(WildAid) - Coal. Car emissions. Factories. These are the images people usually conjure when they think about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. But what about food and meat production?
Meat production alone accounts for over 15% of emissions and skyrockets to almost 50% when you consider the secondary impacts on land-use, deforestation, and transportation. As we think about ways to fight climate change, reducing meat and dairy consumption is one way we as individuals can all pitch in.
But asking people to change their eating habits is fraught with risk. Dietary choice – like other consumption choices – is very personal. And while sustainable consumption and eating less meat is becoming a more common topic in the U.S. and Europe, in China they're only beginning this conversation.
China consumes 30% of the world's meat supply, more than any other country in the world, and that demand will rise 50% in the next decade. With a population of 1.5 billion, even a small decrease in meat consumption could make a huge difference – not only for personal health (think heart disease) – but for the health of the planet.
WildAid Climate Program Director Jen Leung recently spoke with BBC's World News about meat consumption in China and how a significant global decrease will save lives and mitigate the impacts of climate change.