A new report points (once again) to the devastating impact the meat industry has on the environment and climate. The twenty largest producers of meat and dairy products combined emit 932 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, more than the whole of Germany and about twice as much as France.
A joint report by Heinrich Böll Stiftung and Friends of the Earth Europe contains downright disastrous figures regarding the impact of (industrial) cattle farming on our climate. The situation is particularly dire in Brazil: according to the organisations, the Brazilian JBS Group alone is responsible for a quarter of these emissions.
Therefore, the researchers argue that the pressure cattle farming puts on the environment and climate is becoming unbearable, all the more so because the global production of meat is still increasing. It is expected that annual meat production will increase by 40 million tonnes by 2030, Business AM writes.
To feed all those animals, more and more agricultural land is needed, especially for growing soy. Over 90 % of the global soy production is for cattle. "The growing demand for these products leads to deforestation and threatens biodiversity when land gets cleared to make way for crops", the report says. Even worse: in Brazil, it is mainly the vital Amazon forest that is destroyed to grow soy for beef cattle.
Another consequence is the increase in the demand for (very harmful) pesticides. According to the researchers, it is no coincidence that the largest soy producers - Brazil and the United States are also the largest users of dangerous pesticides.
If no drastic action is taken, the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations will not be met by 2030, the report concludes. "No country on this planet has a strategy to ambitiously reduce the production or consumption of meat."