Reducing meat consumption: should the focus be on ruminants or monogastrics

31/01/2017

Many studies show that reducing meat consumption would benefit the environment and our health. However because ruminants (cattle and sheep) have higher greenhouse gas emissions, some advocate shifting from ruminants to pigs and poultry. This would be damaging for animal welfare as most pig and poultry production is industrial. Our new paper argues that extensive ruminants are much better overall for our food system. They use fewer antibiotics, augment food security, need less arable land to grow feed, cause less pollution and biodiversity loss, do not need soy so do not contribute to deforestation - and have much higher welfare standards.

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