How to eat less meat and help the planet


A more plant heavy diet can help lessen our environmental footprint and help combat climate change.

Lately, many people have been choosing to reduce their meat and dairy intake or have eliminated meat from their diets completely due to the recent research that shows it can help lessen our environmental footprint and help combat climate change.

So, do you think you could do the same? First, let’s have a look at how the global livestock industry is damaging our planet and fuelling global warming.

  1. Mass deforestation taking place for livestock to graze on and larger areas being needed to grow feed for the animals. Huge amounts of feed must be grown for livestock, especially cattle. Over 80% of global farmland is now used for livestock.
  2. Greenhouse gas emissions, including methane gases coming from the animals themselves. A recent article by Damian Carrington for ‘Our World’, states that, ‘The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined’.
  3. Fossil fuel energy is used to grow feed for animals, in the form of fertilizers or ‘agro-chemicals’. Fossil fuels are also used to power factory farms, for example, heating and cooling enormous sheds where livestock are kept and large-scale cleaning and ventilation systems that are in place.

The damage is clear

The damage seems clear, mostly caused by factory farming and the huge industrial scale of the livestock and dairy production. It’s understandably hard to believe without seeing, especially when in the local area of Morzine we see cattle grazing in the alpages and being reared by local farmers, with regional products such as cheese from Abondance being sold not a stone’s throw from where it’s produced.

For many it can seem obtrusive to consider the effect of their diet choices, but this could be one of the easiest and most helpful ways to reduce your impact on Earth. And in this modern day, it’s so easy to minimise your meat and dairy intake. Restaurants and cafes are almost always able to offer a vegan or vegetarian option, supermarkets have an abundance of vegetarian & vegan alternatives and the options for catering for yourself at home are endless. So whether its swapping your meat feast pizza for a veggie deluxe, making a vegetarian thai curry rather than adding in chicken, or treating yourself to a range of fresh vegetables at the local market and getting creative and cooking at home for friends, cutting down on meat and dairy could help reduce our impact on the planet more than we realise.

References from:

More useful resources from Montagne Verte: