UN Climate Discussion Fails to Address Meat Consumption

The connection between animal production and environmental destruction was grossly ignored.


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The United Nations (UN) gathered for their 71st General Assembly this week to discuss global issues such as climate change, but failed to mention the primary role animal production plays in environmental devastation. In 2009, the UN linked animal agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions in its ”Livestock’s Long Shadow” report, which stated that cows produce more methane than all transportation combined. Yet as media outlet Vice points out, the issue of reducing meat consumption was absent from all discussions held at the meeting. Instead, the UN focused on resolving climate change with “technological breakthroughs”—something that author of Project Animal Farm Sonia Faruqi believes is a lost cause. “We just need to think about what’s on our plate that doesn’t need to be there,” Faruqi says. Despite vast evidence of the environmental detriment caused by the animal agriculture industry, the UN did not recommend eliminating or limiting meat consumption as a means to combat climate change. “The truth is, cutting back on bacon alone won’t fix everything—but it’s a simple, viable strategy to add to our toolbox that the UN is largely ignoring,” Vice staff writer Kaleigh Rogers says.