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Would you find it easy to reduce your consumption of meat?

Huge reductions in meat-eating are essential to avoid dangerous climate change, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of the food system’s impact on the environment.

In western countries, beef consumption needs to fall by 90% and be replaced by five times more beans and pulses.

The research also finds that enormous changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying the planet’s ability to feed the 10 billion people expected to be on the planet in a few decades.

Food production already causes great damage to the environment, via greenhouse gases from livestock, deforestation and water shortages from farming, and vast ocean dead zones from agricultural pollution. But without action, its impact will get far worse as the world population rises by 2.3 billion people by 2050 and global income triples, enabling more people to eat meat-rich western diets.

How do you feel about this? Does meat feature regularly in your diet? Are you prepared to reduce the amount of meat you consume? Have you modified your diet in recent years anyway?

Would you find it easy to reduce your consumption of meat?

455 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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SusieB100
1st Feb 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I would struggle! I like a wide range of foods including red meats, chicken, fish, vegetable and fruits and think the old adage of all things in moderation is pretty solid advice.
AngieU
1st Feb 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I have always found that eating meat is too heavy to digest, even I am not a big meat eater, recently I started fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, I have completely given up on meat and I feel much lighter and I sleep much better than before.

There are so much good meatless products available on the market, at affordable price.
AngieU
1st Feb 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
I have always found that eating meat is too heavy to digest, even I am not a big meat eater, recently I started fresh fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies, I have completely given up on meat and I feel much lighter and I sleep much better than before.
Berenice
21st Dec 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Would love to have more ideas on how to cook easy, quick, and tasty meals for one. This is always hard as I usually end up with masses of left over vegetables because you usually have to but them in bulk in packets. The same with herbs. I love tasty foods and enjoy cooking when it's for more people. But just for me...it's SO boring sometimes!!!
SusieB100
1st Feb 2019
0
Thanks for voting!
Hi Berenice, I know exactly what you mean! Living alone and cooking for one is a challenge but I have found batch cooking to be a saviour. It does require some planning but instead of cooking one meal at a time I cook a whole batch of a dish and freeze in separate portions. This means I have a meal for one at my fingertips as and when I require. I have thought about writing a cookery book but the truth is its just a question of adjusting habits. A batch of shepherds pie, fish pie, beef bourguignon, chicken casserole, soups and pies - I could go on and on but I am sure you are more than capable of coming up with your own. Give it a try and please the person that matters most - YOU.
Auldhen
27th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
Because we can't afford much anyway.
ChrissG
27th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
i have been healthy eating for 3 years now. i never have more than 100gr of meat a day. mainly fruit and veg and the outcome has been 11 stone weight loss
Yodama
23rd Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Our bodies have a way of telling us what it needs and gives us the impetus to have a bit of "what we fancy." or what we call cravings.
Whether it is meat,veg, grains, nuts, pulses or dairy, it will nudge us in the right direction to eat what is right for us.
I trust my body, not the incessant advice bombarding me from every direction.
maggiesue142
17th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I've already cut out red meat and chicken, my diet is mainly plant based now, with occasional fish. Never felt better, I do take vitamin supplements, which I research.
HappyHippie
16th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I'm not a lover of meat, I prefer fruit and veg, I only eat meat because my husband nags me, even as a child I would leave it on my plate if I could get away with it, I'm 71 years old so it hasn't done me any harm to to go for days without it
AlisonP15
16th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I steer clear from animal products as far as I can. Apart from the obvious with regards treatment and slaughter, the farming practices mean it is not reared without the animals being pumped full of goodness knows what.
SylviaH87
16th Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
I don't eat that much red meat anyway but feel that I should be allowed to choose what I eat. I am healthy and usually choose healthy options.
There are countries where cows are considered sacred and are allowed to roam freely. It would not be possible to stop this practice or belief.
There are far more dangerous actions that could pose a threat to climate change. Moon travel and research for one.
MrsPat
16th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Only chicken and fish is now eaten by us.
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
This article addresses the wrong issue.

