10 Reasons You Need To Eat Less Meat: All The Facts

4 Mins Read
Not sure why everyone you know is suddenly going meatless? Unless you live in a cave, you will have noticed that there are more and more headlines about people going vegan and about the negative environmental and health consequences of animal agriculture. But there’s so much information out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Which is why we decided to gather all the important facts in one place. Reducing meat consumption is the “single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth​,” According to the scientists behind​ extensive research ​on the global livestock industry ever produced. The study “assessed the full impact of these foods, from farm to fork, on land use, climate change emissions, freshwater use and water pollution (eutrophication) and air pollution (acidification).” Below, the top 10 reasons you should consider reducing your overall meat intake. 

1. There is NO Better Way to Lower Carbon Emissions

If we all became veggies, global carbon emissions would drop by over 60%. If we all became vegans, they would drop over 70%. More than not traveling on airplanes. More than not using cars. ​Nothing comes close.

2. The (Efficiency) Math Doesn’t Add Up

The meat and dairy industries are shockingly inefficient in terms of an energy return on land investment: Globally, “meat and dairy provide only 18% of our calories and 37% of our protein, yet use up 83% of our farmland.”   Ask anyone in finance if they would accept these returns on their investments.

3. It’s Not Healthy To Eat So Much Meat: Even Small Amounts Processed Meat Consumption Increases Cancer Incidence

In their 2018 Recommendations report, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has stated that processed meats like bacon, deli meats and such are linked to higher incidences of cancer and should be avoided altogether. And below is a great graphic by the European Environmental Bureau about how agricultural emissions by the livestock industry affect our health. From diabetes to cardiovascular disease to chronic anxiety, the way we rear animals has a profound impact on our health. 

4. Meat & Seafood Companies Are Blocking Paris Accord Progress

Acccording to the Caller FAIRR index, over 75% of the world’s meat & seafood companies are failing to report their basic carbon emissions data basically making it impossible to measure their impact on climate change worldwide and ““putting the implementation of the Paris agreement in jeopardy.”

5. We Can’t Afford To Eat This Much Meat

One issue that rarely gets talked about in the eating less meat debate is healthcare costs. According to a recent study by PNAS, a global decrease in meat consumption could save up to eight million lives per year” and trillions in reduced healthcare costs. Heavy meat eaters cost more to society.

6. Hong Kongers Eat More Meat Than Almost Any Other City in the World

A Hong Kong University Study found that “an average of 664 grams of meat is consumed by a person every day – the equivalent of two 10-ounce steaks,” making Hong Kong one of the top greenhouse gas polluters in the world. It’s an embarrassing statistic that we need to address, given that all that meat needs to be imported.

7. Global Meat Consumption is Making Antibiotics Useless

The Coller FAIRR index shows that of animal protein companies studied, “77% (46 companies worth US$239bn) rank ‘high risk’ on antibiotics, with little or no measures in place to reduce excessive use of antibiotics” helping fuel the rise of the superbug, bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics, prompting England’s chief medical officer Sally Davies to declare that “the world is facing an antibiotic apocalypse.

8. It’s More Than A Trend, It’s a Revolution

Vegans, Flexitarians, Reducetarians, Green Monday Adherents- younger generations are embracing a new way of eating. Thanks to social media, they are exposed to the destructive practices of industrial animal husbandry. They are more concerned with environmental destruction than ever before. They are more aware than their parents about the importance of what we eat when it comes to our health. In the US, veganism has grown over 600%. Over in the UK, the Brits are embracing a diet with less meat – there is a 350% increase in people identifying as vegans. Rising meatless diets can be seen in France. And China. And Australia. Every week a new celebrity commits to life SANS animal flesh. This is more than a fad. This is a global change in how people eat. It’s not going away anytime soon.

9. Plant Based Products Are Delicious

A decade ago, cutting meat out of your diet meant your options were limited but today, the market is flooded with plant alternatives to meat, seafood, dairy milk, cheese, eggs and more. Many of them are delicious. And with investors and Big Food betting big on meat analogs, you can be sure they will only get better and tastier as time goes on. Obviously fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds should make up the bulk of your diet but there are plenty of awesome products to explore out there.

10. It’s Easy to Eat Plant-Based in Hong Kong

Hong Kongers love to eat out, in fact we have one of the highest number of restaurants per capita in the world. The good news is: the city has a vibrant plant-based dining scene. We have over 50 100% vegan establishments serving an array of global cuisines loads of restaurants now cater to vegetarians and vegans too with chefs launching vegan menus left and right. And did you know: we are the only city in the world to serve the Impossible Burger, the Beyond Burger, JUST Egg and Omnipork! Go Hong Kong!

Lead image courtesy of Pexels.

Love our content but keep missing the latest?

Sign up to receive Green Queen Weekly in your inbox, aka Asia’s Best Eco Wellness Newsletter