Most people eat meat and dairy with little thought of the consequences. Yet those consequences are planetary in scale. Raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk accounts for roughly 14% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Beef production is the biggest driver of forest loss within agriculture. The meat industry has been linked to a host of other environmental harms, including water pollution.
Eating too much meat can be bad for your health too, particularly red and processed meat which is thought to increase your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Feeding the world’s appetite for meat costs the lives of billions of animals a year, and animal welfare is a concern on farms worldwide, with pigs, cows and chickens often subject to overcrowding, open wounds and disease.