The matter in hand is not about climate change nor is it about agriculture. The crisis now, and it looms yet bigger this century, is world population. Added to this is the fact vast numbers of people in China, India, Africa and South America are attaining a middle class level of affluence and demand a typical western lifestyle.

Since no palatable remedy to ever increasing world population has been put forward so called 'experts' hit on the easy option - if we have less they will have more, or even a sufficiency. That is a fallacy. Food politics will come into play even more than at present. The 'haves' will always sell at a high profit margin to the 'have nots'.

The West, China and Russia could cease funding third party wars where they can test and prove their latest weapons. If they ceased funding regional conflicts in an attempt to shift the balance of power in an under developed country the flow food could be rationalised. Native agriculture could be developed and we would all move on from a starvation/famine knee jerk response by aid agencies.

But first, world population. I don't have an answer so perhaps we need an 'expert.' Could be interesting!
Malcolm Poyser
15th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Have not eaten meet for about 30 years ..fish occasionally ...can t say i have found it difficult nowadays as so much choice available as more and more restaurants supermarkets and shops offer a good and varied selection
yahsue
15th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Have given up meat/dairy and gone plant based as much as possible for health reasons. I've noticed a big difference pain wise and started losing weight as well! The weight issue has been difficult because of different meds..
Lionel
22nd Oct 2018
0
Thanks for voting!
yahsue, I've sent a private message.
CathyB2
14th Oct 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I gave up meat and dairy six weeks ago and I am loving it. I am much more adventurous with my eating and cooking habits. I feel so much healthier. I definitely recommend it!
AlisonP15
16th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
There is so much out there plant based that is so much healthier. There is a lot going for it.
Alicia
14th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I am vegetarian !!!!
PasoDoble
13th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Bearing in mind too much meat is bad for health that alone should be reason enough to reduce consumption of meat. Also red meat is not easy on weight issues AND alternatives over time actually become preferable!
Retiredyorkie
12th Oct 2018
7
Thanks for voting!
No I am quite happy being a carnivore - its everyone to their own choice
Wilf
12th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
We are eating a lot less meat nowadays mainly due to health reasons but also I am worried about the lives of farmed animals where many are kept in cruel conditions especially outside the UK. I also don not like the idea of them being transported live for long distances like over to Europe. It is very cruel. On top of that with this research about especially cows producing such large amounts of methane we should be doing all possible to cut gasses that are causing climate change. If people want to hide their heads in the sand about climate change it will come round and bite us and soon especially if we cause a runaway climatic disaster which I am very worried about.
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Wilf, I completely agree with your point about the movement of live animals. It is an unsavoury process but as with all road transport its profit driven and cowboys offer the best prices. Parliament may regulate all it likes but these rules must be enforced - not easy outside the UK.

I wouldn't say I've buried my head in the sand about climate change but, having worked with herd animals I'm not being driven from behind by big stick wielding herdsmen. These are unproven statements regarding unverified science and much ill founded speculation. When climate change science and other documentation is scrutinised by other scientists in the field and publicly debated we may all confidently move forward. However, there's so much closed shop mentality in all this the public's trust may have been lost forever. As it stands many, like me, view global warming/cooling as cyclical.

I'm not at all sure a safe connection may be made between agriculture and climate change or cyclical change. Any agriculture affects the balances of the natural environment but nature adjusts to compensate. The latest pesticides are causing problems but they are avoidable.

No, if man is affecting weather, not climate, then we must look to urban sprawls; vast conurbations of the built environment spewing out unreasonable tonnages of toxins. We must also look to the twenty first century lifestyle of consumerism and waste. Yet, just maybe, for many that is an unpalatable thought and climate change is a more comfortable refuge - actually it could be a case of shifting the blame leaving an easy conscience.

