The following is an excerpt from Sophia Smith Galer | June 12, 2017 | BBC.com |
If vegetarianism was adopted by everyone by 2050, the world would have about seven million fewer deaths every year – and veganism would bring that up to eight million.
Food-related emissions would drop by around 60%, according to Marco Springmann, a research fellow at the Oxford Martin School’s Future of Food programme. This would be down to getting rid of red meat – which come from methane-producing livestock – from people’s diets.
However, farmers in the developing world could really suffer. Arid and semi-arid rangeland can only be used to raise animals, such as the Sahel land strip in Africa next to the Sahara; nomadic groups that keep livestock there would be forced to settle permanently and lose their cultural identities if there was no more meat.
Repurposing former pastures into native habitats and forests would alleviate climate change and bring back lost biodiversity, including larger herbivores such as buffalo, and predators such as wolves, all of which were previously pushed out or killed in order to keep cattle.
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