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We can have our steak or we can have our planet, but we can't have both. New research from Swedish scientists in the scientific journal Climatic Change confirms that a major reduction of global meat consumption is necessary if we are to reach safe levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reports Salon.

   “In order to have any chance to reach a 2 degree target, fossil-fuel use has to be reduced drastically,” Fredrik Hedenus, the study’s lead author, wrote in an email. “However, what we show is that may not be sufficient, as the agricultural emissions … may be too high. Thus we have to take action in both sectors.” Transportation and energy are the biggest sources of greenhouse gases, but researchers say a global shift in people’s diets is also necessary to contain climate change.”We therefore conclude that dietary changes are crucial for meeting the 2 degree C target with high probability.”

    So, how much less meat do we have to eat?

    “It all depends how much we can and want to do in the energy sector,” Hedenus explains. “If we do a lot there it may be sufficient with a 25 percent lower meat and dairy consumption than predicted in 2070. If we do less, somewhere around 75 percent less may be reasonable.”

The study authors are advocating for policy changes and a tax on meat.  How much time do we waste waiting for policy changes? I say let's get ahead of the situation and become part of the solution by reducing/eliminating our own meat consumption.

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