Around 18-20% of the EU’s Budget is Allocated to Livestock Farming

‘Taking into account common agricultural policy (CAP) payments based on farm size, as well as payments that support production of livestock directly, between € 28.5 billion and € 32.6 billion go to livestock farms or farms producing fodder for livestock – between 18% and 20% of the EU’s total annual budget.’

– says the recently published Greenpeace report named ‘Feeding the Problem: The Dangers Intensification of Animal Farming in Europe

To further this,  Greenpeace have stated that public CAP money, the majority of which is funded by taxpayers, should be used ‘to support extensive livestock farmers raising animals via ecologically responsible methods, and encourage health and sustainable, predominantly plant-based diets.  The funds should be spent in a way that reduces the overall number of animals produces, increasing quality, preserving natural grasslands, and ensuring the livelihood of rural communities, not just a few isolated industrial players.’

At a time of  climate crisis – we were warned a few months ago by the IPCC that the world is on track to exceed its carbon budget in 12 years –  lots of scientific studies have stated that avoiding meat and dairy is one of the best ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve our land use efficiency, reduce water and air pollution and fresh water withdrawals.

UNEP even published a report in 2010 – so almost 10 years ago –  stating that animal products, both meat and dairy, typically require more resources and cause higher emissions than plant-based alternatives. So this is not brand new information, however it is being taken more seriously.

To further that point, according to Drawdown’s research, adopting a plant-rich diet is the fourth most effective way to reverse climate change.  If this is the first you are hearing about this book, it presents the 100 most impactful solutions to reversing global warming.  All solutions are ranked and quantified by the amount of CO2 it can reduce, the financial costs and savings in implementing them. Read more about this book in our post here.

Some are listening.

The Public Health England’s dietary guidelines recommend that meat and dairy, as well as non-animal-based protein alternatives such as beans and pulses, should not make up more than than our 20% of dietary intake anyways.

Earlier this year, Canada’s 2019 Food Guide, proposed that half ones’ plate should be full of fruits and vegetables, a quarter with starches or grains and a quarter with protein – dairy is grouped in with the proteins.  This guide is supposed to Canadians with nutritional advice for optimal health.

However, Europeans eat more than twice as much meat as recommended by the national dietary authorities and twice as much as the global average.

Some simply love meat and dairy and cannot imagine a tasty, nutritious substitute. Some simply grew up eating meat with every meal and eat it out of habit. Some simply do not like vegetables.

Moderation is key.  We cannot expect everyone to adopt a full vegan diet, but we can reduce our consumption.

If you’re looking to cut down the meat and dairy in your diet, check out My Vegan Experiment‘s ultimate 7 steps towards veganism here.

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