MEAT PRODUCTION NOT THE PROBLEM
WRITES FROM THE FRASERBURG DISTRICT IN THE NORTHERN CAPE: Due to the postal strike we are a bit behind with our reading, hence I have only just got to the Finweek of 15-21 May.
On page 14 is an article about the alleged cost of meat. As a farmer, I take issue, not only with the figures (6 800 litres of water to produce half a kilogram – including perhaps the family washing up afterwards?) but with the assertion that eating meat harms the planet and affects the poor.
Animal protein is a necessary part of a healthy diet. I am sure that, if we all stopped eating meat, within five generations the human race would be walking about on all fours grazing and probably bleating.
I can only think that this article was compiled by a bunch of control-freak, vegetarian greenies who live a sheltered life and are able to avoid reality – unlike us farmers.
The problems mentioned are caused not by healthy eating but by the excessive number of humans. Cut the reproduction rate of this invasive species and all the negative effects on our planet, whether of global warming, water shortages, forced migration and starvation can be solved. The infographic was compiled by development consultancy Dalberg and is based on a research report commissioned by The Rockefeller Foundation. The full report has unfortunately not been made public.
However, other research has also shown the environmental impact of red meat production compared with other foodstuffs and other forms of livestock. A scientific study published in December 2013, for example, found that livestock production uses one-third of the world’s fresh water.
Of course, the environmental footprint of livestock production will not be equal everywhere in the world. The same study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found beef cattle in impoverished regions like Sub-Saharan Africa may need 10 times more feed to produce a kilogram of protein, due to the poor quality of the feed, than cows raised in richer areas.