Would it solve the world’s food crisis if we all went vegetarian or vegan?
We’ve heard fearsome tales of how wasteful it is to produce meat. Prof John Quiggin at the University of Queensland tells us that meat consumption contributes to global poverty. But he concludes, ‘Using current technology and with no additional diversion of food grain, the world could produce enough meat to give everyone an intake comparable to that of the average person in the Netherlands.’
Does it really take huge amounts of land to produce a portion of meat? Where’s the science behind such claims? Simon Fairlie at Global Food Security says that good science is sometimes misreported to serve vested interests whether ideological or financial. He says that meat can be a benign extravagance.
Writing this, I expect comments about how terrible it can be to eat too much meat. I agree: it can be terrible for the land, for human health and for human prosperity. But I look at my country and see how much of our British land is far more suitable for raising livestock than for growing crops. People farm sheep in the uplands, places so wonderful as Fleet Moss. The financial support farmers get to do that is a topic for another blog post but soya fields and hazelnut plantations on Fleet Moss? I don’t think so.