magnesium, C, E). Vegan deficiencies are rare and easily avoidable; average omnivore diets have led to epidemics of obesity, heart disease, and cancer. Claims about the relative efficiency of meat-centered diets are simply propaganda and violate basic norms of logic and commonsense.

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That first report is a deliberately deceitful, false equivalence which makes me suspect the motives and funding of the university behind it. For if you read it carefully, it’s basically comparing the energy (calorific) intake of vegetables and meat and therefore arrives at the calculation that it would probably take a ton of lettuce to be equivalnt in energy intake than, say, bacon. Fair enough, but who eats a ton of lettuce? This is and absurd distortion and presentation of facts. There are other high energy foods in a vegetarian/vegan diet to supplement the vegetable intake, such as soya/tofu, so it’s absurd to compare cutting out a kilo of beef and replacing it with a truck full of broccoli to produce the same calorific intake. It’s also based on comparing meat consumption with a higher intake of dairy, which then becomes a significant culprit in the 'hypothetical increase in greenhouse gas emmissions, which makes it, as an argument against veganism, utterly irrellevant. Ultimately, even the article admits this is a biased representation and therefore prints and apology for that fact at the end of it. There are numerous other scientifically researched studies which find the opposite conclusion and this one as a counter argument is seriously flawed.

Didn’t have time to read the second article so can’t comment on that but, from the title, it seems to be a rehash of the first article.

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Thank you for your thoughts.

Animal-eating is one of the biggest scams run by Elites on humanity.

Besides the negative impact on our health, the planet’s health, it is
a huge source of violence which effects us all.

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Its difficult to change the thinking because citizens are bombarded every
day with messages to eat animals. Was also part of the “balanced diet
taught in schools” over a long period of time.

Like smoking which many thought we’d never get rid of, should any truth
begin to reach the public, we could see an overnight shift in the choices
they make. For instance, the reality of slaughter houses.

When people stopped smoking they began to realize that not only were
their lungs cleaner but so were their homes. And they did it largely
because their children understood the threat cigarette smoking was to
their parents and to their own health.

So … this is what they fear … VEGAN IS LOVE – !!


“It’s harder to convince someone that they’re being fooled than to fool them”

VEGAN IS KIND – Let’s stop choosing violence for our children.


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once you see how these animals are treated it should make you lose your taste for meat. i, for one, will never eat pork again after seeing how pigs are kept in tight cages their entire lives.

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I quit eating meat a long time ago, but most people that buy meat, only see it nicely wrapped in their supermarket. I wonder how many of these people would keep eating meat, if they had to slaughter the animals that they are eating?

Paul –

It is animal-eating which is “bizarre” based in violence, bloodletting and slaughter houses.

That is the kind of “business” which makes humans and the planet sick.

Let’s all remember that PLANTS are not only our nutrition, but our medicines.

Eve continues to stand today holding the Apple –
suggesting the upheaval in the Garden of Eden was about slaughter of animals for sacrifice
from which animal-eating likely began.

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Yes!!! I have been a vegan for thirty five years. Acre of land a year is saved.

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I am a vegan also- good for you! It’s also been proven that people who eat meat tend to be more aggressive in nature.


Good for you! Trump not only eats meat but he wants to bring back more trophy hunting of endangered animals in other countries like the African continent.

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I agree such as eliminating the use of pesticides and factory farming.

It’s not just scientific - it’s ethical to be a vegan.

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