Lecture calls for massive dietary change
Ground-breaking Compassion in World Farming event highlights the damaging impact of factory farming on climate change, the environment and animal welfare.
Dr Pachauri delivers his lecture
On Mon 8 September, over 400 people from government, embassies, think- tanks and research bodies packed into Savoy Place for the Peter Roberts Memorial lecture, named after the founder of Compassion in World Farming.
The lecture, entitled "Global Warning - The impact of meat production and consumption on climate change" was given by Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Dr Pachauri challenged our reliance on high meat consumption, showing how livestock production releases 18% of our global greenhouse gas emissions, can pollute water and soils, damages our health and often causes suffering to animals kept in factory farms.
He said, “One kilo of beef is responsible for the equivalent of the amount of CO2 emitted by the average European car for every 250 kms”
Referring to the inefficiency of livestock production, he pointed out that: “A farmer can feed up to 30 persons throughout the year on one hectare with vegetables, fruits, cereals and vegetable fats. If the same area is used for the production of eggs, milk or meat the number of persons fed varies from five to ten.”
Dr Rajendra Pachauri
Dr Henning Steinfeld
Prof Robert Watson
Journalist & author
Dr John Powles
During the discussion panel which followed, Joyce D’Silva of Compassion in World Farming pointed out the pitfalls of factory farming, which regarded farm animals as production units rather than as individual sentient beings, capable of suffering. She said that farm animal welfare must be an intrinsic factor in finding acceptable solutions to the environmental problems associated with livestock production. “Farm animal welfare is not negotiable,” she added.
A new conversation
In his closing speech, the Compassion in World Farming Chief Executive called for policy makers, the farming industry, the food industry and consumers to work together - the only way to ensure a better future for people, animals and the planet.
Dr Pachauri’s call to reduce meat consumption has received widespread media coverage. As one delegate to the lecture told Compassion, “My sense is that you moved the debate forward significantly.”
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