Animal agriculture 'threatens human survival'

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

The survival of the human race is threatened by the continued use of animal agriculture, warned a trio of NGOs at this year's UN climate change conference
The survival of the human race is threatened by the continued use of animal agriculture, warned a trio of NGOs at this year's UN climate change conference

Related tags: Environment, Meat & Seafood

Policymakers have been pressured to change food systems to ensure the survival of the human race at the UN climate change conference.

Three global NGOs – Climate Save Movement, ProVeg International and World Animal Protection – urged policymakers at this year’s conference to transition away from animal agriculture if they want to tackle the climate crisis and safeguard the planet’s population. 

They called for an urgent shift to plant-based diets in order to tackle the 32% of human-caused methane attributed to animal agriculture, which had increased to 17 parts per billion in 2021 from 15.3 in 2020.  

Kelly Dent, global director of external engagement at World Animal Protection, said: “We are currently hurtling towards the 1.5 degree limit for global warming set out in the Paris Agreement so it is imperative to transition away from factory farming and the cruelty it involves, towards plant-based and other alternative proteins.” 

Scientific evidence  

ProVeg head of UN advocacy Raphaël Pods Elver bemoaned the fact that, while the scientific evidence and consensus to shift towards less resource intensive systems were in place, not much had been done in the way development at the policy level. 

“There is an urgent need to shift towards more plant-based diets, as those have been recognised as a key solution to mitigate the impact of food systems on climate change,​ said Podselver. 

“We are now hoping that a shift towards more plant-rich diets will become a central part of climate change discussions at COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt in November this year.” 

The wholesale shift from meat to alternative forms of protein has been criticised by members of the food and drink industry. 

Don’t ditch meat 

The British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) last year urged the UK government to invest more time and money in proven ways to help reduce meat’s carbon footprint, rather than throwing the whole system away in favour of alternative proteins. 

“Much progress has been made already,”​ said BMPA chief executive Nick Allen. “This would then enable land that cannot be used for growing crops to be used to help feed the ever-growing population on the planet with a healthy balanced diet that includes meat which uniquely provides essential vitamins.   

“The full carbon footprint of heavily processing product from plants into meat lookalikes is not fully understood although we do know they don’t replace the nutrients supplied by meat.” 

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood, Environment

Related news

1 comment

Utter rubbish!

Posted by Bob Palmer,

Utter rubbish!
What will kill the planet is too many people.
And too many people eating these chemical "food" concoctions being punted as the saviour of the human race.

Report abuse

Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.