Greenpeace has launched a global campaign to reduce meat consumption by half between now and 2050. They launched their campaign from the Place Sainte-Catherine in Brussels on Saturday afternoon. They think a reduction in meat consumption would not only be good for human health and animal welfare but also for the environment. Greenpeace thinks too much meat is consumed in Belgium at the moment, plus it all comes from industry. This campaign is well-timed because of the Veviba scandal.
“Belgians eat on average two to two and a half times more meat than the recommended amount”, says Greenpeace’s Karen Naessens. “Children aged 3 to 13 eat twice as much animal protein than is necessary. A diet that includes less meat and more vegetables is not only healthy, but better adapted to children. Too much processed red meat increases the risk of obesity, cancer and cardio-vascular diseases”.
Greenpeace says this unmoderated meat consumption has many negative consequences. “First of all for the environment: agriculture is responsible for around 9% of greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium. Two thirds of this comes from meat production. If we don’t change things, agriculture will be responsible for 52% of these emissions 10 years from now. Three quarters of that will come from meat and dairy production. This intense farming also causes massive deforestation, so the industry can produce enough soya to feed its livestock. There is also a loss of biodiversity and increased water and soil pollution. Last but not least, 300 million animals in Belgium alone are slaughtered in suffering”.
Green peace says the population is becoming more willing to reduce its meat consumption, but the reduction is going too slowly. “That’s why we have launched our campaign to cut the consumption and production of meat in half by 2050.”