Scientists claim that the world has to reach ‘peak meat’ in the next 10 years if we want to fight off the impact of climate change.
In a letter they sent to the Lancet Planetary Health Journal, all, but the poorest countries, have to set a time frame for the production of livestock to cease growing, as the meat and dairy sections are contributing to a large amount of CO2 emissions.
The scientists also called upon governments to find the major emission sources or those that take up the most land in the livestock section and to put reduction targets.
This is a must if we want to fight off the global temperature rise and prevent it from exceeding the limit of 1.5-2 degrees Celsius.
We Need Deep Transformation in every Sector
According to Helen Harwatt, environmental social scientist at Harvard Law School and lead author of the letter, the need for reduction is a call for a deeper change in every sector.
To be able to lower to 1.5 degrees Celsius, Harwatt says we need to eliminate massive amounts of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere.
The scientists suggest that animal agriculture turns to optimal systems, that is, plant-based ones.
The letter was signed by 50 field experts and it emphasizes that if we continue in the current level, the livestock sector would be accountable for almost 50 percent of the emissions by 2030.
Lower Impact on the Environment Is Vital
The scientists talked about the need of the agricultural sector diversifying their food production and switching from animals to foods that are low-impact on the environment, including fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, grains, and pulses.
They also noted that when grazing land isn’t needed or the land is improper for arable production or horticulture, it should, if possible, be repurposed by restoring its native vegetation.
This will serve as a carbon sink and absorb more carbon than it emits.
But, not everyone Agrees with the ‘Attack’ on Animal Agriculture
The VP of the National Farmers’ Union of England and Wales, Stuart Roberts claims that saying that reducing livestock numbers worldwide is the best way to lower emissions of CO2 is a massive overgeneralization of a situation which differs throughout the world and it can impede the functioning of those countries where sustainable farming is practiced.
He also added that they recognize the value of carbon sinks and that they use their grasslands to graze animals, which is good for the soil and locks up the CO2.
He\explained that the grazing of cattle is the most sustainable method of using land which isn’t proper for growth of other crops for the production of food.