Meat, health and the en­vi­ron­ment

Weekend Witness - - Opinion -

JEAN du Toit as­sures us ( The Wit­ness, May 6) that she cares about an­i­mal wel­fare; but she cares more that peo­ple are able to put meat on the ta­ble nearly ev­ery day. The world trend has seen chicken con­sump­tion dou­ble in the past 20 years in South Africa, shoot­ing up to 30 kilo­grams per per­son an­nu­ally be­tween 1990 and 2010.

Health authorities say that we are eat­ing too much meat. Thandi Puoane of the Univer­sity of the West­ern Cape, pub­licly sup­port­ing Cape Town’s of­fi­cial launch of its one-meat-free-day-a-week ini­tia­tive, pointed out that the poor end up buy­ing cheap, fatty meat and chicken skin and fat and this puts them at risk of vas­cu­lar heart disease.

It’s not just hu­man health that is be­ing put at risk. The im­pact on our planet of mas­sive meat con­sump­tion is just as dire. South Africa is wa­ter-stressed, yet turn­ing one chicken into meat takes an es­ti­mated 14 litres of wa­ter. Mul­ti­ply this fig­ure by the 761 mil­lion chick­ens that are slaugh­tered an­nu­ally and the lake of bloody wa­ter that drains away is 29 mil­lion litres daily. This does not in­clude the wa­ter that is re­quired to rear the chick­ens or grow the crops to feed them.

Com­pas­sion in world farm­ing pro­motes a hu­mane and sus­tain­able diet with less, bet­ter qual­ity meat from sus­tain­able, hu­mane meth­ods of an­i­mal pro­duc­tion.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.