The current food demands of Western countries is resulting in the world’s biodiversity being seriously under threat. Water is also in short supply as a huge amount of this is going towards feeding cereal crops, of which around 70% will be fed to livestock. Livestock makes a huge contribution to greenhouse gasses and at the same time needs a huge about of food (70% of growing crops) which would be better placed to help the 1.2 billion or so people suffering from malnutrition and hunger worldwide.
The typical Western diet – high in meat, dairy and processed food – has been linked to an increase in Western diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This same Western diet is having a detrimental impact on animal welfare, the biodiversity of our planet, the climate and our ecosystem.
Eating a healthier diet – consisting of more plant based foods, a smaller amount of well-chosen meat and less processed foods would not only improve the health and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases but would also move us towards more sustainable eating habits which support our world’s agriculture, biodiversity and ecosystem.
For more information please see the WWF’s document: Livewell – a balance of healthy and sustainable food choices.