What is the impact of meat on climate?

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meat history
credit: Claire Goble

We have been consuming meat for millions of years. Our earliest ancestors ate predominantly a plant-based diet and ate meat as scavengers only when available. As we have evolved so have our abilities, and so the ability to hunt allowed us to kill animals to eat.

Over the years we have domesticated animals, adapting our bodies to be accustomed to consuming larger proportions of meat, even animal byproducts such as milk. Originally our bodies were not designed to digest cow milk; it is something we have formed over time.

New tools have been developed, shaping the way we farm. We have transported livestock overseas to “new worlds”.

Scientific societies and breed associations have been created, and meat has become a commodity. The industrial revolution brought mass production, agricultural mechanization, and marked the beginning of factory farming. Later antibiotics were introduced, as well as genetic engineering and DNA products.

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