Consumers should have one meat-free day a week if they want to make an effective sacrifice that would help tackle climate change, according to the United Nations.
This September, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told the The Observer that diet change was important because of the huge greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental problems – including habitat destruction – associated with rearing livestock.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation has estimated that meat production accounts for nearly a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. However, Chris Lamb, head of marketing for the British Pig Executive (BPEX), said the meat industry had been unfairly targeted and was working hard to find out which activities had the biggest environmental impact and reduce those.
Some ideas were contradictory, he said – for example, one solution to emissions from livestock was to keep them indoors, but this would damage animal welfare.