We may not agree on this Wilf but I deeply respect and admire your concerns for the environment. Would there were many more like you!
Wilf
15th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Many thanks Lionel. I think that animal waste is just one of the issues at stake (steak) here if you will pardon the pun! You are right its 7.25 billion humans (I am one of them) consuming far more than we need and indulging in mass consumerism and industrial consumption. Go into any supermarket..food, kitchen products...drinks...it is incredible what humans are producing. the by-products...carbon dioxide..30 billion tons a year. We may not be the main change of the climate but we are a factor. i worry we are near a tipping point-warm oceans release trapped methane...same as the "Siberian tundra..suddenly we are not talking about 1.5C increase but say 10c...or 100c and Earth turns into a Venus lookalike. Possible-possibly. We need to change our lifestyles and quickly
Lionel
16th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I cannot disagree with you about changes in our weather. If we assign climate change, which is much more far reaching in it's implications, or cyclical shifts in weather pattern, man is still a significant driving force in that change. But I strongly doubt even half UK's population going veggie or vegan would make the slightest difference, apart perhaps to their digestive system.

Earth is a living planet, everything is in motion and balanced. It has the ability to redress imbalances. Such redress might yet be the cause of our changing weather!

Yes, I believe it is our Western lifestyle of insatiable consumerism on an industrial scale which is knocking many natural phenomena out of kilter. But we've got two generations embedded in a consumer society. How to rein them in I don't know!

Perhaps we should start with manufacturers, demanding they make goods to last very much longer than they do at present. Packaging must be biodegradable and revert to glass milk bottles. 30 million tones a year of consumer waste plus the regular bin collections is a little rich. I'm sure much of it could be avoided if that were made an existential issue for industry and retailers.
Wilf
16th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree Lionel. Its a mixture of government regulation and also the profit motive. If there is more money in producing electric cars mixed with government regulations that will do the trick. We just need to move fast. The UK government has said all electric by 2043 I think. So has France, China and a few others. Get the USA to comply and we will be 50% there. Produce electric planes. Cut out meat, Get a massive research project into Fusion along the lines of the Manhattan project or the USA Apollo project and we may...just may sort the climate issues out this century. If not I am unsure what England October 2118 will look like? Probably a bit like weather on the equator today?
madmax
12th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I do not eat meat only fish and on occasion a little turkey so this is no problem for me.
Billythequiche
12th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Indeed I would not. When I was a kid, we had lots of ''mince and tatties'' and no one got fat. I believe, on the health issue, moderation is the key. As for the moral issue, short of running off to the woods to club or spear a boar/deer to death, what is the solution? I am sure that a lot of people would happily pay more for meat produced more ''ethically'' but are wary that they may be conned as we were with ''organic''. The suspicion is that the profit motive would drive ''ethical'' labels.
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
Hello Billy, we hope you're both keeping well.

I quite agree about the 'ethically produced,' food label - we most certainly would be ripped off - again. The only truly organic food is garden produced without pesticides or chemicals. I do it here but it is a lot of work.

After years in farming I don't know how one could 'ethically' raise livestock and meet the demands of the market place. Beef cattle, for instance, require 31/2 to 4 years on grass to grow to maturity. Using hormone growth promoters that process takes barely 9 months. Today, our butcher is selling rump steak at £8 per pound. Grass reared Dexter rump steak is £15 pound.

Lambs require about 6 months to reach slaughter weight. They need grazing land to be thrifty. Lamb is a low value product taking up good land that could be better employed for cereals. Until we have sheep which are genetically modified to grow faster on less food ... but then would GM lamb be called ethically raised?

We're fed the notion outdoor reared pork is better. That's nonsense! They're still fed on cereal based food and at slaughter must have a gut full of stones removed during carcass preparation. How is that natural? Their natural habit is the forest floor. Bet the Ramblers Association would love their members to meet a herd of wild boar. They're dangerous animals in the wild.

