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Eating less meat has many benefits

News Section Icon Published 17/05/2011

A new report from the University of Hohenheim has been released by WWF, which analyses the best ways to feed a growing world population and reduce undernourishment. It finds many benefits to eating less meat in the industrialised world which include:

  • Positive effects on human health
  • Positive effects for the environment
  • An easier path to higher animal welfare standards
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions
  • A contribution to improving the world food balance.

This is in close alignment with the findings of Compassion in World Farming reports, such as Eating the Planet ( 2198.79KB) and Beyond Factory Farming ( 367.61KB). Friends of the Earth's Healthy Planet Eating report demonstrates the huge health benefits from following a reduced meat diet. Additionally, Oxfam Novib's People, Planet and Protein paper advocates a reduction in meat consumption in industrialised countries to help with food security.

The UK government's recent Future of Food and Farming report and the Sustainable Development Commission's report, Vision for a Sustainable Food Chain also find that eating less meat in industrialised countries will have benefits on many levels and that animal welfare is an important consideration when developing and implementing food security plans.

WWF report conclusion, "Lowering meat demand in industrialized countries would have positive effects on human health and the environmental goods. Furthermore, it would result in lower climate gas emissions and ease the introduction of higher animal welfare standards."

This new report from WWF advocates three key ways to achieve food security, which it proposes should be considered in addition to increasing food productivity. "The reduction of subsidy-supported biofuel demand, minimization of postharvest losses and consumption of less animal products in industrialized countries should also be considered and may be more sustainable measures for improving the world food balance."

Compassion in World Farming's Joyce D'Silva welcomes the report "This report echoes and indeed reaffirms Compassion in World Farming's call for people in the industrialised world to eat less meat - for our health, sustainability and animal welfare. We hope that WWF's and Compassion's similar findings encourage people to eat less meat, and chose only meat produced to higher animal welfare standards."

Read more:

Compassion in World Farming have a series of reports on compassionate and sustainable livestock farming;

You can read the WWF report, How to feed the World's Growing Billions.


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