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Our Flesh Addiction Is Costing Us.

Even The UN Agrees We Need To Cut Back On Meat.


    On July 1, 2014, the United Nations Department Of Economic And Social Affairs, Sustainable Development Division, released a discussion paper deriving from the Rio +20 Summit earlier this year combined with results from the global open 'World We Want 2015' consultations. 

   The Prototype Global Sustainable Development Report covers a great deal of ground. 

   Every environmental and social problem is woven together throughout the report, and thought is given to every dimension of every problem, particularily the dimensions that connect them, but the report does not ramble, even for a paragraph, at a total of 151 pages included appendices, it is as consisely written as it can be.

   The section starting on page 43, "1. If we continue like in the past: a “dynamics-as-usual scenario” 2010-2050" is chilling. The world's leading scientists working through a peer review system analyzed the data and then analyzed each others analysis to create the scenario for what life would be like 50 years from now if we continue on the current course.

     They almost unanimously agreed that climate change would accelerate, and also that there will be ' increasing inequity, tension, and social strife', that technological development could only help so much within the current economic paradigm, because we would have a "Continued lack of understanding of the complex non-linear dynamics of ecosystems", so technology would bend the situation a bit so that humanity ' will avoid “collapse induced by nature” and has rather embarked on a path of “managed decline”.".   At best " The number of people going hungry is reduced by 500 million people, still leaving 250 million with insufficient food intake." . 

  The report isn't negative about these things, though, since the solutions to many of these problems actually appear to be a simple change in attitude about how we do things.

   In regards to the food security nexus, and how it relates to the prospects for our planet's future, the report is actually fairly optimistic, provided western culture can be persuaded to cut back on meat. 

In section 7.3. "Protein substitutes and the livestock sector" they note following facts:

  "The livestock sector is responsible for about 18% of the total worldwide GHG emissions, it uses about 70% of the available agricultural land and represents about 8% of global water usage;

• Feed production is responsible for 50-85% of climate change, 64-97% of eutrophication potential, 70-96% of energy use in the whole animal production system;
 
• 2 to 15 kg of plant material is needed to produce 1 kg of 
animal products(low energy conversion); 
• 40% to 50% of the global grain harvest is used for feed 
production; 
 
• Regarding land use, eutrophication and acidification, 
consumption of livestock products is responsible for 43%, 
51%, and 60%, respectively, and impacts, the entire food 
domain.
 
• “Identification of new feed resources is crucial for sustainable 
animal production and future viability”;
 
 
• Protein intake in the European Union is 70% higher than the 
levels recommended by the World Health Organization;
 
• Given the low energy conversion and the high demand for 
land associated with livestock production, reduction in 
livestock product consumption could reduce the need for 
more food."
 
So many problems could be solved by reducing our culture's meat intake, including the growing health problems related to over-eating, as well as climate change. 
 
 
" A global transition towards low-meat diets may reduce the 
costs of climate change mitigation by as much as 50% in 
2050;"
 
   But our meat centered diet here in western countries didn't come about by itself, it was marketed to us, programmed into us by marketers through every media outlet from every angle, with government subsidies and other encouragements, meat became a big business and like any big business with deep pockets, media control and political connections, the meat industry is not going to reduce it's capacities for the sake of our planet's ability to support life. 
 
   The report makes a serious understatement on the subject, while calling for the support of 'multiple actors: policymakers, NGOs, traders, farmers, and consumer.' it also notes, matter of factly, that  'This  transition will encounter cultural, political, and commercial resistance.'.
 

That's one thing we can be sure on. 

 
   
 
 

 


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