Thursday, January 22, 2009

The impact of meat production & consumption on climate change II

Deforestation playing a major role in climate change. More than 300 experts stated, "If we lose the forests, we lose the fight against climate change." But Amazon deforestation increases 69 percent due to demand for meat during Aug 2007 and Aug 2008 . The livestock sector is by far the single largest anthropogenic user of land

* Livestock production accounts for 70% of all agricultural land and 30% of the world's surface land area
* 70% of previous forested land in the Amazon is occupied by cattle pastures, and crops for animal feed cover a large part of the remainder
* 20% of pasture land is degraded because of overgrazing, compaction and erosion
Source: FAO, 2006; Goodland R. et al,1999

Food Shortage:
Rising food prices have plunged an additional 75 million people below the hunger threshold, bringing the estimated number of undernourished people worldwide to 923 million in 2007.(1)

But are we really short of food?
36% of the world's cereal harvest and over 74% of soya is used for animal feed, despite inherent inefficiencies. Grain currently fed to livestock is enough to feed 2 billion people.

It takes 10 kg of animal feed to produce 1 kg of beef
4 to 5.5 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of pork
2.1 to 3 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of poultry meat
Source: FAO, 2006; CAST 1999; B. Parmentier, 2007

"Everything else takes too long and we don't have time. So we have to choose the vegetarian diet; no more animals breeding. Choose organic farming, helping each other, sharing the food that we have.

Because if we are vegetarian, all of us, we will have so much food to share with everybody; no one will ever go to sleep hungry at night anymore. And then we will have saved a lot of time, energy, money to help them also combat disease and rebuild their lives. Everything's possible, because there will be no more war, even with animals. Peace begins at home."

- 2008 Critical Moments to Save the Planet: What Can I Do? Seminar -June 29, 2008(2)

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