Western countries such as the United States must drastically cut their meat consumption to avoid climate chaos in the near future according to a study published in the science journal Nature on October 10. The study claims that consumption of beef in Western countries must drop by 90 percent and be replaced by beans and lentils in order to forestall an environmental collapse.
“Here we show that between 2010 and 2050, as a result in expected changes in population and income levels, the environmental effects of the food system could increase by 50-90% in the absence of technological changes and dedicated mitigation measures, reaching levels beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity,” the report says.
The lead authors of the study are Drs. Marco Springman and H. Charles J. Godfray of Oxford.
The study also suggests wholesale changes to the farming industry, claiming that growing food is extremely harmful to the environment because of greenhouse gases emitted by livestock, deforestation, farm-caused water shortages, and ocean “dead zones” that result at least partly from agricultural run-off.
Without action, the study claims, the expected population growth of 2.3 billion by 2050, coupled with rising global incomes that will enable more people to eat meat-rich diets, will essentially stretch the environment beyond its limits, according to the study.
“It’s pretty shocking,” Springman said. “We are really risking the sustainability of the whole system. If we are interested in people being able to farm and eat, then we better not do that.”
There’s that word again. Sustainability. Where have we heard that word before?
“Feeding a world population of 10 billion is possible, but only if we change the way we eat and the way we produce food,” said Professor Johan Rockstrom, director the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and a contributing author to the study. “Greening the food sector or eating up our planet: this is what is on the menu today.”
The new food-centered study comes quickly on the heels of another study released this week warning that the people of Earth have less than 12 years to completely overhaul our energy sector and vastly decrease our dependence on fossil fuels (along with massive new taxes — upwards of $49 per gallon — on gasoline).
While not outright suggesting a change to a vegan or vegetarian diet, the researchers believe that a worldwide change to a “flexitarian” diet was essential to halting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, as recommended in 2015’s Paris Climate Accords. In a flexitarian world, the average globe-dweller would eat 75 percent less beef, 90 percent less pork and half the eggs they eat at this time. To make up for those calories, the same average Earthing would eat three times more beans and lentils, and quadruple the amount of nuts and seeds.
In wealthier nations such as the United States, the dietary changes would be even more drastic, with a 90 percent decrease in the consumption of beef and a 60% decrease in milk. Those decreases should be offset by increasing bean and lentil intake by four to six times.
The researchers believe that these dietary changes can be achieved through education, subsidies for plant-based foods, changes to school menus, and, of course, increased taxes.
To stop deforestation, water shortages, and pollution from the overuse of fertilizers, extreme action will be needed, according to the researchers. The study calls for increased agricultural production in poor nations, more universal water storage and a vast decrease in the amount of fertilizers used in agriculture.
“I was surprised by the fact we need a combination of very ambitious options,” Springman said.
No, Marco, you weren’t surprised at all. In fact, the entire study was conducted to come to these exact conclusions. This isn’t a study done by scientists searching earnestly for truth. It is a study done by activists, meant to frighten the gullible into changing how they eat and farm in order to “save the world.”
This study, along with the study released earlier this week, are a brief glimpse into what a world government would be like. An all-seeing, all-knowing entity, which offers phony reasons such as these studies as to why it must change your world into an uncomfortable and unrecognizable version of the place you used to know, a place in which even the types and amounts of food that you ingest are closely monitored.