Eating less meat and dairy is better for the environment. The food we eat carries a huge environmental footprint and meat and dairy are a ‘hotspot’ for greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pollution, land use and biodiversity loss.
Agriculture accounts for 92% of the freshwater footprint of humanity; almost one third relates to animal products.
A global shift to a ‘flexitarian’ diet is needed to keep climate change 'under the 2C global warming target that governments have signed up to, and would mean 'reaching levels that are beyond the planetary boundaries that define a safe operating space for humanity.'
71% of rainforest conversion in South America has been for cattle ranching and a further estimated 14% for commercial cropping, including soya for animal feed (pastureland is often subsequently converted to cropland).