Reducing The Meat You Eat Has Big Benefits For The Planet

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has predicted that our meat consumption will increase by as much as 15% by 2050. Which is bad news: some figures estimate that animal agriculture is responsible for half of global greenhouse gases. With that big of a role in the causes for global warming, cutting back on eating meat has got to make an impact. And according to a study from Oxford University, it will: if everyone in the world followed World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for meat consumption, we could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 29% by 2050. What's more, 5.1 million lives could be saved by reducing illnesses like heart disease and cancer, and $21 trillion could be saved in healthcare and other related costs. Those guidelines call for a maximum of 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of red meat per week -- that's about three Big Macs -- which is about half what the average American ate in 2012.

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. When its effects and byproducts are combined, animal agriculture accounts for about half of global greenhouse-gas emissions. 00:00

  2. Every second, another acre of the world's rainforests are cleared, often to make room for livestock. 01:11

  3. For every one pound of fish caught, five pounds of unintended marine species are caught with it and discarded. 02:07

Written by Curiosity Staff July 6, 2016