Britain just does not have the grazing land to feed an ever meat hungry urban population. Demand has forced farmers to take steps which now prove unpopular. These steps are not cruel but as demand soars they are necessary.
Billythequiche
16th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Well thank you, hope you two are. Your past qualifies you to comment from a position of authority. Whatever happened to cheap, frozen New Zealand lamb? Did we lose that when we joined the EU?
Lionel
16th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Billy, we told New Zealand the stuff their lamb and butter when we joined the Common Market. And that at extremely short notice. We left them in a real mess since we were their biggest export market.

Sheep are highland creatures best suited to rough climates and poor grazing. They do well on moorland and heath land. But the EU told English cereal farmers ... harvest your crops, immediately sow stubble turnips, (like a white radish) and within a month buy lambs suitable for fattening in the warmer southern prairies. They became a cash crop, an extra income, and English lamb has been the staple ever since. But it costs more to raise a flock of lambs in our southern climate because of foot rot and other diseases than import from NZ!

For many years now frozen lamb from NZ has been available, and good it is too but because of EU tariffs on products imported from outside the EU its price is usually above, English lamb.

We usually opt for NZ lamb.
Billythequiche
17th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
Thanks Lionel, you know your stuff.
johnjoemac
12th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I've been a vegetarian for more than 20 years, I don't miss meat and I've never wished I could eat a bacon sandwich. The alternatives are many and much more healthy, I've never had high blood pressure but I do have osteo arthritis as a result of being active in sport for over 20 years. Definitely worth while.
viking
12th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Have any of the regular meat eaters had a word with a working country vet lately ???
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
No, not lately, but over my many years in livestock farming I've had much to do with them.
viking
12th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
Gasses produced by cattle and the effects on the ozone layer have been known for a very long time. Why now is it so trendy to bring this up into the public domain ?? Perhaps yet another academic is trying to make a name for themselves by now releasing breath taking new findings which have been copied from the original authors findings ages ago.
Wilf
12th Oct 2018
1
Thanks for voting!
I do not think its trendy Viking its just scientists have been saying for years global warming is here right now. We have ignored that largely as societies but their predictions are now coming true with rising temperatures and more frequent storms plus arctic ice melt etc etc.
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
Close to the truth at least.
jaygee
12th Oct 2018
6
Thanks for voting!
I just love meat, any meat, and can see no reason to give up that pleasure.
RoderickB1
12th Oct 2018
5
Thanks for voting!
This sounds as though it's another group of veggie analyst 's trying to change what we eat. If you are that worried about how much meat you eat just have better portion control and don't buy more than your family consumption to cut down on waste.
rudijude
12th Oct 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I find these studies ridiculous. There are significant environments in the world where grazing is the only viable farming option. Taking cattle out of some ecosystems could have disastrous consequences which could not easily be reversed. If the concerns are deforestation & chemicals on what basis do they conclude that this will improve with increased arable farming? Our ancestors were hunter gatherers and meat was essential in winter months we need to continue to live in tune with nature.
Yes I am a farmers daughter all farmers are environmentalists it is part of the job. I have just retuned from the pantanal wetlands of brazil where I worked on a cattle ranch. The system is extensive protecting the wonderful ecosystem & they eat beef 2/3 meals per day. They are certainly not wealthy it is subsistence farming and part of the local culture. The cowboys were my age & had the physique of men half their age so the diet has not caused them harm either. Judy
Lionel
15th Oct 2018
2
Thanks for voting!
I was a stockman for some years and agree with you.
kentrix39
12th Oct 2018
4
Thanks for voting!
I do not see any reason to do so.
Marley444
12th Oct 2018
3
Thanks for voting!
I would happily reduce the amount of meat I eat, and have done out of choice in recent years. Don't eat much red meat now anyway. My concern now is also about fish. After seeing recent programmes about microfibres in fish I am not too keen on eating fish either. Am really considering going veggie. Younger members of my family consume very little meat and Deliciously Ella seems to be a great inspiration to them.

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