Eat Less Meat, Save Planet, says British Official
TreeHugger noted two years ago that vegetarian diets could reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now officials at the British Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are catching up, saying in a leaked email:
"Whilst potential benefit of a vegan diet in terms of climate impact could be very significant, encouraging the public to take a lifestyle decision as substantial as becoming vegan would be a request few are likely to take up," it said. "You will be interested to hear that Defra is working on a set of key environmental behavior changes to mitigate climate change. Consumption of animal protein has been highlighted within that work. "As a result, the issue may start to figure in climate change communications in the future. It will be a case of introducing this gently as there is a risk of alienating the public majority." Of course the National Farmers Union didn't think much of the idea:
"To suggest that people eating less meat and diary products will have a significant impact on the fight against global warming seems rather dubious."
According to Reuters, Cattle and sheep release millions of metric tons of methane gas a year into the environment through flatulence. In New Zealand, for example the 55 million farm animals produce some 90 percent of the country's methane emissions. ::Reuters