A new report from the Food Ethics Council, commissioned by WWF, provides a framework to help producers, policy-makers and environmental groups break out of a stalemate over the role that changing meat and dairy consumption should play in mitigating climate change.
It is in the public interest to engage producers in a dialogue with government over this controversial issue because it will result in better policy. It is in the interests of producers too, because they would otherwise be left on the margins of this increasingly prominent agenda.
This report takes a series of steps to identify basic assumptions that are shared by government, producers and environmental groups, and then to work out mutually agreed conditions under which policy can move forward.
This report focuses specifically on climate change and GHG emissions. We do not consider these to be the only policy, sustainability or ethical issues relating to livestock production and consumption. Others include environmental concerns relating to water use, pollution and biodiversity loss; social issues, such as working conditions, producer livelihoods, consumer health, freedom of choice and global equity; and questions relating to the animals themselves, such as their physical welfare, behavioural freedom and intrinsic worth. The Food Ethics Council has considered many of these issues in previous publications. We focus here on climate change because it is a major area of controversy that we want to help resolve. Our approach in this report is to consider systematically how measures to reduce GHG emissions from livestock could affect this array of wider concerns.
You can download the full report below.