Extract: “It would be helpful if the government informed the community that they can have a significant environmental impact by modifying their diets. Such an approach would help balance the efforts of groups such as Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), who were named the 2007 advertiser of the year at the Australian Writers & Art Directors awards, for its work in promoting red meat sales domestically and internationally. No one could validly complain if well-informed consumers decided to purchase fewer meat and dairy products for environmental reasons. After all, efficient markets rely on decision makers being well informed. To mislead the public of the actual causes of climate change or water shortages is worse than doing nothing at all. It deflects action away from those measures that would help to solve the pressing environmental problems that we face.”
Extract: “If the Victorian Government is willing to advertise to encourage us to adopt certain beneficial practices in regard to energy and water consumption, then it should also be willing to do the same in regard to dietary choices, as the environmental benefits of dietary change would be many times greater than the benefits to be derived from the other measures mentioned.”
Extract: “Whilst the Victorian Government has been willing to spend money on advertisements that encourage us to turn off electrical appliances and take shorter showers, it has said little, if anything, about the dramatic effect of our food choices on the environment. This must change; the Government must help to inform the community.”
Description: Animal agriculture has a massive impact on climate change. In June 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme’s International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management reported on activities and resources that contribute disproportionately to environmental pressures and impacts. In its report, the panel said, “a substantial reduction of impacts would only be possible with a substantial worldwide diet change, away from animal products”. This presentation supports that view. (First presented in February, 2011)
Key Issues (inter-related):
Greenhouse gases and other warming agents
Comments on Meat & Livestock Australia’s “Myth Busters”
I felt the need to respond to what MLA referred to as “myth busters” regarding the environmental impacts of red meat. Here’s my paper.