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  • In the short term that would be a lot more damaging to the environment because then we would have high volumes of livestock solely for the purpose of producing animal byproducts such as cheese, milk, eggs. That livestock needs to be renewed but, even with our best husbandry and genetic modelling, that means at least a third of all new livestock won't be productive by reason of being male. Of course we could just slaughter them but that seems a) utterly stupid and wasteful and b) leaves us with a very environmentally unfriendly carcass surplus.

    There is also the massive problem that means that you'd be abandoning massive amounts of people to die a slow horrible death of malnutrition because they live in parts of the world where plant based agriculture simply isn't sufficient to sustain them without some kind of meat component. There alternatives to that such as expenditure of massive amounts of energy shipping in food or a collossal amount of forced repatriation. Both of which come with their own environmental and ethical questions relating to cultural abuse of those people you're imposing this change on.

    Even then, the sudden decline in meat based diet across the whole global population probably isn't enough to mitigate the human impact on climate change. There are other easier, far more palatable (excuse the pun) things that we can do as a planet, countries, communities and individuals that will have far greater effects.

  • What are the far more easier things we can do to alleviate the problem then? If we all cut down on eating meat, less animals would be bred, more water would be available and less greenhouse gas would be emitted.

    Beef is the worst of the offenders for gases, we could actually all help by eating more chickens in fact as it takes far less water to grow chickens than it does for cows to be reared.

  • What are the far more easier things we can do to alleviate the problem then?

    Consuming less domestic and industrial energy is probably the biggest, easiest win that is available to us. Stop leaving leaving lights on in rooms and buildings we don't use. Stop heating homes and offices beyond 21C just because someone is a bit soft. Stuff like that. Simply put we take our current unrestricted supply of energy for granted and use it accordingly. However, this, unlike a radical shift in the global diet, is far easier to motivate behavioural change because we can legislate on low energy lifestyles without significantly impacting on people's perception of their lifestyle.

    Cars. I'm guessing that on a cycling forum I don't need to explain this one to you.

    Food Waste. We waste immense amounts of food in the developed world. In turn that means that we waste immense amounts of energy transporting food to and around the developed world that is simply going to be wasted. That in turn then means that we waste immense amounts of energy transporting food in the form of aid to developing countries because we've taken their food (which we didn't eat) and now can't consistently sustain themselves. And of course, eliminating food waste cuts into that greenhouse gas emission issue of livestock.


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