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Obama Says Drop Meat to Fight Climate Change

The former president spoke honestly about the connection between meat consumption and environmental degradation at a recent food innovation conference.

Former President Barack Obama delivered the keynote speech at the Seed & Chips Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy this week. The former president was joined by White House chef Sam Kass in a discussion about how meat consumption affects the environment. “People aren’t as familiar with the impact of cows and methane,” Obama said, adding that “as people want to increase more meat consumption, that in turn is spiking the growth of greenhouse emissions coming out of the agricultural sectors.” Obama stated that the increase in meat consumption in areas such as China, India, and Vietnam will continue to push global meat consumption up and urged citizens to find innovative alternatives to meat. “What it does mean is that we’re also going to have to find ways to produce protein in a more efficient way,” Obama said. The former president’s acknowledgement of how animal agriculture affects climate change stands in stark contrast to the opinion voiced by the Trump administration—which promises to disengage from global climate change initiatives such as the Paris Agreement.

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