‘A wake-up call for the industry’: Meat production in France under scrutiny amid climate change
As meat consumption remains the biggest contributor to food-related greenhouse gas emissions, developing more eco-responsible habits requires changes to our diets. For livestock farmers, this translates into a need to find new ways of production.
Following Neige (Snow), Idéale (Perfect) and Imminence, the new ambassador of the International Agriculture Show, which opened February 25 in Paris, isOvalie, a 5-year-old cow of the Salers breed. As usual, the star gets to have her photo printed on posters for this annual event and her official public presentation is also set to be one of the high points of the show. This tradition highlights the importance of animal husbandry in French agriculture. But as climate activists often decry the environmental impact of meat production, the show also serves as an occasion to rethink our methods of production as well as the steaks on our plates.
On a global scale, meat consumption continues to rise: It has multiplied by almost five over the past 60 years, growing from 71 million tonnes in 1961 to 339 million tonnes in 2021, according to statistics from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). This production has massive consequences for climate change: The livestock sector is responsible for 14.5 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions derived from human activities and half of the emissions of the agricultural sector worldwide.
The main culprit of greenhouse gas emissions on our plates
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