Thursday, November 26, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th November 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

We see many articles written and many reports asking about how the growing population of this planet is going to feed itself in the years to come. There is even talk about us eating insects as a source of protein – how gross is that?

We seem to have little influence over the human population of the world or if we have, it takes a long time for these influences to come to fruition when we can see women able to control their own fertility and so improve their family’s lives.

What we do have influence over and can do something about immediately is the number of animals reared for food in the world. Livestock numbers are increasing by about 2.4% per year – that is twice the number that the human population is increasing.

Raising these animals for food uses three quarters of the world’s agricultural land; a third of our cereal crops are used to feed livestock. Soya is now being grown to feed animals on cleared forest and savannah land in South America leading to more climate change. If we decided to eat the soya rather than the meat produced from animals, the amount of land cleared to supply us with the same amount of protein would reduce by 94%. Livestock farming creates about 14% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

If we ate less meat, our environmental impact would decrease in line with the incidence of heart disease, strokes, diabetes and cancer – worth thinking about, surely?

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