ENVIROCIDAL – How Livestock Farming is Killing the Planet, published by animal welfare charity Viva!, reveals the scale of global warming and predicts the devastating effects livestock farming will have on the environment if the global consumption of animal products continues at the same rate.
According to Viva!, the report 'investigates all aspects of climate change, from global warming to overfishing, loss of biodiversity, land and water use, and addresses common misconceptions about soy and palm oil production'.
'Global diet shift'
The report, which describes the meat and dairy industry as 'one of the main contributors to global warming' calls for 'strategic, integrated policies in our approach to animal agriculture and forestry'.
"A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save eight million lives by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds," it says.
This call follows the highly publicized launch of The Planetary Health Diet earlier this year. Created by a group of 37 global scientists, as part of the EAT-Lancet commission, the diet calls on people to switch the majority of their animal proteins to plant foods in an attempt to improve human health, and save precious environmental resources as the global population burgeons.
Reduce your impact
ENVIROCIDAL also follows a significant study released in 2018 which concluded that ditching meat and dairy was the most impactful step an individual could take to lessen their impact.
"A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use," Joseph Poore at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the research, told The Guardian.
"It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car."
Go vegan to save the planet
"Global warming isn't a prediction, it's happening right now," Dr. Justine Butler, Viva! Senior Researcher and author of ENVIROCIDAL, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News. "If these warnings are ignored, climate change will lead to a whole new range of health risks – from infectious disease outbreaks to water shortages, drought and mass extinctions. We must take urgent action to avert an environmental disaster.
"The overriding message is clear: changing your diet is the easiest way to make an effective difference. It is common knowledge that old gas-guzzling cars are wasteful and inefficient, it's time that meat and dairy production was viewed in the same way.
"Using energy efficient lightbulbs or switching to an electric car is simply not enough if people continue eating steak and burgers. The science is unanimous, the best change we can each make is to stop eating animals."